You want to go on a date?
The date mechanics are a gameplay element 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, which 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:
- "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 train to Sector 4 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)
- 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 and he rejects his advances, when the Don asks if he has a boyfriend:
- "Yes, his name's Barret..." (+5 Barret)
When the party 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:*This question can be answered repeatedly, and adds or subtracts to Tifa's value with each response.
- "Leave it to me" (+1 Tifa)
- "Kinda hard" (-1 Tifa)
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 the party for escaping Midgar will get a +1 bonus (No change for Red XIII)
When Barret leaves the inn 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 (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 (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 correct answer Yuffie gets +2 points, for every wrong answer there is no change. It is possible to give the correct 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 each time, as 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)
The first character chosen to 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.
After meeting with Zack's parents, Cloud can talk to either Tifa or Aeris (if they are in the party). 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)
The party will split up when they first enter the area. If Barret is in the party during this time, Cloud can converse with him about the formation of AVALANCHE 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, responding with "Yeah, whatever..." will, due to a scripting error, reset the dialogue when the room is exited and reentered. This bug exists in all versions of the game, including the PlayStation 4 release. However, the Bromance trophy for dating Barret only triggers if Barret's affection value is within certain bounds. Using the glitch can thus make his affection value exceed the cap and thus lock the player out of the trophy even if they get Barret as the date.
Going through the entire Wutai sidequest 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 deciding 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 implications and dialogue of the scene will be different. If Tifa's affection points are 49 or lower, when returning to the Highwind, she will ask if the rest of the party had listened to her and Cloud's conversation under the Highwind, then walk into a corner, pretending to be shy. If Tifa's affection points are 50 or higher, she will ask if the party has been watching the conversation, then walk into a corner and collapse in embarrassment.
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 during his Blitz Ace Overdrive, as well as minor changes to some cutscenes.
- When Aeris and Cloud leave the Gondola during the date in Gold Saucer she concludes the date by saying "we should get going." In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- she concludes her date with Zack with "I should get going". This could be intended since the two dates share some similarities.
- 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 kisses Cloud's cheek on the date.
- Barret doesn't push Cloud out of his room.
- Dating Aeris, Tifa or Yuffie results in partaking in a play in the Gold Saucer's Event Square. If Barret is the date, the two will visit the Event Square, but the attendant, though naming them the "100th couple," will say "nevermind," and the sequence proceeds to the gondola event.
- Cloud's date also joins on the Cait Sith chase sequence.
- In the PlayStation 4 version, going out with Barret earns the Best Bromance trophy.
- There is a dummied scene here that could take place before the events at the Temple of the Ancients, after talking to villagers in Gongaga, after observing Gongaga Reactor, and if Barret were in the party, and the scene had not already been seen (to prevent repeats). Due to a programming error the flag for whether this scene has been viewed is set automatically in the Sector 5 Church during story events, so this scene cannot be viewed in a normal playthrough. In the scene Barret speaks about Shinra doing things for money and uses its power to control people, which is why he formed AVALANCHE. Barret asks Cloud if he still plans to fight with them, and Cloud's answers would have affected Barret's love point value.