A member of the anti-Shinra militant group Avalanche. Tifa manages Seventh Heaven, a bar located in the Sector 7 slums. A student of Zangan-style martial arts, she can clobber opponents with her fleet-footed combat techniques.

Final Fantasy VII Remake loading screen

Tifa Lockhart is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake, She also plays a supportive role in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-. She is a friend of Cloud Strife, and a member of Avalanche.

Tifa is initially presented as Cloud's childhood friend from Nibelheim, but lost contact with him years ago. When she meets him again, she convinces him to join Avalanche, the resistance group she is a member of, to fight Shinra Electric Power Company, whom she bears hatred for due to the destruction of their hometown. She supports Cloud as his comrade and helps him and his allies fight Sephiroth. Tifa is emotionally shy and empathic, acting as a motherly figure towards her allies when providing encouragement and emotional support.

Tifa uses her martial arts moves in battle, equipping knuckles as her weapon. Her Limit abilities make use of her martial arts techniques further. In the original Final Fantasy VII, unlike other characters, her Limit abilities are not selected from a list, rather, each ability can be used consecutively if the slots land on the "Yeah!" reel for the ability. Tifa has a similar role in Final Fantasy VII Remake as an agile martial artist, with a unique ability based on her Unbridled Strength chi level.

Profile[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Original artwork by Tetsuya Nomura.

Tifa has dark brown hair, occasionally appearing black, which falls below her waist and is tied at the tips to form a dolphin-tail split. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and some other appearances, her hair is shorter and reaches the middle of her back. Tifa's eye color has been officially addressed as red, but they have been depicted as a brown in some appearances. According to an official artwork, Tifa's bust-waist-hip measures are 92-60-88 cm (37-24-35 inches).[10]

In all her outfits across her many appearances, Tifa has worn some variation of a sleeveless shirt that exposes her midriff, a miniskirt and a white teardrop earring on her left ear. In Final Fantasy VII, Tifa wears a white tank top and black mini-skirt with a belt and suspenders. She dons red and black gloves that extend to her elbows, red boots, black socks, and a metal guard on her left elbow. She wears the same outfit in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring and the Itadaki series.

In Final Fantasy VII Remake, her skirt has pleated segments to make it easier for her to perform her martial arts, she wears black shorts underneath, and a black sports bra under her white tank top. She now wears black leather gloves with metal plates on the back and knuckles, while the elbow pad on her left arm has been supplemented by a red-and-black leather vambrace. The red sections of her vambrace and the larger metal plates on the back of her gloves have runes engraved on them. She wears a pair of black and red boots with black stockings.

Tifa in the chocobo carriage.

During the first Wall Market segment of the original game, Tifa wears an indigo minidress with matching heels. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, she has three dresses she can wear during the first Wall Market segment based on the dress mechanics, affected by the player's choices in the discovery quest, "Alone at Last", in Chapter 3 "Home Sweet Slum". The default is a recreation of her original indigo dress, chosen if the player either does not complete the Chapter 3 sidequests, or selects the option "Something mature." If the player selects "Something... sporty?", she will wear a black leopard print cheongsam with her hair up in "odango" buns. Selecting "Something exotic?" will cause her to wear a short black kimono-style dress.

In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, and in flashbacks in Final Fantasy VII, when she is a guide at Nibelheim, Tifa wears a cowgirl outfit with a short leather skirt and vest, a white shirt that reveals her belly, cowboy boots and hat. In Crisis Core this outfit is given more detail, changing the top into a patterned, button-up corset, giving pockets and tassels to the skirt and vest and adding a belt around her hips. In her artwork by Yoshitaka Amano, Tifa has white hair and wears a red miniskirt with a white top and red gloves. This attire is an alternate outfit for her in Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.

In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Tifa wears the Leather Suit: a white tank top under a black zip-up vest with black overhauled shorts that fold at the waist, forming an additional utility pocket at the front and a short duster at the back extending to her heels. She wears a pink ribbon around her left arm in remembrance of Aerith Gainsborough, and a Fenrir ring on her right hand. Her gloves are black and shorter than in Final Fantasy VII, covering only her hands. Tifa wears this attire in the Kingdom Hearts series and in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, and it is available as an alternate outfit for her in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Artwork of Tifa by Yoshitaka Amano.

People have many things pent up inside of themselves. So many things they can never forget. Strange, isn't it?

Tifa Lockhart, Final Fantasy VII

While deceptively strong, Tifa is empathic and emotionally shy. While identifying and responding to the feelings of others, Tifa does not express her feelings often, and when she does she struggles doing so. Tifa has motherly qualities, acting as a support for others, and keeping the others around her optimistic. Though Tifa has nothing but scorn for Shinra, her moral sense causes her to struggle internally between wishing to fight Shinra and expressing guilt for the consequences that her actions have on innocents.

In Final Fantasy VII, Tifa is a hard worker and spends her time caring for everyone but herself, keeping the feelings of uneasiness towards Cloud locked up. She offers sanctuary and protects those in need, and is often an emotional crutch for the other Avalanche members to lean on. Tifa finds them to be kindred spirits seeking to end the tyranny the Shinra Electric Power Company has brought unto the planet, although initially she joined the rebel group to seek revenge for the destruction of her hometown and the deaths of her family and friends therein. Tifa helps Cloud along the way in his soul-searching to find himself, while reminding the other party members to "be strong."

Unlike the other party members, in the original game, she does not explicitly have a backstory to tell the others, which can partly be attributed to her shyness, and partly to how much of it is shared with Cloud, as they hail from the same hometown. This forms a bond between the two, and Cloud is Tifa's emotional link to the old life she used to lead in Nibelheim, which was destroyed by Shinra's influence.

