To be a hero, you need to have dreams...
Zack Fair is a non-playable character in Final Fantasy VII and the main protagonist of its prequel, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-. The second wielder of the Buster Sword before Cloud Strife, Zack received the Buster Sword from his mentor Angeal Hewley. Zack is a 1st Class SOLDIER and is Cloud's best friend during their time working for the Shinra Electric Power Company.
In Final Fantasy VII, Zack only appears in flashback sequences which portray him as almost identical to Cloud Strife, the game's main protagonist. These sequences elaborate on Cloud's past and his connection to Sephiroth, the game's villain. In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Zack's history and influence upon the Final Fantasy VII world are brought into focus. He also appears in Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-, Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, and briefly in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete.
Eyes infused with Mako energy. A SOLDIER trademark. Color of the sky, right?
Zack is tall, well-built, and has the iconic sky-blue "Mako eyes" many SOLDIER members have. Zack's appearance goes through a series of changes throughout Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-. He starts with spiky black hair and having several bangs framing the sides of his face. At first, he wears a dark blue SOLDIER uniform, gloves, boots, and is equipped with a standard SOLDIER sword, even if most 2nd Class members of SOLDIER wear red and magenta uniforms. Later, he is upgraded to a black 1st Class SOLDIER uniform. Later, Zack obtains the Buster Sword as well as an X-shaped scar on his cheek and his spiky hair become longer and wilder with a lock of hair hanging down in front of his face. He has a silver earring in his left ear.
Zack has a positive attitude and is always ready for work. His energetic personality and short attention span earned the nickname "Zack the Puppy" from Angeal. He is loyal to SOLDIER and dreams of becoming a hero. He is sociable and easily befriends almost everyone. Angeal's words of valuing dreams and honor have had a great impact on Zack. He is flirty with women and protective of his friends.
SOLDIER 2nd Class Zack, on the job!
Zack, assumed to have been born in the town of Gongaga, had childhood dreams of joining SOLDIER to become a 1st Class. At the age of thirteen Zack left Gongaga without telling his parents, and joined the Shinra's military.
By October of 0000, Zack had reached SOLDIER 2nd Class under the tutelage of SOLDIER 1st Class Angeal Hewley. Angeal's words of wisdom and strong sense of honor had a profound effect on Zack, who wanted to emulate his mentor. During his time in SOLDIER, Zack befriended 2nd Class SOLDIER Kunsel, who guided him in the ways of Shinra. Zack works under Director Lazard Deusericus in the 49th Floor of Shinra Headquarters, along with many other SOLDIER members.
War with GenesisEdit
Angeal wouldn't betray us! Never!
In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Zack undergoes a digital training session in the Virtual Reality System with his mentor Angeal Hewley. Zack completes the mission, but while caught off-guard by the victory, he is attacked by a virtual Sephiroth who overpowers Zack, but Angeal saves him and ends the training.
Despite the debacle Angeal recommends Zack be promoted to 1st Class. Zack is soon sent on a mission to Wutai so as to prove his abilities. Zack becomes ecstatic over Angeal having recommended him for promotion, and receives interesting news during the briefing: 1st Class SOLDIER Genesis Rhapsodos has deserted Shinra, taking an untold number of 2nd and 3rd Class soldiers with him.
Angeal and Zack arrive in Wutai and journey to Fort Tamblin. On the way, Angeal asks Zack if he knows what "dumbapples" are. He tells Zack the origin of the Banora White apples and that he was poor growing up. They make their way to Fort Tamblin and Zack takes out the enemy forces single-handedly. After an encounter with a nine-year-old Yuffie Kisaragi, Zack enters a room and is attacked by two anti-SOLDIER monsters, which he defeats, but one of them launches a counterattack. He is saved by Angeal.
While heading back to meet with Lazard, several unknown soldiers attack the two. Angeal stays behind to deal with them while Zack escorts Lazard to safety and heads back to discover Angeal missing. Ifrit battles Zack, but Sephiroth arrives and defeats Ifrit in a single blow. The unknown soldiers' bodies are copies of Genesis, the missing SOLDIER member. Sephiroth concludes Angeal has abandoned them and left with his long-time friend, Genesis, but Zack refuses to believe his mentor would desert Shinra.
