The "love triangle" between Cloud, Aeris, and Tifa is probably the second largest debate about Final Fantasy VII, and, like the Aeris resurrection theory, is still argued to this very day. Throughout disk one the player must make decisions about who he likes more - Aeris or Tifa. This results in the "date" scene at the Gold Saucer; however, you may also "date" Barret or Yuffie by making Cloud friendlier to one or the other.
Despite the fact that it is up to the player to decide who he loves many people debate over it. They have names for each couple. Cloud & Aeris are called either Cloris/Clorith or Cleris/Clerith while Cloud & Tifa are called Cloti. Many fanlisting websites for those two couples have sprung up; however, a lot of "flaming" websites have sprung up as well. Square Enix has been very keen not to be direct about who the canon couple is because it would alienate a lot of fans.
Reasons For "Clerith"Edit
1. “Cloud was her friend, her *koibito* (lover in Japanese) - a symbol of what was important to her, and someone to be protected.” ~Case of Lifestream: White, Square Enix
2. Nomura of Square Enix doesn’t know the nature of Cloud and Tifa’s relationship *AFTER* the HAHW scene:
“For example, I was frequently asked if there had been romantic relationship between Tifa and Cloud for two years, after FF7 ended, but I don’t have any clue.” ~Nomura, Dorimaga interview, published at Flaregamer
3. Of the love triangles on SE’s “For The One I Love Page” (FTOIL), Cloud Strife is the only hero involved in a love triangle pictured with both of his romantic love interests in two canon scenes of romance (see the first row of images). Since Cloud is pictured with both Aerith and Tifa on a page discussing romantic love, the FFVII love triangle is the only unsolved Final Fantasy love triangle.
Some say that because the caption under Cloud and Aerith’s date doesn’t directly mention Aerith by name, it somehow invalidates Cloud and Aerith’s presence on the FTOIL page. However, the Cloud x Aerith date *IS* canon. Therefore, the caption is irrelevant. The caption under Cloud and Aerith’s was there to represent *ALL* the dates on the FTOIL page because *ALL* the dates are romantic (ie: because they are *DATES*). However, SE pictured Cloud and Aerith’s date because it is the *canon* date, and because we are meant to apply the FTOIL page directly to their canon date. The reason we only see the HA Highwind scene on the FTOIL page is because it would have been inappropriate to discuss or include the LA Highwind scene on a page titled “For The One I Love”. But if you could get different characters for the HA Highwind scene like you can for the date, that would have also been included on the FTOIL page. SE lists a reference page above Cloud and Tifa’s image on the FTOIL page so readers can find out that the HA version is not the *only* version, the HA version is simply the only appropriate version of the Highwind scene to include on the FTOIL page. Since Cloud is pictured with both of his love interests in two canon scenes of romance on a page titled, “For The One I Love,” Cloud can love either Aerith or Tifa. In other words, all the other love triangles have been solved *EXCEPT* for Final Fantasy VII because Cloud Strife is the only hero involved in a love triangle pictured with *BOTH* of his romantic love interests.
4. Denzel and Barret are apart of the same family, it’s just that Denzel is not *living* with Barret, which is why Barret does not appear in any of the quotes that talk about Cloud, Tifa, Marlene, and Denzel *living* together. Remember this quote?
“After visiting various locations with Tifa and Barret, Tifa opened the “Seventh Heaven” bar. Before setting off on a journey, Barret left Marlene in Cloud and Tifa’s care, and the three of them began living together.” ~Case of Tifa
It says that the, “three of them [Cloud, Tifa, Marlene]” began *living* together *AFTER* Barret set off on a “journey”. This unequivocally proves that when the words “live”/”living”/”lived” are used to describe Cloud, Tifa, Marlene, and Denzel, it is ONLY excluding Barret because Barret is not TECHNICALLY “living” with them.