In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Tifa has grown more forward and tries to keep their family unit together when Cloud falls into depression. She acts like a parental figure towards the children in her care, both defending them in battle and giving them emotional support. Though not clingy, she appears hurt by Cloud's distantness. Tifa pushes him to take action and to stop brooding with what he considers to be his past failings.

Story[edit | edit source]

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Early life[edit | edit source]

Tifa in Before Crisis.

Tifa was born in Nibelheim and was Cloud's next-door neighbor. She was outgoing and had many friends, but although she and Cloud were only a year apart in age, they were not close. Tifa's mother died when Tifa was eight years old in 1995, leaving her upset and confused. Tifa believed her mother had gone to Mt. Nibel, and that she could meet her again if she crossed the mountain.

Tifa headed off to Mt. Nibel and Cloud followed to protect her, but they fell from a rickety bridge. Tifa's father found her severely injured and blamed Cloud for leading her to Mt. Nibel. Five years later, in 0000, Cloud decided to join SOLDIER like his idol Sephiroth, in part to impress Tifa. He called Tifa out to the water tower to tell her of his plans, and Tifa made Cloud promise to protect her if she was ever in trouble. He left to join SOLDIER the following spring and Tifa kept checking the newspaper looking for some mention of him, and asking Shinra personnel if they knew him when they came to Nibelheim. She would find nothing, for Cloud never made it into SOLDIER, becoming only a lowly infantryman in the Shinra Public Security Division.

Nibelheim Incident[edit | edit source]

Crisis Core artwork.

I hate you! I hate Shinra! I hate SOLDIER! I hate you all!

Tifa to Zack after the Nibelheim Incident

Two years later, on September 21, 0002, a 15-year-old Tifa works as a tour guide in Mt. Nibel and is taking martial arts lessons from Zangan. In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- she is hired by the player's Turk to lead a Shinra expedition to investigate a faulty mako reactor. The expedition includes Sephiroth and a SOLDIER named Zack. During their stay she drops hints to Zack of dreaming of a blond-haired SOLDIER protecting her.

Unbeknown to her, Cloud is one of the two Shinra guards accompanying Zack and Sephiroth, but is concealing his identity due to his shame of failing to enter SOLDIER. Without her knowing it he prevents her entry to the reactor, attempts to protect her from a monster attack shortly after (trying to anonymously keep his promise) and is helped down the mountain by her. Afterward, Tifa messages Zack expressing her worry for the soldier who helped her.

Sephiroth goes berserk when he learns who "his mother" is, and on October 1st sets Nibelheim ablaze before setting off to the reactor. Tifa's father and others follow, but Sephiroth slays them. Tifa finds her father dead at the Nibel Reactor with Sephiroth's Masamune. Declaring her hatred of Sephiroth and Shinra, she attacks him, but Sephiroth disarms her and cuts her down. Tifa falls down the steps and slumps to the ground.

Zack finds Tifa injured, but she doesn't trust him and refuses help. Zack then engages Sephiroth, but is defeated. Cloud arrives and carries Tifa aside before confronting Sephiroth himself; he later admits he thought Tifa's wounds were fatal.

Midgar and Avalanche[edit | edit source]

Tifa's Final Fantasy VII portrait by Tetsuya Nomura.

After Cloud had defeated Sephiroth, but succumbed to his wounds, Zangan arrived and took Tifa away to Midgar for medical treatment, unable to save all three (Cloud, Zack and Tifa) from the reactor. Though he cast Cure on her he only barely kept her alive, and it is implied she has no recollection of the journey.

After Zangan left Midgar, Tifa recovered and joined a cell of Avalanche, an anti-Shinra resistance group led by Barret Wallace. She became the owner and proprietor of the bar and restaurant Seventh Heaven, which houses Avalanche's base in a secret basement.

When Cloud returns to Midgar as a mercenary in late 0006, he meets Tifa. Unaware Cloud was in Nibelheim during its destruction, but suspecting something is off about his behavior, Tifa recruits him to work for Barret to examine him further. Realizing Cloud knows several things he should not and has forgotten things he should know, and also initially doubting her own recollections when faced with Cloud's, Tifa conceals this information while trying to figure out the reason behind Cloud's different character and inconsistent memories.

Original continuity[edit | edit source]

Avalanche operations in Midgar[edit | edit source]

Tifa asking Cloud to help Avalanche.

On December 9th, Cloud's first mission with Avalanche is a success, and he returns to Tifa's bar. He attempts to quit Avalanche, stating his indifference towards Shinra and the planet, but Tifa pleads for him to stay reminding him of the promise they made as children and Cloud reluctantly signs up for the next mission.

The next day Tifa accompanies Cloud and Barret to Mako Reactor 5. Their ID cards fail the security check while onboard a train, and they are forced to jump out and trek the rest of the way on foot. While at the reactor they discover that Shinra knows about their actions and is allowing their acts of terrorism, and even speak to President Shinra himself. Cloud is separated when he falls into the slums below. Barret and Tifa return to the hideout and find someone spying on them who points to the crime boss Don Corneo as a Shinra informant. Tifa concocts a plan to approach him, as Don Corneo is known for calling up girls to his mansion and choosing one as his "bride" for the day. Cloud catches Tifa being taken to Don's, and infiltrates Corneo's mansion with a girl he met at the Midgar slums, Aerith.

Tifa threatening Don Corneo.