Zack is tasked with searching for Genesis, and is joined by Tseng of the Turks. In Angeal and Genesis's hometown, Banora Village, Zack and Tseng find Genesis's parents' grave. Zack heads into the village and finds only one person, Angeal's mother, Gillian Hewley, who asks for Angeal's whereabouts but Zack doesn't know. Zack finds a path to a factory where he learns from Tseng that Sephiroth had deferred the mission to him. Genesis appears, taunts Zack and injures Tseng. Angeal arrives and defends Zack, but soon pushes him away.
Tseng reveals Shinra planes are going to bomb Banora to the ground to cover up the incidents and Zack races to save Gillian, but finds her dead on the floor with Angeal standing above her. Thinking Angeal has killed her, Zack punches him and questions his honor. Genesis allows Angeal's escape, and sends Bahamut after Zack, which he defeats before questioning Genesis's motives. Sprouting a black wing, Genesis states he is a monster and flies off. As Zack heads towards a Shinra Helicon, he witnesses the bombing of Banora.
In April 0001, Zack is at the Shinra Headquarters when Lazard promotes him to SOLDIER 1st Class, but Zack is not as happy as he thought he would be attaining his dream. Genesis's army attacks Midgar and Zack fights them throughout the city. Along the way he saves Cissnei, a member of the Turks. Sephiroth and Zack head to the Sector 5 Reactor to find the rogue Dr. Hollander, who is suspected of working with Genesis. They find papers documenting Shinra's Project G, which they presume to stand for "Project Genesis". Zack chases Hollander through the Mako Reactor until he runs into Angeal, who says that as a monster he only dreams of monstrous things: world domination and revenge. Sprouting wings, Angeal attacks Zack and knocks him back, but Zack refuses to fight his old friend and mentor. Angeal destroys the platform beneath Zack and send him plummeting into the Midgar Slums.
In April 0001 Zack falls through the roof of the Sector 5 Church where he meets Aerith Gainsborough, whom he offers to pay back her help with a date. Zack is impressed with the flowers that grow in the church, as flowers are a luxury item in Midgar, and suggests Aerith sell them. He and Aerith go to a local market where his wallet is stolen by a child, and he discovers the child's own wallet had been eaten by a monster. Zack recovers the kid's wallet and buys Aerith a pink ribbon she will always wear from then on.
Their date is cut short when Zack is recalled to the Midgar Plate to defeat Genesis. En route Angeal appears and explains he and Zack must work together. Angeal flies him to the Shinra Building where Sephiroth explains Hollander is most likely after Professor Hojo due to Hojo having taken over his job. Zack, Genesis and Angeal arrive and when Genesis flies out Angeal grabs Zack and flies him to face Bahamut Fury while Angeal deals with Genesis. After the battle, Angeal and Genesis are gone.
After the Midgar attack, during April, Zack is sent to the mountain town of Modeoheim with Tseng and several Shinra infantrymen, one of whom is Cloud Strife. Their helicopter is shot down by Genesis's troops and the team hikes across the snow. Zack and Cloud make headway and when Zack comments that his companion can at least keep up after seeing how far behind Tseng and the other troops have fallen, they learn they are both "country boys" and become immediate friends. From this point on Cloud looks up to him as a hero and role model, not unlike Zack looking up to Angeal.
They discover on a Mako Excavation Facility that Zack infiltrates while Tseng and the troops continue on to Modeoheim. Zack finds Genesis and Dr. Hollander arguing over Hollander not being able to cure Genesis's degradation against his earlier promises. Zack confronts Genesis while Hollander squirms away and, defeating him, Zack watches the former SOLDIER fall into the depths of the Mako Reactor. Assuming him dead, Zack hurries after Hollander.
Within a ruined bath house Zack finds Hollander and Angeal. He learns Hollander used the late Gillian Hewley as a test subject for Project G, or "Project Gillian", and being Gillian's son, Angeal has gained the powers of Jenova as a result. It is revealed Angeal did not kill his mother, but she killed herself, unable to live with her actions. Although Hollander refers to him as the perfect soldier, Angeal refuses the title, instead calling himself the "perfect monster". He fuses with several Angeal Copy monsters and becomes Angeal Penance.