5. According to Square Enix’s *relationship charts* found in the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania, Cloud and Tifa are childhood friends *only* in both the Final Fantasy VII relationship chart and the Advent Children relationship chart. In addition, Cloud and Tifa never have mutual favor arrows, either.
The FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania provides two relationship charts. One for FFVII and one for AC. By including two charts it is meant to compare and contrast relationships in FFVII to relationships in AC. Essentially, having two charts helps highlight the *changes* the relationships have gone through between FFVII and AC. However, Cloud and Tifa’s relationship does not go through any *changes* because they are referred to as “childhood friends” in both charts. However, that is not the case for Cloud and Aerith. The FFVII chart states Cloud is Aerith’s “bodyguard.” Then, for the AC chart, it states Cloud feels a, “sense of guilt” towards Aerith. That’s because Cloud failed to protect Aerith — meaning he failed as her bodyguard. The difference between Cloud and Aerith’s two charts was the perfect way for SE to show us how their relationship changed between FFVII and AC — Cloud failed as her “bodyguard” in FFVII, so he feels a sense of “guilt” towards her in AC. Why did SE not show any changes between Cloud and Tifa’s relationship? Answer: because Cloud and Tifa’s relationship did not change between FFVII and AC.
6. Cloud, Tifa, and Barret create a family together after the HAHW scene. Marlene is Barret’s daughter and invites Cloud into their family. The family formed was not created for romantic reasons or formed from a romantic place like most families are.
Marlene: “I’ll put Cloud in our family too.” Cloud: “I appreciate that.” ~Revised Case of Tifa
7. The Cloud x Aerith Golden Saucer date is confirmed as canon within the compilation:
“#111: The Planet’s largest amusement park is run by Dio. Cloud and company visit this place many times in their battle. They meet Cait Sith here. A PROMISED date [there is only one promised date in the game] that ends in a magical night. In the city of desire that floats above the sands, the light memory of the two people is asleep even now…Aerith: “I think I must have seen him again, in you… But you’re different. Things are different… No, Cloud… I’m searching for you…” ~Final Fantasy Art Collection “In Aerith’s case, if you play the game normally,the partner that generally comes will be Aerith.” ~Final Fantasy VII Dismantled “Oh, Cloud…I enjoyed our date at the Gold Saucer. The view from the gondola that night was really beautiful. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget you, Cloud…” ~Aerith, Final Fantasy VII Dismantled, Square Enix 8. Cloud has a separate bed in his private room during Advent Children.
Cloud: “I want to drink alone.” Hearing that, Tifa lost control and said, “Then drink in your room.” ~Case of Tifa
People often say that because there is a lack of other furniture in Cloud’s room (like a dresser), it somehow invalidates the fact that Cloud has a bed in his room. But how does not having other furniture mean Cloud can’t sleep in that bed? The point is, I find it hard to believe that SE would include a random bed in Cloud’s room just for the hell of it. If Cloud doesn’t sleep there, who does? Until we see Cloud and Tifa sleeping together, it only makes sense that Cloud sleeps in the bed found in his room. This is evidence that a romantic relationship did not begin between Cloud and Tifa after the Highwind scene.
9. “Each carries their own feelings and love for Aerith. In this story, Cloud also carries his undying feeling for Aerith even to this very day…” ~Nomura, Square Enix
When *undying* is applied to a feeling or emotion that someone has, it is eternal and forever. So although you can make the argument that *undying* when applied to a fictional creature doesn’t mean eternal and forever, when the word “eternal” is applied to a human emotion or feeling, it *IS* eternal and forever. Therefore, it does not make sense that Nomura would be referring to Cloud’s guilt as *undying* when the entire point of the movie is to rid Cloud of his guilt.
10. Cloud and Tifa living together in Advent Children does not mean a romantic relationship exists. Remember Cid and Shera in FFVII? Also, remember that Cloud has a separate bed in his private room and that the family formed was formed with Barret and Marlene.
