- “You want to go on a date?”
The Date Mechanics are a special extra in Final Fantasy VII. The player can decide who takes Cloud Strife on a date during the party's second plot-related visit to Gold Saucer. The night's date is chosen based upon the player's dialogue choices and actions throughout the game up to that point. Depending on the player's choices, Cloud may go on a date with Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie, or even Barret.
How each character is chosen is based upon a hidden value in the game's code. The values are hidden and cannot be viewed without hacking. At the game's start, the opening values are:
As the game progresses, these values change depending upon the player's actions. The character with the highest number of points when the date sequence occurs is the one that appears for the sequence. If there is a tie, the game chooses based on priority. Aeris has top priority, followed by Tifa, then Yuffie, then Barret. Aeris is the most likely candidate for the date, but it is not overly difficult to obtain the other two girls as there are several options which very quickly bridge the points gap between starting values. For example, it is possible, in responding positively to Tifa several times at the beginning of the game, to raise her date value above Aeris's starting value before her second appearance.
Throughout the game, characters will ask Cloud various questions. How he answers often affects the value that decides the date. No other action will change the values. These choices are:
- When Jessie is talking to Cloud on the subway, coming back from the attack on the Sector 1 Reactor
- "Thanks anyway" (No change)
- "Looking forward to it" (-3 Tifa)
- In the 7th Heaven Bar, if Cloud has a flower
- "Give it to Tifa" (+5 Tifa)
- "Give it to Marlene" (+5 Barret)
- If Cloud talks to Tifa while she's behind the bar
- "I don't feel like it" (No change)
- "Give me something hard" (+5 Tifa)
- When Tifa accuses Cloud of leaving her, his childhood friend
- "How can you say that!" (+5 Tifa)
- "...Sorry" (No change)
- Tifa asks Cloud how he slept the next morning
- "Next to you, who wouldn't?" (+5 Tifa)
- "Barret's snoring kept me up..." (+5 Barret)
- Getting through the subway without being caught by the security system (+5 Tifa, +5 Barret)
- Cloud is barely hanging on after the explosion in the Sector 5 Reactor
- "(Be strong)" (+2 Barret)
- "(I don't know if I can hold on)" (-3 Barret, +1 Tifa)
- When Aeris is fleeing from Reno in the Sector 5 Church
- Push a wrong barrel (-3 Aeris)
- Ask her to fight them (-1 Aeris)
- Ask her to run (No change)
- Ask her to run, but she has to fight (-1 Aeris)
- Push the right barrel (+1 Aeris)
- Aeris asks Cloud if Tifa is his girlfriend
- "No way!" (+1 Aeris)
- "Yeah, that's right" (-5 Aeris)
- In the Sector 6 playground
- "See her home." (No change)
- "Go on to to Sector 7" (+1 Aeris)
- If Tifa is chosen as Don Corneo's date
- "You alright?" (+3 Aeris)
- "We gotta help Tifa!" (-2 Aeris)
- If Aeris is chosen as Don Corneo's date
- "You alright?" (-2 Tifa)
- "We gotta help Aeris!" (+3 Tifa)
- If Cloud is chosen as Don Corneo's date, when the Don asks if he has a boyfriend
- "Yes, his name's Barret..." (+5 Barret)
- When everybody lands in the sewer
- Talk to Aeris first (+3 Aeris)
- Talk to Tifa first (+3 Tifa)
- Marlene asks if Cloud thinks Aeris is interested in him
- "I don't know" (+3 Tifa, -3 Aeris)
- "Let's hope so" (-3 Tifa, +3 Aeris)
- First meeting Red XIII
- "Tifa, I'm countin' on you!" (-2 Tifa)
- "Barret, take care of her!" (+2 Barret)
- Once the party splits up, if either Barret, Aeris, or Tifa are in the party they get a +2 boost
- When captured, Tifa asks Cloud if he can break out*
- "Leave it to me" (+1 Tifa)
- "Kinda hard" (-1 Tifa)
- * This question can be answered repeatedly, and adds or subtracts to Tifa's value with each response.