Zack fights Angeal Penance and obtains a scar on his left cheek. Angeal is left barely alive, and using his last strength, he hands the Buster Sword to Zack, telling him to remember his dreams and honor to be a true member of SOLDIER. Distraught over the death of his mentor and friend, Zack finds comfort in the arms of Aerith, strengthening their relationship. As one of the last 1st Class SOLDIERs, and with Genesis War considered over, Zack succeeds Angeal's role as the emotional heart of the organization. He meets another SOLDIER member named Luxiere, who looks up to him as a role model, inspired by Zack's speech to the Shinra troops he commands.
In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, on January 16, 0002, Zack Fair is sent to deal with the insurgency known as AVALANCHE. He is sent to Icicle Inn to destroy an AVALANCHE base along with a player Turk and his SOLDIER friends, Essai and Sebastian. If the Player Turk is female, Zack will hit on her. Essai and Sebastian are kidnapped by AVALANCHE and turned into Ravens, monstrous genetically enhanced humans created by Fuhito to be his personal guard. Zack attempts a rescue mission and brings the two back to their senses, but they die. When the player Turk leaves, Zack kills a Raven named Kyneugh. After escaping the base, Zack makes a grave for Essai and Sebastian with both of their swords crossing.
In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, by early summer, Zack is sent to Costa del Sol to rest with Cissnei watching him. His vacation is interrupted by an attack by Genesis copies, the first salvo of a new round of conflict. With the help of a secret traitor within SOLDIER, Director Lazard himself, they break Dr. Hollander out of imprisonment in Junon. Zack is sent there with a good number of Turks and Shinra troops to quell the threat of Genesis's copies and the stolen machines of the Shinra Company. Hollander escapes with Genesis copies' help, but Sephiroth, who arrives late on the scene, forgives him, and gives Zack permission to return to Midgar and see Aerith.
Midgar has been under attack from hordes of monsters escaped (or perhaps set free, according to Kunsel) from Hojo's lab, but an Angeal copy protected Aerith from the monsters and Shinra's confused machines until Zack's arrival. Although never fully stated, it is believed this single copy is all that is left of Angeal's will on the Planet, and is perhaps being controlled by Angeal from the Lifestream.
Before Zack leaves on his next mission, he and Aerith build a wagon so she can sell flowers in Midgar. Zack accompanies her on her first day of business, but has to stop when he is called away for another mission. He entrusts Tseng with looking after Aerith before heading to Nibelheim, Cloud's hometown, with Sephiroth, Cloud, and two other Shinra troops, to inspect the emergence of monsters in the area and a possibly malfunctioning Mako Reactor.
The Nibelheim IncidentEdit
Sephiroth! Have you completely lost your mind?!
Zack, Sephiroth, and Cloud enter Nibelheim on September 22nd, but Cloud hides his face out of fear of being spotted by his childhood friend, Tifa. Zack, when learning that Sephiroth lacked a hometown, asked about whether he had a family. His answer, that Jenova was his mother, piqued Zack's curiosity and suspicion, due to Genesis' earlier reference to Jenova. Just before the group heads up Mt. Nibel to reach the reactor, a villager snaps a picture of Sephiroth, Tifa, and Zack together.
The malfunctioning reactor is fixed, but within the reactor Zack and Sephiroth find pods filled with makonoids, humans infused with massive amounts of Mako and turned into monsters. They find a creature named Jenova, whom Sephiroth was told was his mother. This, along with words from Genesis who reveals to Sephiroth his past as part of the Jenova Project, sends Sephiroth over the edge. Sephiroth hides in the basement of the Shinra Manor reading files upon files of the project for seven days. When Zack tries to talk to him, Sephiroth wants to be left alone. On October 1st, Sephiroth emerges and burns the village to the ground, slaughtering most of the townsfolk.
Zack runs up the mountain behind an enraged Tifa, both out to defeat Sephiroth. Within the reactor Tifa is cut down by Sephiroth. Zack approaches her but she is frightened of him. Zack finds Sephiroth outside Jenova's containment tube and the two battle, but Zack is defeated. Cloud, furious over the death of his mother and seeing Tifa gravely wounded, takes up Zack's Buster Sword and defeats Sephiroth who falls into the Lifestream.
Tifa is saved by Zangan, and Cloud and Zack are taken by Shinra forces to be used in Professor Hojo's newest experiment: the Jenova Reunion Theory. Hojo predicts Jenova's parts, even on a cellular level, will strive to gather and become whole again and to test this theory, Hojo exposes the survivors of the Nibelheim Incident, including Cloud and Zack, to Mako, and injects them with Jenova cells.