In the ensuing confrontation Corneo reveals Shinra is planning to drop the Sector 7 plate to crush the slums. Tifa, Cloud and Aerith cross the Train Graveyard to get back to Sector 7. Back at Sector 7, Tifa and Cloud race to help Barret defend the pillar supporting the plate while Aerith takes Barret's daughter, Marlene, to safety at Tifa's behest. The pillar and Sector 7 are destroyed, and while Tifa, Cloud and Barret escape, Shinra captures Aerith. They head to Aerith's mother's house where they learn Shinra wanted to kidnap Aerith for her heritage as an Ancient.

Tifa, Barret and Cloud infiltrate the Shinra Building to save Aerith, and while they are there Sephiroth attacks the building and kills President Shinra. When the President's son, Rufus Shinra, arrives, Cloud stays behind to delay him while the others descend the building, but Tifa stays back to help Cloud. They escape the building on vehicles stolen from the Shinra exhibition rooms, Tifa driving a light blue pick-up truck with Aerith on the passenger seat and Barret and Red XIII, a friend they made in the Shinra Building, riding in the back.

Pursuit of Sephiroth[edit | edit source]

The group flees from Midgar to Kalm where Cloud tells the group how he was deployed to Nibelheim with Sephiroth and how the latter destroyed the town. His version is faulty, but a confused Tifa does not confront him both to protect him and because she doubts her own recollection.

The group travels the world tracking Sephiroth with Tifa supporting the party when she can. In Gongaga they run into Zack's parents who worry about their son as they have not heard from him in years. Knowing Zack was the SOLDIER member who came to Nibelheim with Sephiroth, Tifa gets upset, but lies to Cloud when he asks what's wrong. When they arrive at Nibelheim they find the town rebuilt, and the villagers (really Shinra employees hired to cover up the Sephiroth incident) not remembering Cloud or Tifa ever living there.

The group stays in Gold Saucer while the ropeway is being repaired, and Tifa is one of the possible date options for Cloud. If Tifa goes out with Cloud during the night she laments on being insecure with her feelings and how she wishes she could tell something to him but finds herself unable to. At the Temple of the Ancients Cloud is manipulated by Sephiroth into relinquishing the Black Materia, a powerful Materia that can summon Meteor. Aerith absconds to the Forgotten City alone, and when Cloud doubts he should continue on the quest Tifa and Barret push him into going, promising to support him. They witness Sephiroth murder Aerith and Tifa kneels by her body before running away in tears.

When the group tracks Sephiroth down to the Whirlwind Maze Sephiroth shows Cloud the true events of Nibelheim's razing. Sephiroth's manipulations take their toll and Cloud comes to believe he is not a real person, but someone made by Professor Hojo of Shinra with false memories. Cloud submits to Sephiroth's will and hands over the Black Materia they had stolen from Sephiroth earlier, before apologizing to Tifa as the North Crater shakes and the ancient beasts called Weapons awaken. Tifa and Barret flee on the Shinra airship, Highwind, as the crater collapses with the rest of Avalanche escaping another way. Tifa and Barret are brought to Junon where they are to be executed as scapegoats to show Shinra is still in control as Meteor looms in the sky.

Meteorfall[edit | edit source]

Tifa is thrown into a gas chamber while the other party members hidden in the crowd save Barret. While gas seeps into the chamber Tifa breaks out of her restraints. Sapphire Weapon attacks Junon and blasts a hole in the gas chamber, saving her. Running to escape the Shinra forces, Tifa climbs onto the Mako Cannon. The Shinra executive Scarlet confronts her, and the two descend into a cat fight. The Highwind commanded by the rest of Avalanche appears below the cannon and Tifa makes a leap for the airship. She is elected the party's temporary leader while Cloud is gone.

Tifa tries to push Cloud to safety when the Lifestream surges.

Cloud is found in Mideel, suffering from a mako overdose. Tifa remains to watch over him, but Cloud is not showing signs of improvement. Ultimate Weapon appears and lifestream swallows Mideel. Tifa tries to push the unresponsive Cloud to safety but both fall into the lifestream, the wellspring of the planet's life energy.

Being submerged in the lifestream lets Tifa enter Cloud's Subconscious where she uncovers the truth about the Nibelheim incident, and helps Cloud restore his memories and motivations. Tifa learns Cloud admired her when he was young, and left to join SOLDIER to impress her. Tifa learns Cloud helped her during the Nibelheim incident even though she didn't know it was him at the time.

According to a brief mention of Tifa in Hoshi o Meguru Otome, after learning from Zack that Cloud truly is not himself, Aerith protects Tifa's mind from the mako poisoning while she is in Cloud's subconscious, believing she can restore Cloud's true persona.

After Cloud's memories have been restored the two wash ashore near Mideel where the others find them and take them aboard the Highwind.

In the aftermath of Midgar's siege by Diamond Weapon and the impending chaos of Shinra's destruction, Cloud dismisses the party instructing them to find a reason to fight. Tifa stays behind with Cloud as she has nowhere else to go and the two spend the night under the Highwind. Depending on the player's interactions with her, the scene has two possible dialogue courses that vary in the amount of affection the two show each other.

Tifa in the ending.

In late January 0007 the party descends to the bottom of the Northern Cave and defeats Sephiroth to release the power of Holy, the Ultimate White Magic Aerith had summoned before her death. After the battle Cloud feels Sephiroth is not fully vanquished, and Tifa stays behind as he descends into the lifestream for a final battle. As he returns to his body the cavern falls apart and Cloud saves Tifa from falling. The party returns to the Highwind where they watch the lifestream surge from the planet to help Holy destroy the Meteor.

Post-crisis[edit | edit source]

Tifa in the On the Way to a Smile OVA.