11. “There’s no relationship from FFVII to the Kingdom Hearts stories. I consider them separate stories. But if you play Kingdom Hearts, toward the end, some of the questions about the relationship between Cloud and Aeris in Final Fantasy VII might be answered.” ~Nomura, Square Enix
Nomura specifically says that although the two universes of Kingdom Hearts and FFVII are separate, the Kingdom Hearts universe might help answer questions about the relationship between Cloud and Aerith as it pertains to Final Fantasy VII’s universe. Cloud and Aerith are seen together at the end of Kingdom Hearts similar to other romantic couples.
12. Tifa admits to not knowing if Cloud loves her *AFTER* the HAHW scene.
“Do you love me?” Cloud opened his eyes. He looked perplexed. “Hey, Cloud. Do you love Marlene?” “Yeah. But… sometimes I don’t know how to act around her.” ~Case of Tifa
13. Aerith Gainsborough: “A girl with the blood of the Ancients flowing through her veins who is engraved in Cloud’s heart for the rest of his life” ~DoC Japanese game manual, Square Enix
14. Love beyond death is a common theme in Final Fantasy (Tidus x Yuna, Shuyin x Lenne, Laguna x Raine, Ashe x Rasler, etc.) Plus, in Final Fantasy VII, you have Vincent’s bond with Lucrecia. Vincent can see her and speak with her in DoC, similar to the way Cloud can interact with Aerith in AC/ACC.
15. Tifa’s jealously over Cloud and Aerith’s relationship: “The thing which she is unable to hide in her irritation towards Cloud is the fact that he isn’t merely dragging the past around, but because that reason might perhaps be related to Aerith.
FFVII: Seeing Cloud and Aerith developing their world together before her eyes, she inadvertently lets slip her peevish feelings. AC: Upon knowing that Cloud had been residing in Aerith’s church after leaving the place they had been living in together, her expression becomes complex.” ~Tifa’s character profile, 10th Anniversary Ultimania One of the lines specifically says that Tifa let her “peevish feelings” slip when she saw Cloud and Aerith developing their “own world” together. Why would Tifa be jealous if Aerith was only developing a world of friendship with Cloud? It is clear that Tifa is jealous of the world her “love rival” is forming with Cloud because the world he is forming with Tifa’s “love rival” is romantic, which is exactly why Aerith is considered Tifa’s love rival in the first place. Tifa continues to be jealous of Cloud and Aerith’s “world” during Advent Children, probably because she admits she doesn’t know if Cloud loves her.
16. “Looks good. You are perfect for each other!” “Aerith’s star and Cloud’s star! They show a great future!” — “Poor Tifa!”~Cait Sith, Final Fantasy VII
“After solving the puzzle about Cait Sith’s replaceable body, he tells one last fortune of Cloud and Aerith’s affinity. Cait Sith’s lines, which seem to expect Cloud and Aerith’s wedding, now makes it more painful.” ~Final Fantasy VII Dismantled, Square Enix
The argument about Cait Sith’s prediction should not revolve around how reliable he is. The argument should be about what was SE’s intent for including this wedding prediction in the game. SE could have had Aerith ask Cait Sith about her future and Cait Sith could have said, “You will have a bright future full of many happy times!” — this would have set the player up to get their heart broken when she was killed by Sephiroth. Instead, they specifically decided to include a prediction about Aerith’s romantic future with Cloud. It was a romantic prediction about her future with Cloud, not just a generic prediction about her future. So given the context of the game and how things were progressing between Cloud and Aerith, it is obvious why SE included this wedding prediction — so the gamer would have the idea in their head that Cloud and Aerith had the possibility of sharing a romantic future together, which would then be destroyed by the hands of the evil Sephiroth. A generic prediction about Aerith’s future would not have been nearly as meaningful or impactful to the gamer, which is why they specifically made the prediction about Aerith’s romantic future with Cloud. The romance that was clearly developing between Cloud and Aerith, in addition to a prediction about a their romantic future together, makes her death all the more sad. SE killed off a romantic love interest to Cloud because it would be more impactful to the gamer. If SE had killed Barret, I can guarantee you that it would not have been as memorable or as impactful to the gamer. One of the biggest reasons Aerith’s death is so sad is because she wasn’t just a friend to Cloud. Aerith had a possible romantic future with Cloud, which is exactly what SE wanted us to think, so that when they killed her, it was that much more painful and heartbreaking for those of us playing the game. Luckily, their love transcends traditional barriers and continues in the spiritual world. Furthermore, SE refers to this prediction as a wedding prediction. Why would they refer to it as a wedding prediction if it was not meant to highlight the romantic connection Cloud and Aerith have in the game?