No! Open your eyes, Genesis!
Zack and Cloud are held captive in the Shinra Mansion and experimented on for four years. Hojo labels the two as failures, puts them in a cryogenic sleeping state and leaves them in their pods. On December 19th, 0006, Zack hallucinates of Angeal appearing before him in the Shinra Mansion basement. As he flies off, Zack's will to be free allows him to break out and he and Cloud escape.
Due to Hojo's experiments both have become Sephiroth Clones, but as a former SOLDIER member Zack is unaffected by the experiment. Cloud's Mako poisoning puts him in a vegetative state, but Zack can still fight. He cuts their way out of a rebuilt Nibelheim and Cissnei in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, or whoever the player's Turk is in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, is ordered to take Zack in, but betrays orders and allows him to pass.
Zack and Cloud hide out from Shinra while trying to reach Midgar until early autumn 0007. A Genesis Copy eats a lock of Zack's hair to cure its degradation due to Zack's body possessing S Cells, being a Sephiroth Clone, but it turns the copy into a monster as Zack's S cells have already mutated and adapted by Zack's body. Zack defeats the creature, and heads home to Gongaga where he runs into Genesis, now with a degrading Genesis copy who was once Hollander. Hollander and Genesis try to take Cloud for his pure Sephiroth Cells, as Zack is worthless thanks to being a former member of SOLDIER. Lazard—in the form of a degrading Angeal—and Zack fight the two and Zack kills Hollander once and for all.
Zack realizes Genesis has been working from Banora the whole time, the Banora "dumbapples" Genesis always carries being the clue. Zack leaves Cloud under Lazard's protection and travels into Banora Underground and comes upon Genesis who wields the power of the Lifestream, but is still defeated, although the Lifestream cures him from his degradation. Zack takes his old enemy up to the surface.
Together with a catatonic Cloud, a beaten Genesis, a dead Lazard and the final surviving Angeal copy that had lived in Aerith's church, Zack eats a dumbapple. As the final Angeal copy dies from degradation, Zack finds the 89th and final letter from Aerith it had been carrying, and realizes he had been contained in the Shinra Mansion for four years. Desperate to return to Aerith, Zack leaves a now pacified Genesis behind while he and Cloud set off to Midgar.
Zack's final standEdit
My honor... My dreams... They're yours now. You'll be... My living legacy.
At the end of September 0007, while Zack and Cloud head toward Midgar, an army of Shinra troops awaits them. Despite Cissnei and Tseng's attempts to locate Zack first and save him, the Shinra army attacks. In the short animation Last Order, a Shinra sniper attempts to assassinate Cloud, but Zack notices this and tells Cloud to get away, causing the sniper to miss his mark, starting the battle.
In the Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete versions, Zack notices the ambush, and hides Cloud behind the rocks, then goes to face his fate. As the battle rages on, the memories Zack had with everyone flash before his eyes and he collapses as the remaining soldiers barrage him with bullets. In the original Final Fantasy VII flashback scene there are only two Shinra soldiers and one commander, who shoot Zack by surprise.
Riddled with bullets Zack is barely alive when Cloud comes to him. Zack hands the Buster Sword to him, like Angeal handed the Buster Sword to Zack years earlier, and tells Cloud to carry on his dreams, and be his "living legacy".
As Cloud wanders off towards Midgar, Zack looks up at the sky as the sun emerges from behind the clouds. He sees Angeal descend from the sky, and takes Angeal's outstretched hand, entering the Lifestream. As Cloud continues on his journey, Zack's voice tells him to say hi to Aerith for him, and asking, "Hey, would you say I became a hero?"
The combined trauma caused by the Nibelheim Incident, his Mako poisoning and witnessing Zack's death becomes too much for Cloud's mind to handle. He makes his way to Midgar collapsing in the Sector 7 train station in the slums and is found by Tifa, whom Zangan had brought to Midgar to recover from the wounds she had sustained during the Nibelheim Incident. Aided by the Jenova cells in his body, Cloud's mind warps and he adopts Zack's memories and persona, combining it with an idealized image of himself to create a new personality and history for himself.