Tifa is the focus of "Episode: Tifa" in On the Way to a Smile, examining her life and relationship with Cloud after the planet was saved from Meteor. Tifa, Cloud and Barret's daughter Marlene become a family in the newly built city of Edge, and Tifa runs a bar called 7th Heaven while Cloud runs a delivery service. Her life with Cloud is initially happy, but Tifa becomes concerned with Cloud's secrecy and growing depression, which strain the family's unity.

Cloud brings Denzel, a boy he found from the Midgar ruins, to the bar, and he joins the family. Cloud later leaves 7th Heaven with no explanation despite showing signs of happiness again. Tifa calls his cellphone several times, but the answering service takes over. Shortly thereafter, the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children begin.

Tifa has a minor appearance in Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story. She is approached by Kyrie Canaan, a friend of the Evan Townshend (the protagonist of the novella) in Midgar, who asks her for the route to Nibelheim, which she reluctantly tells him. Later on she is approached by Leslie Kyle, a friend of Kyrie, and she lets him know she told Kyrie of his plans to travel to Nibelheim. Tifa is also mentioned when seen in a one of many pictures in Corneo's mansion, which is destroyed by Evan Townshend.

Geostigma crisis[edit | edit source]

Tifa and Cloud in Sector 5 Slums Church.

Which is it, a memory or us?

Tifa to Cloud

Two years after Midgar was destroyed by Meteor, during the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Tifa serves as Cloud's emotional support, runs a bar called 7th Heaven in Edge, cares for Marlene and Denzel, and handles the business side of Cloud's delivery service.

While taking Marlene to the Sector 5 Slums Church to find Cloud, she discovers Cloud has Geostigma, a terminal illness. Loz, one of the remnants of Sephiroth, shows up hoping to find Jenova's head under Cloud's care. He finds Tifa, whom he duels. Though she puts up a good fight, Tifa is defeated after Loz uses his superhuman speed and pile bunker. Cloud finds her unconscious and prepares to hunt down Marlene, but a bout of pain from his Geostigma stops him. They are discovered by Reno and Rude who bring them back to the 7th Heaven. Cloud first turns down Tifa's request to go to the Forgotten City to retrieve Marlene and Denzel, fearing he will be unable to help them, but Tifa lectures about his apathy and self-loathing, talking him into going.

Tifa fights a Shadow Creeper.

The next day, when Loz and Yazoo have mind-controlled the children with Geostigma into going to the memorial in the center of Edge, Tifa attempts to save Denzel from them, but Bahamut SIN knocks her out. She joins the battle with the remaining Avalanche members, and is the last person to physically help Cloud—with Aerith providing support from the lifestream—into the air to deliver the final blow to the dragon.

Tifa appears on the Shera, the party's airship, with the Avalanche members while Cloud fights Kadaj and Sephiroth. She arrives in the church with Denzel to heal his Geostigma, and shares a shy smile with Cloud as he relaxes with the children in the pool of lifestream-purified water.

Deepground conflict[edit | edit source]

One year later, during Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Tifa appears during the ground assault on Midgar, leading the tanks with Barret and Cloud in the battle against a group known as Deepground. She appears when the gang is cheering on Vincent when he is "saving the world", and at the end, when Yuffie enters 7th Heaven to inquire about Vincent. She is still running the bar, and lets Shelke live with them. Tifa can be heard during a phone call to Vincent during his descent into Midgar's underground, but in audio only.

Remake continuity[edit | edit source]

Tifa on the steps to her bar.

Cloud has come to Midgar as a mercenary and Tifa has convinced Barret to hire him for an Avalanche mission, despite the latter's reluctance. After everyone returns to the slums from the successful bombing mission, Cloud wants to be paid as soon as possible, leading to Tifa apologizing over their lack of funds, promising to pay him back the next day if he helps her collect money for the water filters they also sell. Not wanting Cloud to move on yet, Tifa helps him find work as a mercenary at the Sector 7 Undercity and finds him an apartment next to hers. When taking Cloud to his new abode, they run into Marle, an elderly landlady who has taken Tifa under her wing, and Marco, an ill man wearing a dark cloak whom Cloud hallucinates as Sephiroth, but an oblivious Tifa stops him from hurting him. Tifa and Cloud rescue a slum dweller by the name of Johnny from Shinra's Public Security, and Tifa stops Cloud from silencing him forever for fear he will talk about Avalanche to Shinra. She tells him she is scared of how callous he has become, but Cloud reminds her that he used to be in SOLDIER.

Barret decides to not hire Cloud for the next mission, deeming he is not really part of the group. Tifa hesitates going through with another bombing mission, seeing the destruction the first mission caused to many innocent people, and Cloud tells her to not do it if she feels wrong about it. He evades her questions about his time with Shinra, but Tifa convinces him that they should go out and reminisce, asking what she should wear. The next morning Tifa and Cloud find the town attacked by mysterious cloaked monsters and Avalanche member Jessie is hurt, prompting Barret to hire Cloud as her replacement.

Reaching out to Cloud outside Mako Reactor 5.

Tifa, Barret and Cloud head out to the next bombing mission, Wedge and Jessie staying behind to look after Marlene, and Biggs having already gone ahead of them. Their IDs fail them in the train and they are forced to jump off, Cloud cushioning Tifa's landing with his body as they jump out together. They infiltrate Mako Reactor 5 but find that they are being broadcast live on TV and that Shinra knows about their acts of terrorism, and is allowing them to build Avalanche up as a public enemy to boost Shinra's popularity in return. After Shinra detonates the reactor themselves, Cloud is separated from Barret and Tifa who return to the slums.