17. Final Fantasy VII: After Cloud and Aerith share a spiritual connection, Cloud says in the final moments of the game, “An answer from the Planet… the Promised Land… I think I can meet her… there.”
Cloud wants to reunite with Aerith in the Promised Land.
18. “You should have… An older girlfriend, one that would take care of you. I think that would be the perfect type for you.” ~Mrs. Strife (Cloud’s Mom)
I’m looking at this quote from SE’s intent. Obviously Cloud’s Mom saying this means nothing. But what was SE’s intent for including this? Why would they choose for Cloud to have this flashback while he was sleeping in Aerith’s house? Just to provide some context: Cloud had just met Aerith. He agreed to be her bodyguard for the price of one date. He had just spent time laughing with her. Protecting her. Then while Cloud is sleeping in her house, SE decides to throw in this flashback where Cloud’s Mother talks about girlfriends and dating someone older. Then right after this flashback is over, you see Cloud in his room and Aerith in her room. Clearly this was meant to set these two up as romantic love interests.
19. “Marlene is a sharp girl - Even though she’s only 4 years old, Marlene is perceptive and well attuned to the woman mind. The scene where she ascertains that Aerith has favor for Cloud and tells him so, then says “I won’t tell Tifa!” demonstrates this grownup behavior.” ~Final Fantasy VII, 25th Anniversary Ultimania
Therefore, this is the canon version of this scene:
Marlene: “Guess what? Guess what? Aeris was asking me lots of questions. Like what kind of person Cloud is. I bet she likes you, Cloud!”
Cloud: “Let’s hope so.”
Marlene: “I won’t tell Tifa.”
20. “The staff has their own answers to all the scenes in the movie such as the angel statue that makes an appearance many times. But, even if someone who has watched it interprets it differently, then that is just another answer.” ~Nomura, Square Enix
21. “As for Cloud… He sees Aerith several times throughout the film. It’s not that he sees her because he feels her presence. He sees her because her consciousness lives on inside him.” ~Nomura, Square Enix
22. Cloud and Tifa expressing mutual feelings =/= romantic relationship.
Although this is a reasonable assumption, it is *NOT* always the case that expressing mutual feelings means a romantic relationship begins. As we can see, Cloud and Tifa are living in a world of very rare and unique circumstances that I believe prevented them from ever turning their mutual feelings into a romantic relationship.
23. “The place where he awakens. That is Cloud’s Promised Land……” ~Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania, Square Enix
Cloud says he wants to find Aerith in the Promised Land at the end of FFVII.
Then, during AC, Cloud realizes that Aerith will always be with him, so his Promised Land is wherever Aerith is — which is why it says Cloud’s Promised Land is the place where he awakens (ie: the place where he sees Aerith)
And the reason I connect this quote more to Aerith is because of Cloud’s line at the end of FFVII where he says he thinks he can meet Aerith in the Promised Land.