After subconsciously creating this façade Cloud comes to believe he was successful in joining SOLDIER, and that he fulfilled Zack's role in the mission to Nibelheim. He believes he has come to Midgar to seek work as a mercenary, just as Zack said he intended to do. Zack no longer even exists in Cloud's mind; the altered memories place him in Zack's position. Realizing something is wrong with Cloud, Tifa convinces him to join her and Barret with AVALANCHE to keep an eye on him.
Cloud battles to reclaim his memory and to accept his true identity rather than relying on his constructed "Zack" personality—a combination of Zack's persona, the stories Zack had told him, and what he presumed a First Class SOLDIER would act like—and to validate himself in a world that has rejected him. When the party visits Gongaga Village they learn it was Zack's hometown. Aerith reveals Zack was her boyfriend, and that Cloud resembles him. Zack's parents are still waiting for Zack's return, concerned they have not heard from him in years.
In the novella Hoshi wo Meguru Otome, Aerith encounters Zack after her death at the hands of Sephiroth. Aerith contemplates about Cloud's persona, but summons Zack instead—as he is the one Cloud thought himself to be. Zack is among those who aid her in the destruction of Meteor. They reminisce about their relationship, and Zack retains his flirtatious demeanor, telling Aerith to give him a call whenever she feels lonely.
You already beat him once, didn't you? This should be a cinch!
Zack shows up several times in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: Flashbacks show scenes of his and Cloud's friendship when Cloud visits the Buster Sword memorial outside Midgar, and is briefly shown when Cloud thinks of what he cherishes most during his battle with Sephiroth. After Cloud gets caught in Loz and Yazoo's suicide attack, he hears Zack's and Aerith's voices before being sent back to Midgar, and sees him with Aerith in the church in the slums, returning to the Lifestream, letting Cloud know they are all right, and that Cloud is not alone.
Throughout the movie, a large gray wolf, the Fenrir, appears in many of the same places Cloud does, but at different times, only meeting him once at the end. One speculation is this wolf is the representation of Cloud's loneliness and guilt for failing his friends, among them Zack. Another speculation is that the wolf is an incarnation of Zack's spirit, keeping an eye on Cloud during his dire moments. The wolf disappears in the end when Cloud forgives himself for his failures, including the deaths of Zack and Aerith, and after the wolf fades, Zack and Aerith appear to Cloud to show that even though his guilt has faded, his memory and appreciation of his friends has not.
Zack appears twice more in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete: As Cloud sees Tifa in danger during his fight against Bahamut SIN and Denzel facing Shadow Creepers, images of Aerith's death and Zack's final stand flash in his eyes, and during the final battle, Zack appears behind Cloud just as Sephiroth seems to have him beaten. With the Buster Sword in his hand, Zack reminds Cloud not to forget his SOLDIER honor, before correcting himself because Cloud never actually was in SOLDIER. Zack reminds it is in the heart that counts and encourages Cloud to defeat Sephiroth, telling him he has already proven to be the stronger one and that he is Zack's living legacy.
Yellow flowers now bloom on the spot outside Midgar where Zack died. Denzel asks Cloud if it is someone's grave and Cloud says it's not, but it is a place where a hero began his journey, presumably referring to both Zack and himself. A restored and well-kept Buster Sword has been relocated to Aerith's church to rest among the flowers.
Zack is fought as a boss in Chapter 19 when the Player Turk intercepts him on a beach after getting orders to track down an escaped research sample. The Turk is shocked to discover the subject is Zack, and despite Zack pleading for the Turk to not turn him in, the Turk fights him. In the battle Zack runs around the battlefield evading the player's attacks rather than attacking him/her, and after a while he runs away.
The player catches up with him and another battle ensues, but Zack still won't attack the player, instead trying to convince them to his side. The second battle ends the same as the first one, with Zack running away. The player is attacked by an Adamantaimai, and after defeating it the player will follow after Zack who has reunited with Cloud. After seeing Cloud's Mako poisoning, the Player Turk will not fight Zack again, and will call Tseng that s/he has lost the targets.
At the beginning, Zack is a SOLDIER 2nd Class and has the usual abilities expected of a SOLDIER member. As he is personally mentored by 1st Class SOLDIER member Angeal, and briefly by Sephiroth, it hints toward Zack being a cut above the other 2nds. Early in the game Zack is promoted to 1st Class and proves himself worthy of the rank. As well as being a master swordsman, Zack has mastered the art of Materia Fusion and the use of Materia, and is a skilled shot with a sniper rifle.
