With the Final Fantasy VII Remake on its way, now is the best time to go over what made the original Final Fantasy VII great. The original game remains an awesome, though dated, piece of video game history. Often cited as one of the first games that popularized RPGs in the West, Final Fantasy VII is filled with many iconic moments.
A lot of these iconic moments stem from the characters. We all remember Cloud, Sephiroth, Tifa, Aerith, and the rest because they were such a vital piece in making Final Fantasy VII so memorable. However, not every character in VII is as good as the main leads. A lot of these not so good characters have been deservedly lost to history, though a lot of hardcore fans of the game have a hard time trying to erase their memories of these truly horrendous characters.
Because I still remember these awful characters, I think it is only fair for me to remind everyone else how bad some of these characters are. At the same time, however, I will be sharing the best characters in Final Fantasy VII as well. The best characters in the game truly shine when compared to some of the stinkers in the game.
Final Fantasy 7: Best and Worst Characters
So here it is, the three worst and best characters in Final Fantasy VII.
Worst Character – Don Corneo
Cloud and Aeris manage to get inside Don Corneo’s mansion and proceed to try to rescue Tifa, while finding out more about Shinra’s plans for AVALANCHE.
There are a lot of things about the original Final Fantasy VII that is a little uncomfortable to sit through now including the Honey Bee Inn, a place where a lot of weird things happened.
Then there’s Don Corneo, a mobster-like character that the main characters needed to interrogate for information on Shinra. To get near him, Cloud had to dress as a woman, as Corneo has a strict no males allowed policy in his mansion. Corneo will choose between cross-dressed Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith who he wants to be with.
Don Corneo is a creep and a big-time pervert. He is also more cartoonish than most of the other characters in the game, making him stand out in a not right way. While he is mostly an antagonist, him forcing his advances on women is unsettling to see. Stranger still is that he comes back to the game later when you travel to Wutai. Didn’t we suffer enough with this guy?
Best Character – Sephiroth
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Sephiroth was too iconic to not include on this list of best characters. This is even though a lot of Sephiroth’s motivation doesn’t make much sense within the context of the original Final Fantasy VII game.
Sephiroth was considered to be the best SOLDIER out there. When he found out he was an experiment created with the DNA of JENOVA (an alien being), he went insane. He burned down Cloud and Tifa’s hometown and decided to summon Meteor to end the world and become a god.
Now, I understand Sephiroth was meant to go crazy after discovering his origins. But I think burning a whole town was an overreaction. Him deciding to be god was also a sudden shift in personality, as he showed no ambition of that before discovering his origins.
I like the Advent Children explanation of why he wanted to end the world. In the opening narration of Advent Children, Marlene says that Sephiroth grew to hate the planet and decided he just wanted to finish everything.
Sephiroth motivations may be a tad weird, yet he at least has an impressive appearance. His tall figure, long silver hair, and impossibly long sword are all classic. More importantly, though, Sephiroth gave us “One-Winged Angel,” his final boss theme, and the world is a better place because of it.
Worst Character – Palmer
Well, after defeating Materia Keeper in Mt. Nibel follow the northwest to Rocket Town. Follow to the first house (left) and buy some equipments. Go to the house above (item shop) and buy (Barrier & Exit) Materia. Talk to an old man near the entrance of Item Store and get Yoshiyuki (Sword for Cloud).
Palmer is one of the executives of Shinra, the evil organization that is the source of all the central conflict within Final Fantasy VII. Palmer is more obnoxious than anything else. He is an overweight, man child who mostly serves as comic relief in the game. He is annoying comic relief, but comic relief nonetheless.
Palmer sticks out like a sore thumb among the other members of Shinra, who are all more satisfying than him. Among the members of Shinra, there’s the cool Rufus Shinra, the mad scientist Hojo, the level-headed Reeve, and the Turks, Shinra’s lovable task force. Then there’s Palmer, whose only role is to be a big man-baby and be a coward.
The last time we see Palmer in the game is when he gets hit by a truck. His fate is never revealed afterward. Let’s hope that he perished, and we will never see him again.
Best Character – Tifa Lockhart
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With the recent controversy with Tifa’s bust size in the Final Fantasy VII Remake, I feel like it’s time to share what makes Tifa a great character. I won’t deny that Tifa’s design plays a massive part in her popularity, even though it is very shallow. However, I do believe she is an excellent character besides her appearance.
A childhood friend of Cloud, Tifa was very independent and level-headed. She was a strong female character, both physically and mentally, during a time when strong female characters weren’t familiar. She saved Cloud herself and even briefly led the party. She had a caring personality, yet at the same time could kick anyone’s ass.
She may be cheesecake to some fans, but to me, and many others, she is more than that. The story of Final Fantasy VII wouldn’t be as memorable without her in it. She plays such a vital role in it that the story will fall apart without her.
Worst Character – Cait Sith
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All the main playable characters in Final Fantasy VII are awesome and badass, except for this guy. Cait Sith is a robot cat that rides on a giant Moogle, that I think is also a robot? It turns out that Cait Sith is a mole from Shinra; the Shinra member Reeve Tuesti controls him. Oddly, Reeve is one of the more noble members of Shinra, while Cait Sith is just weird.
Cait Sith is capable of predicting people’s future (somehow?) and follows the main party around. He betrays the group and has Marlene held hostage. Pretty sick move for Cait Sith to do, yet somehow we remain stuck with him for the whole game.
It wouldn’t be too bad if Cait Sith were useful in battle. However, he isn’t. He s**ks to play as, and his Slots limit break sucks. Slots can cause a variety of effects, depending on where the slot machine ends on. There’s a possibility to instant kill any foe with Slots, provided you end on the right combination. Nevertheless, Slots usually ends on a useless ability like toy soldiers or growing big.
Cait Sith is just not a fun character to have around.
Best Character – Cloud Strife
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He’s the man with the stupidly colossal sword. He’s the man with logic-defying spiky hair. He’s the man that every future lead character in an anime will try to emulate. He is Cloud Strife, and he is the main character of Final Fantasy VII.
Whereas spin-off titles of Final Fantasy VII would portray Cloud as nothing more than a pretty emo boy, his original portrayal in Final Fantasy VII was way ahead of its time. Starting as an arrogant mercenary, Cloud would have a thought-provoking character arc. The revelation that his memories are a lie was the early instances of an unreliable narrator in video games and gave the character real depth.
Sephiroth’s overall disinterest of Cloud in Final Fantasy VII made him the perfect foil for the Cloud to overcome. Cloud’s final confrontation with Sephiroth at the very end of Final Fantasy VII worked on an emotional level and perfectly bookmarked Cloud’s character development.
Cloud will pave the way for future protagonists in video games.