They find an informant working for Don Corneo looking for information on Barret. Wanting to find out why Tifa travels to Wall Market to take part in Don Corneo's audition, procuring endorsement from Chocobo Sam. She is surprised to see Cloud on her way there, but has no time to talk with him further. Cloud (dressed as a woman) and his new friend Aerith come to Tifa's "rescue" only to find she is not in trouble, and the three hatch a plan to get the information out of Corneo.

Tifa before Corneo.

Cloud is chosen as the "bride" and Tifa and Aerith are given to Corneo's lackeys as the "rejects". They defeat the lackeys, procure their old equipment, and hurry to help Cloud. They threaten Corneo into revealing that Shinra is about to drop the Sector 7 plate to crush Barret's Avalanche cell while simultaneously blaming it on Avalanche. They rush back to Sector 7 through the haunted Train Graveyard. Tifa is scared of the ghosts and seeks Cloud's support.

They find the pillar under attack by Shinra, and witness Wedge plummet off and survive with a grappling hook cushioning his fall. Cloud climbs the pillar alone to go help Barret, but Tifa cannot bear staying back and follows him after making sure Wedge is alright, asking Aerith to go help Barret's daughter Marlene who is at the bar. Tifa rejoins with Cloud and they find a dying Jessie, Tifa crying over their last meeting. They find Barret at the top but fail to stop Reno and Rude from starting the plate separation procedure and must evacuate on a ropeway as the pillar comes crashing down. They find Marlene at Aerith's house, being cared for by Elmyra Gainsborough, but Aerith has been kidnapped by the Turks for her Cetra heritage. Cloud wants to go rescue her, but Elmyra asks them not to interfere any further, hoping that Shinra will release her soon.

Cloud comforts Tifa over everything they have lost.

Tifa, Barret and Cloud return to the ruins of Sector 7 and find a secret Shinra testing facility hidden underground, as well as Wedge, whom they take to Aerith's place to recuperate. Tifa has a chance to meet Cloud in Aerith's garden where she cries over having lost everything—again—because of Shinra while he embraces her. Elmyra changes her mind after Cloud tells her about the testing site they had discovered, and the three look for a way topside as the trains have stopped running. They revisit Corneo's mansion to find his disloyal lackey Leslie, and after helping him track Corneo down, Leslie gives them powerful grappling guns to help them cross the rubble of the plate's destruction. As they cross the ruins of Sector 7, Tifa and Barret plan on starting a new bar, and Tifa wants Cloud to be there with them as well.

They infiltrate the Shinra Building through the garage and Tifa uses her acrobatics skills to procure them a key card to take part in an interactive tour of the facility where they learn about Shinra, mako energy, and the Neo Midgar project that Shinra has kidnapped Aerith for. They rescue Aerith and Red XIII, and escape on stolen Shinra vehicles, Tifa driving the pick-up truck to the end of the Midgar Expressway where they find Sephiroth waiting for them.

They learn that the mysterious ghosts that have been intermittently helping and barring their progress are called Whispers, arbiters of fate that steer the course of events toward a fixed future the planet itself wants to see pass, but Sephiroth wants to change destiny itself. After Aerith says that Sephiroth is the true threat to the planet, even greater than Shinra, they follow him to a surreal dimension where they defeat the Whispers and Cloud duels Sephiroth, who yet disappears, like an illusion. Tifa supports Cloud in his battles and afterward, the future ahead of them seems unknowable. They depart Midgar, intent on tracking Sephiroth down and finding out what his goal is.

Spoilers end here.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Final Fantasy VII[edit | edit source]

Tifa's battle render.

Tifa is a playable party member, who relies on her martial arts techniques in battle seen in her Limits, and wields claws and glove weapons. Her stats in Final Fantasy VII are designed around the Monk character class, meaning her physical stats are stronger than her magical stats. She has lower HP growth than other characters, but her Strength growth gives her the third highest potential Strength of any character (behind only Cloud and Barret). Her ultimate weapon is the Premium Heart, which deals more damage based on how full her Limit gauge is.

Tifa is a date option for Cloud in the Gold Saucer, determined by a hidden stat in the game. She starts with the second highest value, at 30, which is 20 behind the highest, Aerith.

In addition to being a playable party member, Tifa is a temporary replacement for Cloud as party leader at certain points in the story. This can have an impact on dialogue in various sidequests. It also allows her to participate in Chocobo racing and Snowboarding, although she has a chance to participate in these minigames in Cloud's stead when she is present in the party and Cloud is the leader.

Final Fantasy VII Remake[edit | edit source]

Battle render.

Tifa is once again a playable party member who uses her martial arts techniques in battle, with a fast, close-range fighting style. She is the fastest character in both movement speed and ATB recharge rate. Her Triangle ability is to use a different martial arts technique depending on her chi level, Tifa being able to charge more chi with Unbridled Strength by expending ATB. Her abilities are martial arts techniques that are best performed in combos, and grant her the ability to both quickly build an enemy's stagger gauge and also increase stagger bonus damage. Her movement speed makes her a quick dodger.

Tifa has the best natural Speed Speed attribute, the second-highest Strength Strength attribute, and her knuckles provide the biggest physical damage bonuses of any party. Her natural HP is fairly low, and her survivability depends more on her ability to quickly dodge out of and avoid damage than to sustain it. Though Tifa's Magic Magic attribute is naturally low, equipping weapons that improve it can take advantage of her high speed, and still make her a fast spellcaster used as a battlemage. Although Tifa's damage-per-second potential is high, she is focused more on single-target melee damage, as opposed to Cloud or Barret with a melee weapon, whose melee damage is area-of-effect.