Considering he was capable of battling foes such as Sephiroth and Genesis, not to mention an entire division of the Shinra Army, it can be assumed Zack is one of the most powerful characters in the Final Fantasy VII universe.
Zack Fair wields four weapons. As a SOLDIER 2nd Class and briefly after his promotion to 1st, he uses a SOLDIER sword, the traditional weapon of most SOLDIER members. Zack later inherits the Buster Sword and in Costa del Sol, Zack fights briefly with a parasol, swinging it around like a sword, but for gameplay purposes it functions just as well as a weapon as the Buster Sword. Later on, in the mission after Nibelheim, he uses a sniper rifle.
The higher in ranks Zack climbs, the more accessories he can also wield in battle.
Zack is a unique character in the Final Fantasy VII universe in that he can copy and adapt the Limit Breaks of other characters upon meeting them, and is thereafter able to perform those Limit Breaks as his own. The Crisis Core Complete Guide guide gives two examples of this - Zack adapting Healing Wave from Aerith's Healing Wind, and Meteor Shots from Cloud's Meteorain. This is how Zack can copy the signature attacks of Sephiroth and Genesis, Octaslash and Apocalypse. Zack's own Limit Break is Chain Slash, a quick sequence of five sword attacks. The DMW can perform summons through Summon Mode and Chocobo Mode.
Creation and developmentEdit
Zack's plot role in Final Fantasy VII was already there before he was created. From the start, it was decided Cloud's cocky personality would be false, but it was only later decided to create a character who Cloud based himself on. Before Zack, Aerith was to see her first love in Cloud, though who that person would be was not yet decided upon, and some early ideas even placed that person as Sephiroth. Later, Zack was placed to serve both as Aerith's first love and to solve the mysteries surrounding Cloud. Since he was so late in development, Zack was one of the last characters drawn by Tetsuya Nomura.
Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima came up with Zack as he went on with his work and so at the beginning there was not much foreshadowing to Zack's existence; Nojima later asked the staff in charge of the event scenes to add foreshadowing to Cloud's true persona and to Zack. The game's directors only had a vague image of Cloud's identity, mainly that it was intended to be mysterious, but the actual unfolding of events was left in Kazushige Nojima's hands. Nojima made not only the scenario but the event scenes as well, and the team ended up doing the test play with no idea how it was going to end, and that's how they first found out the true course of events. Zack was a character Nojima brought in while building up the mystery, so the others had no clue he would be such a pivotal character.
One of the primary reasons Zack was chosen as the protagonist in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- was his predetermined fate.. Yoshinori Kitase has stated that Zack's story had "been cooking for 10 years" as conceptual artwork and back story already existed for him, despite Zack being only a minor character in Final Fantasy VII. Crisis Core was initially meant to have more scenes involving Zack and Cloud's escape to Midgar to expand their connection, but it could not be included due to UMD limitations, and the staff chose to instead focus in Zack's work as a soldier.
When the developers first made the ending scenes for Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- they did not have much blood on Zack and Cloud due to working within ratings restrictions. Director Hajime Tabata however though that without the blood the emotions would not be the same and thus the team slowly put more blood on Zack until Tabata was pleased with the scene.
In his short and tragic life, with dreams of becoming a hero, this SOLDIER discovered too late the darkness that lurked in the 1st Class. Yet clutching to his pride and the dreams of those who had fallen, he battled on...
Zack appears as a playable character and is the main representative of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. He can be available from the start by transferring save data from the second demo of the game. However, if the player did not select him among their party of four, or download the demo, he can later be unlocked by collecting Red Crystal Shards.