24. “Both of them share feelings for Cloud — Tifa was close to Aerith, who can also be called a love rival. With that point in mind, they were also good friends. Nevertheless, it is not hard to imagine that she carries complex feelings as a woman toward Aerith, who had built up a special bond with Cloud that was different from Tifa’s. Tifa’s complicated feelings continue even in AC, two years after Aerith had departed the world.” ~Tifa’s profile, FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania, pg. 42-47
25. “I never blamed you. Not once. You came for me. That’s all that matters.” ~Aerith Gainsborough
26. “A story of a love that could never be…” ~Official Square Enix commercial referring to Cloud x Aerith
27. “I, now undoubtedly, love Cloud much more than Zack.” ~Aerith’s monologue in Gongaga, Final Fantasy VII Dismantled, Square Enix
28. Cloud to Aerith in Cosmo Canyon: “But, I’m -I mean- we’re here for you, right?”
29. “Although in the beginning Aerith felt close to Cloud is because he behaves like Zack, her interest in Cloud himself grows and she is attracted to him.” ~page 31, Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, Square Enix
30. “First off, it bothered me how you looked exactly alike. Two completely different people, but look exactly the same. The way you walk, gesture… I think I must have seen him again, in you… But you’re different. Things are different…” ~Aerith, Final Fantasy VII
31. Cloud agrees to be Aerith’s bodyguard for the price of one date.
32. Cloud visits Aerith’s Church frequently after her death (even before being diagnosed with Geostigma).
When Tifa finds out she says, “Which is it? A memory or us?”
33. In Advent Children, when Sephiroth asks Cloud what he cherishes the most, the first person that comes to his mind is Aerith.
34. Cloud and Aerith share their first of two dates at Green Park in the Sector 6 Slum: “Date in the Park: In Scene 04-10, Zack and Aerith have a date in Green Park in the sector 6 slum. An identical situation is seen in “FFVII” as well, which features a scene of Cloud and Aerith on a date in the same park.” ~CC Ultimania, Square Enix
35. “After the explosion of First Reactor, Cloud met Aerith while running away alone. Cloud left the place, remembering the mysterious feeling he had for Aerith from the small conversation. He then reunited with AVALANCHE safely, and left for their base…” ~Final Fantasy VII Story Playback, Page 111
36. Cloud x Aerith have official SE artwork together, similar to other canon Final Fantasy couples
37. “It was the sound of Cloud’s heart cracking. It was the cry of his heart that could never be healed of the grief he had towards Aerith’s death, the blame towards himself and the hatred he had for Sephiroth…There was nothing she could do about Cloud’s suffering and the pain ached in her heart.” ~Maiden of the Planet, Square Enix
Cloud’s heart broke when Aerith died.
37. “First off, there’s the premise that things won’t go well between Tifa and Cloud, and that even without Geostigma or Sephiroth this might be the same…” ~Nojima interview about On the Way to a Smile at the Square-Enix website
38. Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: During the ending credits, Cloud is shown riding his motorcycle through numerous flower fields. Although Cloud is a delivery boy, he is shown riding his motorcycle through flower fields.
Nomura said in the Reunion Files that, “…we filmed the video for the ending credits in Hawaii. There are fields of flowers on both sides of the road, and the colors - yellow and white - are the same as the flowers in Aerith’s church.”
In addition, Nomura states, “With Aerith, ‘flowers’ have been her image throughout the series.”
39. Final Fantasy Dissidia: At the end of Dissidia, Cloud is seen entering a flower field. This flower field is eerily similar to the flower fields Aerith has appeared in, and the flower field shown during the ending credits of Advent Children. Cloud is also holding Aerith’s Holy materia. Before this takes place, it is stated by Zidane that each character is, “…returning to where we’re supposed to be.” Cloud is supposed to be with Aerith, which is why he returns to a flower field. Interestingly, Squall of Final Fantasy VIII is seen leaving when a white feather falls from the sky. This feather represents Rinoa. The parallels between Cloud x Aerith and Squall x Rinoa are obvious. During the game Cloud also says, “The one I really want to meet is…” And although he doesn’t finish his sentence, given the ending scene of Dissidia and the ending of Final Fantasy VII, it is clear who Cloud has a desire to meet in the Promised Land.