Tifa using Omnistrke, an Unbridled Strength technique.

Tifa joins the party in Chapter 3, "Home Sweet Slum", and completing sidequests with her improves Cloud's affection mechanics score with her. This makes her an option for a scene in the quest "Resolve", along with Barret and Aerith. In addition, player choices can allow her to wear one of three dresses in Chapter 9, "The Town That Never Sleeps". Tifa is also the player-controlled party leader during the quest "Acquiring the Keycard" in Chapter 16, "The Belly of the Beast", and later in Chapter 17, "Deliverance from Chaos", leads a party with Aerith in the quest series "Find the Others".

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Character design[edit | edit source]

Early Final Fantasy VII concept art by Tetsuya Nomura.

Designed by Tetsuya Nomura, the concept of Tifa was first created when the idea was suggested that, at some point within the game, a character would be permanently killed off. When it was decided to have Aerith die, attention went into developing her character and her relationships with the other characters; this resulted in the idea to introduce Tifa as a rival for Cloud's affections. The notion of having two concurrent heroines and the protagonist torn between them was something director Yoshinori Kitase liked, describing it as something new in the Final Fantasy games.[11]

The Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania interviews with the creators of Final Fantasy VII reveal the original depiction of Cloud and Tifa's "moment" under the Highwind before their final battle against Sephiroth was more suggestive: following a fade-out scene, Cloud was to walk out of the airship's chocobo stable followed shortly by Tifa who would check around as she left, implying the two had spent the night together. This idea was rejected by Yoshinori Kitase for being too "extreme" and was replaced by the less risqué conversation scene.[11]

Concept art by Tetsuya Nomura.

Tifa's attire was designed to give her freedom of movement due to her affinity to weaponless fighting. Her miniskirt was noted as being "quite short" to give her "a considerable degree of exposure".[7] This was kept as a stable for her alternate costumes in later entries.[11]

Two English demos for Final Fantasy VII exist, with Tifa appearing in the later one, released in 1997 after the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VII was already out. As the game was already out in another region the demo is near-identical to the final game. The main difference is that Tifa is in the party during the opening bombing mission of Sector 1 Reactor, and the party has access to many spells they cannot yet cast in the final version.

Advent Children development[edit | edit source]

Advent Children artwork.

Tetsuya Nomura and Kazushige Nojima struggled to create the new Tifa and focused on developing the emotional backbone her character is to the cast. They ensured to portray her as a modern woman who can function without a man. When Tifa tells Cloud what's inside her heart, the original scene had Tifa feeling guilty about being blunt, but Nojima cut it for time.

Takeshi Nozue had difficulty developing a framework for Tifa's body that was "balanced, yet showed off her 'feminine qualities'". Her outfit was redesigned with emphasis on expressing her physical qualities while being pleasing to the eye. Her hair was cropped due to the difficulty of animating her original length of hair, as well as problems that arose due to its dark color and lighting.

Script writer Kazushige Nojima described Tifa's role in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children as "very much like any woman who's been left behind by a man", stating that while they didn't want her to appear clingy, they wanted to portray her as having been hurt emotionally. In the film's initial draft she was intended to have a more central role in the then-short film, which only featured herself, Cloud, and several children, with the story revolving around a note being delivered to him.

Remake development[edit | edit source]

For Final Fantasy VII Remake, Aerith and Tifa are the "double heroines", the former with a western-style look and the latter with an eastern-style look. The developers wanted Tifa to have an athletic body type. The ethics department at Square Enix told the developers to "tighten her chest as not to get unnatural during all the intense action." Thus, she was given black underwear and a fitted tank top.[12]

For Tifa's physical appearance, the team decided to clearly separate Aerith and Tifa visually since they have a situation with two heroines. Though Tifa's body silhouette did not change from the original design, the team aimed to improve visual details, giving her an athletic body type with visually defined abdominal muscles. Her costume was designed to be realistic visually, taking real designs of clothes and accessories for reference. Her suspenders were inspired by military suspenders, while her gloves were inspired by those used for riding bikes and fighting. Tifa's appearance comes in contrast to her shy personality and lack of self-confidence, a subversion of expectations given her athletic appearance and her sporty outfit that gives her a lot of exposure.[13]

One sub scenario that was planned as part of development but which did not make it to the final game was Marle helping Tifa pick a dress for her Don Corneo infiltration mission, and how Tifa prepared for the mission before getting on Sam's chocobo carriage. The scenario was in the game until the latter half of development, but was cut due to time constraints.[14]

Voice[edit | edit source]

With Aerith's Japanese Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children voice actress already decided, Nomura requested Ayumi Ito take on the role of Tifa for the film; feeling her "husky voice" would offer a good contrast to Maaya Sakamoto, who played Aerith. Nomura additionally noted that after completing Tifa's updated design they debated on her finalized details, but once Ito had been cast for the role, they chose to blend many traits from the voice actress into the character's completed appearance.

Tifa is voiced by Rachael Leigh Cook in appearances from the English releases of Kingdom Hearts II to Dissidia NT. In an interview for Kingdom Hearts II, Cook described Tifa as a "very cool character, both very strong physically and emotionally, but also very sensitive", and "really multi-dimensional".[15]

Tifa is my goal--hashtag goals--she's who I want to be. So first of all, she's beautiful, obviously, that's the first thing. She's gorgeous, she's athletic, she's so strong. But then her personality is surprising--cool, calm, collected, empathetic, kind. So caring, especially with Cloud. So I fell in love with her because I think she is very unique. In other video game characters I've played that are athletic or tough, usually their personality also is very tough and mean and aggressive, and she's not. But then she also kicks ass! So I fell in love with her. I want to be Tifa.