- When Cloud is thinking of people
- Whoever he thinks of first (+3 Aeris, +3 Barret, or no change for Red XIII)
- Whoever he thinks of second (+1 Aeris, +1 Barret, or no change for Red XIII)
- Whoever he thinks of last (no change for anybody)
- Whoever is in your party for escaping Midgar will get a +1 bonus
- When Barret leaves and asks for Cloud to get a move on
- "Wait a sec" (No change)
- "Beautiful, just beautiful" (+3 Barret)
- "Is that all?" (-1 Barret)
- "Right" (+1 Barret)
- When talking to the woman who mentions that Mako is convenient (these values only change if the characters are in the present party)
- "Yeah, maybe" (-2 Barret, -1 Aeris, -1 Tifa, +1 Yuffie)
- "You're full of it" (+2 Barret, +1 Aeris, +1 Tifa, -1 Yuffie)
- When talking to the woman who mentions that the old ways were better (these values only change if the characters are in the present party)
- "Yeah, maybe" (+2 Barret, +1 Aeris, +1 Tifa, -1 Yuffie)
- "No way" (-2 Barret, -1 Aeris, -1 Tifa, +1 Yuffie)
- For every right answer Yuffie gets +2 points, for every wrong answer there is no change. It is possible to say the right answer for all the questions except the last one and repeat the event to increase her affection value each time. However, the player will lose 700 gil every time, since Yuffie robs the party once the player enters the menu.
- When Cloud first talks to the old guy
- "I guess so" (+5 Barret, +3 Aeris, +3 Tifa, +2 Yuffie)
- "Not interested" (-5 Barret, -3 Aeris, -3 Tifa, -1 Yuffie)
- When the old guy tells Cloud about his problem
- "All right" (+5 Barret, +3 Aeris, +3 Tifa, +2 Yuffie)
- "Not interested" (-5 Barret, -3 Aeris, -3 Tifa, -1 Yuffie)
In the Cargo ShipEdit
- When Yuffie asks for Tranquilizers
- "Here, use this" (+4 Yuffie)
- "Nope" (-2 Yuffie)
- Aeris asks to go on an airship
- "I'll take you someday" (+2 Aeris)
- "I dunno..." (-2 Aeris)
- Tifa asks about the war
- "Yeah..." (+2 Tifa)
- "I don't know" (-2 Tifa)
- Whoever the player picks to first accompany Cloud through the amusement park gets a +3 boost. The party members not chosen will give a -2 decrease. Picking Red XIII does nothing.
- Whoever the player picks to go with Cloud and Barret to fight Dyne gets a boost. Aeris gets a +10, Tifa gets a +3, and Yuffie gets a +2. Picking Red XIII or Cait Sith does nothing.
- After meeting with Zack's parents, if they are in the party, Cloud can talk to either Tifa or Aeris. Ignoring them will cost -3 points each. Talking to Tifa will boost +1, it does not matter what Cloud responds. Talking to Aeris gives a choice.
- "Poor guy" (+1 Aeris)
- "(...jealous...envious...)" (+2 Aeris)
- Whenever you enter for the first time your party will split up. If you had Barret in your party during this time you can exchange dialogue about the formation of AVALANCHE with him in the room behind the weapon shop.
- "Go on" (+3 Barret)
- "Not really" (No change)
- The second answer:
- "And then" (+3 Barret)
- "Yeah, whatever..." (No change)
- *The first question's affection points can be received an unlimited amount of times. After giving the first answer, respond with "Yeah, whatever..." and, due to a script error, the dialogue will reset when you exit and reenter the room. This bug exists in all versions of the game, including the 2012 PC release.
- Going through the entire Wutai sidequests boosts Yuffie's points +10.
After all of the events have been completed, no further alterations to the hidden value can be made during normal play. Upon returning to Gold Saucer, the character with the highest points becomes Cloud's date (they knock on the door to Cloud's room in the hotel late at night and ask him out). If Yuffie has not been recruited, she cannot be the date and the game will disregard her when decided who has the greatest amount of points.
The date mechanics also affect a scene later in the game, involving Tifa and Cloud under the Highwind, where if Tifa's love points are 50 or above the scene will be slightly different.
Any optional dialogue with Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie or Barret not noted on this page does not affect the date scene. For example, it does not matter what the player says to Aeris upon waking up in the Sector 5 Church, or any of the interaction with the party in Costa del Sol. In a few situations where other party members can receive points, Red XIII never does, even if he is an option. This is because he is not an option to date.
- A similar miniquest appears in in Final Fantasy X, but the end result does not affect the storyline. The reward is determining who will throw the blitzball for Tidus to kick for his Blitz Ace Overdrive's finisher, and changes to some cutscenes.
- When Cloud goes on the date with Aeris, Tifa or Yuffie, the background music on the gondola is "Words Drowned by Fireworks". When Cloud goes on the date with Barret, the background music is "Barret's Theme".
- Yuffie is the only one to kiss Cloud on the date.
- Barret is the only one who doesn't push Cloud out of his room.
- Final Fantasy VII: Date Mechanics Guide by Terence Fergusson, the info on this page is based upon the work here.
- Affection Mechanics