40. Final Fantasy IX: The Flower Girl calls Knight VII “cute” and Knight 7 calls the Flower Girl “beautiful”. Their entire conversation is very flirtatious and romantic.
41. “At first when I met Cloud, I believed he was similar to Zack. Little actions, the way he spoke… his kindness. But Cloud is Cloud. I, now undoubtedly, love Cloud much more than Zack.” ~Aerith’s monologue in Gongaga, FFVII Dismantled
42: Final Fantasy Tactics: Cloud meets a Flower Girl. Cloud essentially has the same conversation with this Flower Girl as Cloud has with Aerith during the beginning of Final Fantasy VII.
Please read these similar quotes between FFT and FFVII:
Final Fantasy Tactics: Cloud: “My fingers are tingling… My eyes…they’re burning.” Final Fantasy VII: Cloud: “My fingers are tingling. My mouth is dry. My eyes are burning!”
Final Fantasy Tactics: Cloud: “I lost…a very important thing…” Final Fantasy VII: Cloud lost Aerith in Final Fantasy VII.
Final Fantasy Tactics: Cloud: “Ever since, I’ve been lost. Who am I? What should I do? What about this pain…” Final Fantasy VII: Cloud:“What about US… what are WE supposed to do?” Cloud “What about my pain?”
Final Fantasy Tactics: Cloud “Must go…to the Promised Land.” Final Fantasy VII: Cloud: “The Promised Land…I think I can meet her… there.”
43. The hand reach scene between Cloud and Aerith in Advent Children is referred to as a “homage” by SE, which highlights the romantic relationship between Cloud and Aerith that has continued into the spiritual world.
“The ending scene of the battle with Bahamut, the scene where Aerith reaches out her hand, is homage to the last scene from a previous production. It was Tetsuya (Nomura)’s idea….” ~Nojima, Reunion Files
44. Cloud: “Here I met a flower girl. She’s a girl with impressive eyes. She’s around my age, or older by one or two years but the innocent radiance in her eyes simply makes her suddenly look younger. (…) Maybe she’s pleased that the flower was sold, because the worried look on her face had vanished. If this smile costs only one gil, it is a good purchase.” ~Final Fantasy Dismantled
45. Cloud Strife: “The cycle of nature and your stupid plan don’t mean a thing. Aerith is gone. Aerith will no longer talk, no longer laugh, cry…… or get angry…… What about us…… what are WE supposed to do?”
46. “After stopping Hojo from going amuck, the conversation with Tifa before they rush into the Northern Crater diverges into two conditions, according to Tifa’s affection rating with Cloud. When it gets low, the conversation in the scene that they spend the night will be apathetic and ends short. Next morning in the cockpit, Tifa says “Were you listening?” and stamps on tiptoe. On the other hand, when degree gets higher, the conversation of the scene that they spend the night will have strong emotions. Next morning in the cockpit, Tifa will say “Were you watching?” and feels terribly shy” ~page 198, Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega
47. “Deviation – Two versions of the conversation before the final battle. Prior to the final battle, the contents of the conversation between Cloud and Tifa can change depending on the degree of Tifa’s affection. If the degree of affection is high, the contents of the two’s conversation will involve deep subject matter and strong feelings for each other. As well, the sight of the two seen by their companions the next morning will lead to an embarrassing scene for Tifa, and she blushes greatly.” ~page 232, Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Ultimania
48. “Another event is when the party was dismissed and after everyone left for their own places separately, Cloud and Tifa spent the night together. At that moment, according to Tifa’s affection rating with Cloud, the event of “dialogues exchanged between them from dusk to dawn” and “Tifa’s reaction and lines when she found out that everyone might see (or hear) that circumstance” will be different.” ~FFVII Dismantled, page 201
49. “And having two heroines, Aerith and Tifa, and having the hero waver between them, at the time that was something new.” ~Interview with the creators, pg. 8-13, 10th Anniversary Ultimania
50. SE officially named Cloud and Aerith the Emperor and Empress in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade.