Britt Baron, GameSpot interview[16]

Britt Baron takes over the role in the English release of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Baron was initially intimidated by the Final Fantasy VII universe, having grown up in a household where videogames were discouraged, and thus knew little about the character prior to being cast.[16] When learning about the character, Baron watched Advent Children and many YouTube videos to honor Tifa's essence.[17] She felt her goal was to walk the line between honoring the character and also bring herself into the role, and though she had listened to the work by Rachael Leigh Cook, she did not study it so as to provide her own interpretation instead of an imitation.[16][18] After being cast, Baron later came to understand the Final Fantasy fan community more and came to appreciate the engagement she had with fans and the warm welcome she received, saying that Final Fantasy led to more fan engagement than any project she'd been involved with previously as her social media began blowing up in a way that surprised her.[17][16][18]

Britt Baron said that she "fell in love" with Tifa, finding that she was less one-note than other video game characters she'd previously played.[18] Baron described Tifa as a goal for who she wants to be, due both to her physical traits, and her "surprising" collected and empathetic personality, in contrast to the aggressive personality one would expect from a physically strong character. She found Tifa's passion and desire for revenge relatable, while also being inspired by her sense of empathy and level-headedness in relation to Cloud and Barret, feeling it was nice to play a character who can calm herself down and think logically in contrast to her own personality.[17][16] Baron also said that Tifa, along with the other protagonists, being willing to fight for the betterment of society inspired her and brought her comfort in the time of the game's release around the COVID-19 crisis, which she described as making her feel "helpless and powerless against this big force", and serving as a reminder that humans are not invincible.[17][18]

Baron was initially confused by Tifa's relationship with Aerith, expecting the two to be rivals. She came to love the relationship they had as friends, and found Tifa's friendship with Aerith exciting, describing them as "two strong women that work together, and fight alongside each other, and care about one another", which she felt was a "good lesson that women don't have to tear other women down".[16][19]

Pop culture impact[edit | edit source]

Celebrity cosplayer Katyuska MoonFox as Tifa.

Tifa's popularity has caused her to be a popular cosplay choice among fans.[20] Notably, Tifa has been named the pinup girl of the "cyber generation" by The New York Times, being compared to Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider franchise as an example of a strong, independent and attractive female character in video games.[21]

In many polls of female videogame characters, Tifa frequently appears highly in the lists.[22][23][24]. Tifa, along with other characters, has also been ranked as the 19th most popular videogame character among Japanese audiences.[25] A 2009 article by IGN also attributed her character to helping drive "tough, independent RPG heroines".[26]

Allusions in other video games[edit | edit source]

Throughout Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, the player can find posters for LOVELESS, which appear to depict Tifa. As an allusion to Tifa's eventual role as the 7th Heaven's barmaid, in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Zack can speak to a man building a bar, who asks Zack what to name it. When Zack suggests "7th Heaven," the man loves the name and suggests getting "a young girl with a big bosom and long legs" to work the bar. Tifa Lockhart is among the names used in example sentences for the chat log filtering configuration in Final Fantasy XIV.

In Xenogears, a science-fiction JRPG also by Square on PlayStation, a poster of Tifa can be found hanging on the wall in a house in the upper-class Solaris community. Tifa's "Dilly dally, shilly shally" line from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was referenced in The World Ends With You, a game made by Square Enix.

Tifa has appeared as an outfit in other video games. This includes in the online game Mainichi Issho (now discontinued) as well as the arcade game Gunslinger Stratos 2. More notably, Tifa's costume is available as DLC in the LittleBigPlanet series; first made for LittleBigPlanet 2. It was part of a Final Fantasy VII costume pack also featuring Cloud, Aerith, Vincent and Sephiroth.

Allusions in other media[edit | edit source]

Tifa makes a minor appearance in Cartoon Network's MAD TV show. She appears in season 1, episode 16, Gaming's next top model. She also makes an appearance on Adult Swim's Robot Chicken in season 2, episode 8; Final Fantasy Burger Chain, where she plays an unspecified co-worker to Cloud.

The fight sequence between Tifa and Loz from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children has been duplicated for Korean pop singer Ivy MV's "Temptation of Sonata" music video, albeit with minor changes, such as small parts of the fighting choreography being altered due to the absence of Loz's Dual Hound, and Tifa's victory by snapping Loz's neck at the end. The music video was never aired on Korean television again and singer Ivy was sued by Square Enix for copyright infringement.[27]

Tifa appears in an episode of ScrewAttack's DEATH BATTLE! series against Yang Xiao Long from RWBY. Tifa works as barmaid, alluding to her occupation from Final Fantasy VII. Tifa performs many of her Limit Breaks, and the stats displayed for her are the maximum stats she can achieve in the original Final Fantasy VII release at level 99, with no additional Materia changes or items boosting stats used.

Tifa in Dead Fantasy.

Tifa appears in many episodes of Monty Oum's Dead Fantasy series as a combatant against the girls from the Dead or Alive video game series. Her main opponent is Hitomi, as they are both martial artists. Her fighting style is based on her Ehrgeiz counterpart, but she no longer utilizes Ken's fighting style. Her style is now Zangan-Ryu martial arts mixed with Materia magic and Tifa's moves focus on kicks, as her punches are based on Chinese Kempo. Tifa utilizes several Materia to mix with her martial arts. Her grunts from Dead Fantasy II until Dead Fantasy V are from Lisa Hamilton known as La Mariposa in Dead or Alive series, voiced by Maaya Sakamoto.