He is an Offense oriented character. His Limit Break, Meteor Shots, deals damage in proportion to his Magic.
|Focus (Lv2)||9||Level 25|
|Brace (Lv2)||5||Level 30|
|Meteor Shots||18||Level 40|
|Focus (Lv3)||15||Level 55|
|Chi Blast (Lv2)||10||Level 60|
|Brace (Lv3)||7||Level 65|
|Chi Blast (Lv3)||15||Level 90|
|Added Cut||15||Level 95|
|Strength Up (Lv1)||5||Level 10|
|Mighty March (Lv1)||7||Level 15|
|Sacrifice (Lv1)||5||Level 20|
|Strength Up (Lv2)||10||Level 35|
|Mighty March (Lv2)||10||Level 45|
|Sacrifice (Lv2)||10||Level 50|
|Hero's Rime (Lv2)||26||Level 70|
|Strength Up (Lv3)||16||Level 75|
|Sacrifice (Lv3)||16||Level 80|
|Mighty March (Lv3)||15||Level 85|
Zack is an ally and a summonable Legend. He is depicted in his Final Fantasy VII outfit.
In comparison to Cloud, Zack has higher Magic, Resistance, Mind, Evasion, and Speed, can't use Samurai abilities, has access to lower number of Spellblade abilities, but better access to Celerity abilities, and gains access to Support abilities.
Zack can use Other/Spellblade abilities up to rarity rank 3, Physical/Combat abilities up to rarity rank 5, Physical/Support abilities up to rarity rank 3, and Physical/Celerity abilities up to rarity rank 5.
His default Soul Break is Triple Cut which t the expense of one Soul Gauge segment deals three successive attacks on random targets. The sword Buster Sword (VII-CC) allows Zack to use Rush Assault which at the expense of one Soul Gauge segment launches a series of eight non-elemental attacks on a single target.
He can equip accessories.
Zack has appeared on numerous fire-elemental cards.
Zack appears on a Triple Triad card in the version playable via Final Fantasy Portal App.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
Zack is a secret playable character unlocked by finishing the game with all the Final Fantasy VII characters. He functions more or less as a clone of Cloud in the arcade, versus, and minigame events. Like Cloud, he fights both hand-to-hand and with the Buster Sword, and has renamed versions of Cloud's techniques, including Meteo Shots, High Braver, True Cross-slash, and Unseen Omnislash.
Zack's fighting style is identical to Cloud's fighting style even his unique ability to wield the Buster Sword and to utilize few of his Limit Breaks. However the names of Cloud's Limit Break was later renamed to his own moves. His win animation is identical to Cloud's win animation.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, a slightly younger version of Zack appears in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep in the Olympus Coliseum world. He wears a Hercules-based version of his SOLDIER uniform and uses his original sword from Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-. He is shown fighting Terra, talking with Ventus, and flirting with Aqua, in the similar manner he flirted with Aerith in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-. He even asks Aqua out on a date. He retains his habit of doing squats. During the credits of the final episode of Birth by Sleep, he stands in the doorway of the Coliseum (much like he did at the end of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children) watching Phil stand on Hercules while Hercules is doing push-ups. While Zack is in the doorway, he spots a single black feather falling, signifying the presence of Sephiroth.
According to an interview with Famitsu magazine, Tetsuya Nomura stated Zack was included due to his status as a character from Final Fantasy VII's past, to tie into Birth by Sleep taking place ten years before Kingdom Hearts. He is the only Final Fantasy character (aside from moogles) to appear in the game because Nomura felt the series would have too many side stories, which could confuse some players. A remix of the "Successor" theme from Crisis Core, titled "A Date with Fate", is featured in the game.
Various official merchandise featuring Zack have been released over the years. Zack also appears as part of the artwork on a special edition PlayStation Portable console, has had a Potion energy drink can with his picture, and appeared in the cover of Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Complete Guide-.
Zack" is a shortened form of the name "Zachary". Zachary" is a name of Hebrew origin that means "remembrance of the Lord" or "Jehovah hath remembered". Whether or not his name is meant to be connected to Jenova's name (which is a portmanteau of Jehovah and Nova) is unknown."
Zack's last name was revealed in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII to be "Fair". According to Tetsuya Nomura, it is derived from "fair weather", and is intended to contrast with "Cloud Strife".
His original Japanese name is Zax (ザックス), instead of Zack (ザック), and is written as such in Last Order, and other official Square Enix print (books, magazines, action figure boxes, etc). It was most likely changed in the Western releases to sound more like a real-world name. However, his name has recently been romanized as "Zack Fair" in official Japanese media and material.
- During a DMW scene, Zack tells Aerith that whenever they meet, they should do something in particular. Zack's idea was for her to wear pink, but she thought the idea silly. After this event, she wears her signature pink outfit, probably to surprise Zack when she would see him again. Zack is responsible for buying her the pink ribbon she wears in most of her appearances.