Reasons For "Cloti"Edit
- Cloud had a crush on Tifa years before he met Aeris.
- Before Cloud left Nibelheim, he promised Tifa that he would always be there to protect her when she was in danger.
- Cloud left Nibelheim to be able to protect Tifa, and demonstrate that he was worthy of her.
- Tifa was the one who helped Cloud regain his true memories.
- Tifa stayed and helped Cloud when he was hospitalized in Mideel.
- The doctor in Mideel gave them his blessing.
- Cloud dressed as a woman to save Tifa.
- Tifa and Cloud are shown together often in "Advent Children".
- In the short story "On the Way to a Smile: Case of Tifa", Cloud smiles and says he believes he can start a new life unlike the last time he tried, because Tifa is there with him.
- Some believe that Aeris was killed simply to make Tifa Cloud's love.
- Tifa is considered to be Cloud's emotional support in "Advent Children."
- "Case of Tifa" also mentions Cloud and Tifa are living together once Barret leaves Marlene in their care, and the two are running Seventh Heaven together.
- In "Case of Barret", Barret and Cid briefly talk about Cloud and Tifa. Cid remarks that, "In the end, it's the women that wear the pants." This is a common phrase referring to authority in a relationship. This statement shows that other characters recognize Cloud and Tifa as a couple.
- In Last Order, Cloud and Tifa share a (partially extended from the video game) moment where Tifa acknowledges Cloud's fulfillment of their promise while Cloud smiles at her.
- At the end of the game, Tifa and Cloud's themes mix together.
- Tifa's only storyline seems to revolve around her relationship with Cloud, while Aeris has a story that veers from Cloud.
- Cloud, Tifa, Denzel, and Marlene are shown to be a "family" as indicated by the photo at the beginning of "Advent Children."
- Reminiscence, the review of Final Fantasy VII, plus short story, indicates Cloud returning to Tifa's bar for a party, while it also shows many of what are considered the 'Cloti' scenes of the game.
- Although it is shown for a second, Cloud smiles at Tifa first in the movie. This happens when Tifa smiles at him, and he responds back with his own smile while surrounded by the children in the water.
- Cloud's broken mind molds memories of Zack's stories into his own memory, thus making it quite probable that Aeris simply thought Cloud was cute, and Cloud had a confused notion that she was his girlfriend (or should be), thus making the relationship an "accident", whereas Tifa is the one to pull Cloud out of the mess.
- Aerith is supposed to be paired up with Zack. So by all logic Tifa is supposed to be paired with Cloud
- It is customary for the guy to be older in a relationship. Aerith is older than Cloud and Tifa is younger than Cloud.
- Aeris is dead.
There is a scene between Cloud and Tifa at the end of disc 2 where the party splits up before the final showdown with Sephiroth, to take time out and reflect on each party member's own reasons for fighting. Tifa and Cloud, not having any remaining family or material ties to "go home" to, are left alone together under an anchored Highwind for a night. They talk for a while and after a time Tifa remarks to Cloud that "Words aren't the only thing that tell people what you're thinking." The screen fades to black, and they wake up the next morning leaning against each other.
It is highly possible that both relationships are real, as Aeris did die, so they can't exactly have a relationship if she is dead. Cloud could have dated Aerith in Gold Saucer but after Aerith died he learned to love Tifa. Maybe Cloti is possible after Aeris died, as at the end of Advent Children, Zack and Aeris seemed to have continued their relationship from Crisis Core in the Lifestream, so maybe Cloud and Tifa started one, not dead. Also, many fans state that Cloud might love Aerith, but that he is IN love with Tifa.
Either way, it's better if you don't really know because it wouldn't be as exciting if you did know.
- As Cloud tends to be a loner it is possible that he never chose.
- Aerith is dead. As he seemed to be closer to her rather than Tifa, he may simple have not chosen and instead continues his life without devoting himself to anyone.