She also appears in the two music videos Monty Oum created: Dead Fantasy - Obsessed and Dead Fantasy - Gee. She is portrayed in her cowgirl outfit from Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and plays the role of Seo Joohyun, one of the members of Girls Generation.

Musical themes[edit | edit source]

"Tifa's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII

"Tifa's Theme" (ティファのテーマ, Tifa no Tēma?) plays during Tifa's flashback of Cloud's promise, and as the background music for the 7th Heaven bar until the day of the Sector 5 Reactor mission, after which it switches to "Barret's Theme".

Tifa's Theme has been remixed for Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- as "Brief Reunion", for the On the Way to a Smile -Episode: Denzel- Final Fantasy VII as "Connected Heart", and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as "Tifa's Theme" (which serves as her world map theme). A piano version of her theme appears on the Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VII album, and in Advent Children at the Sector 5 Slums Church.

Other appearances[edit | edit source]

Tifa's appearance in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.

Tifa has appeared in the following games throughout the Final Fantasy series:

Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances[edit | edit source]

Tifa's appearance in Kingdom Hearts II.

Tifa has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:

Merchandise[edit | edit source]

Tifa has appeared in numerous merchandise, including action figures and statues, key chains, Coca-Cola bottle cap figurines, and even a Potion can and a Zippo lighter.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Etymology and symbolism[edit | edit source]

Tifa's name is pronounced with a long "e" (Tee-fa) rather than a short "i" (Tiff-a). "Tifa" may be a shortened version of the name Tiffany. Tiffany means "manifestation of God" or, in Greek, "Three, The Trinity". "Tifa" may also be derived from the Tifaret. Tiferet, the sixth Sefira in the Tree of Life symbolizing love, beauty and self-sacrifice. This would tie up with the larger theme Final Fantasy VII has with Jewish mysticism.

Tifa's last name, Lockhart, might be a reference to Tifa's reserved nature and hiding away her feelings for Cloud, "locking" them within her heart, or to her role in unlocking Cloud's psyche later in the game.

Tifa's surname in the original English localization of Final Fantasy VII is "Lockheart", as seen in the manuals and official strategy guides for the game, though the surname is not found within the game itself. The only exception is the official website, which used "Lockhart".[9] Japanese material always had her surname as "Lockhart"[28]. Her surname in English localizations was changed to "Lockhart" just half a year later with Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, which featured her surname in the Japanese and English versions. The PC version of Final Fantasy VII released later with a manual still using "Lockheart", however since Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, it has been "Lockhart".

External links[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Due to poor conversions from centimeters to feet in early English materials, Tifa's height has been listed as 5'4".[1] Her height is actually 5.58ft 5ft5.75in. The official North American website for the original launch of the game used the rounded down value of 5'5",[9] while the Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Signature Series Guide guide rounds up to 5'6"[8].

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Final Fantasy VII, game manual (PlayStation, NTSC-J), p. 08
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Final Fantasy VII, game manual (PlayStation, PAL), p. 04
  3. Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide, p. 012
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Official Complete Guide, p. 020
  6. Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania Revised Edition, p. 32
  7. 7.0 7.1 Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, p. 026, (Scan)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Signature Series Guide, p. 007
  9. 9.0 9.1 Square Co., Ltd.. SQUARE SOFT Character Profiles "Tifa". Accessed October 16, 2020. Archived from the original on May 29, 1998.
  10. Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega p.533
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 FFVII 10th Anniversary Discussion: p. 8 to 13 of the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (Accessed: December 26, 2015) at TheLifestream.net
  12. Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura confirms Honey Bee Inn cross-dressing event, new events, dialogue options, and enemies (Accessed: June 20, 2019) at Gematsu
  13. Final Fantasy VII Remake Gets New Screenshots and Details on Content and Design on Famitsu (Accessed: July 23, 2020) at Twinfinite
  14. Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania Interview With Tetsuya Nomura (Accessed: July 17, 2020) at Game8
  15. VGFreak8 (April 6, 2007). Rachael Leigh Cook Interview~Tifa. YouTube.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Steve Watts (April 6). How The Final Fantasy 7 Remake Cast Found Its Voice. GameSpot. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Tom Regan (April 10). Lending Voices to a Legend: How Cody Christian & Britt Baron became Cloud & Tifa. Fandom. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Josh West (April 21). Meet Britt Baron and Briana White, the voice actors behind Tifa and Aerith in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. GamesRadar. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020.
  19. James Whitbrook (April 9). Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Leading Women on Strong Friendships and the Aerith/Tifa Discourse. Gizmodo. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.
  20. How Cosplay Can Help You Be Brave (Accessed: December 15, 2015) at The Escapist
  21. Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood by Shirley R. ({{subst:w|International Standard Book Number|ISBN}} 0-8133-9154-7), p.265
  22. THE WEDNESDAY 10: GAMING HEROINES (Accessed: November 04, 2015) at IGN
  23. GameSpot Reader's Choice - The Ten Best Female Characters (Accessed: November 20, 2009) at GameSpot
  24. The 50 Greatest Female Characters in Video Game History (Accessed: October 19, 2007) at Tom's Hardware
  25. Snake Beats Mario, Is Coolest Video Game Character Ever (dead) (Accessed: April 11, 2015) at 1UP.com
  26. Final Fantasy VII: Top 10 Characters (page 8 of 11) (Accessed: August 21, 2018) at IGN
  27. Court ruling: K-Pop singer Ivy’s music video plagiarized Final Fantasy (Video) (Accessed: November 09, 2015) at Japan Probe
  28. Final Fantasy VII Official Establishment File, p.28
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