- In Costa del Sol, Zack fights with a parasol. In Final Fantasy VII, Aeris can obtain an Umbrella for a weapon.
- During his spare time, Zack is found doing squats, and is the current champion of squats in SOLDIER. This is a reference to a minigame in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud must out-perform a gym member in Wall Market doing squats.
- Zack's default Limit Break in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- (Chain Slash) has a similarity with Cloud's later Limit Break; Cross-slash. The slashes Zack performs in Chain Slash correspond to the stroke order of the Japanese kanji that appears in Cloud's Cross-slash Limit Break.
- Zack's normal victory pose in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a combination of Cloud's and Squall Leonhart's, involving Zack swinging the Buster Sword twice, then spinning it and returning it to its holder on his back.
- Zack is the person who named the 7th Heaven bar; when he is in the Sector 5 Slums Market Place, he talks to a man near a pile of wood and he will ask Zack to help him name his new bar.
- When Aeris and Cloud leave the Gondola during the date in Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII 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.
- In Final Fantasy VII: International, the player can view specific background items in full screen. In Zack's parents' house in Gongaga, one can click on his parents' desk and find a letter he wrote them some years ago, that roughly translates into:
Dear Dad and Mom,
- How are you guys?
- Sorry for leaving town so suddenly.
- I just really wanted to become a SOLDIER.
- I bet you're worried now that I've told you...
- But now I'm fulfilling my lifelong dream, and I'll do my best in SOLDIER.
- P.S. I have a girlfriend.
- Though he does not appear in Dissidia Final Fantasy, nor is he called by name, Zack is referenced several times. During a discussion with other warriors of Cosmos, Cloud states the Buster Sword is not heavy and that "it's ... a memento", a paraphrase of Zack's comment about the blade. One of Cloud's pre-battle quotes ("If I win, are my sins forgiven?"), said when he fights himself, references the guilt Cloud feels over the deaths of Zack and Aerith, and his desire for forgiveness for these failures. Another of his battle quotes is "I'll live your life for you", referencing him being Zack's living legacy and if using Firion against him, he will say "You look like... a friend of mine".
- Zack's Japanese voice actor, Kenichi Suzumura, is married to Aerith's Japanese voice actress, Maaya Sakamoto.
- If the player performs the correct actions in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- by finding and talking to Cissnei during the time Junon is under attack, Zack can get his own fanclub like many other 1st Class SOLDIERs. Known simply as the "Zack Fair Fanclub," the player's actions determine its popularity by the end of the game.
- In Final Fantasy VII, the game code calls the two infantrymen during Cloud's telling of the Nibelheim Incident, "Zax" and "Zako"; "Zax" is what Zack is called in Japanese and "Zako" is a vulgar Japanese word that refers to someone as worthless cannon fodder. "Zako" would be the infantryman who goes missing after the bridge falls, meaning "Zax" is actually Cloud, a play on their role reversal in Cloud's faulty telling of the events.
- Zack is Hajime Tabata's favorite Final Fantasy character.
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania profile
- ↑ http://thelifestream.net/final-fantasy-vii/284/crisis-core-complete-guide-keyword-collection/
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 FFVII 10th Anniversary Discussion: p. 8 to 13 of the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania translated by TheLifestream.net
- ↑ Weekly Famitsu Issue no. 1224 Yoshinori Kitase Interview translated by TheLifestream.net
- ↑ http://www.1up.com/previews/crisis-core
- ↑ http://uk.psp.ign.com/articles/869/869858p1.html
- ↑ http://andriasang.com/comq6w/3rd_birthday_and_crisis_core/
- ↑ http://jpgames.de/2015/02/jpgames-de-unser-interview-mit-hajime-tabata/
- ↑ http://www.angelfire.com/super/ff7/unfinished.html
- ↑ http://www.novacrystallis.com/?p=4139
- ↑ http://www.novacrystallis.com/?p=3887
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII: The Unused Text at TheLifestream.net
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2tf804/i_am_hajime_tabata_the_director_of_final_fantasy/cnyi7id
- ↑ Tabata Teases That Final Fantasy XV Will Reflect Gaming's Move Online (Accessed: May 30, 2016) at Game Informer