FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH: Cody Christian talks Cloud Strife

The actor who brings the iconic Cloud Strife to life in FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE and FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH shares his take on the Buster Sword-wielding hero!
By Duncan Heaney

Few characters in gaming are as beloved as Cloud Strife.

This spikey-haired protagonist of FINAL FANTASY VII is a former SOLDIER operative who arrived in Midgar to start a new chapter of his life as a mercenary. After many adventures in the city, he leaves Midgar behind in pursuit of Sephiroth and the truth – a quest which will lead him to defy destiny itself.

He is, to put it mildly, a complex figure, so it needs a talented performer to bring him to life.

Actor Cody Christian has done just that, portraying the character in the acclaimed FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE. And that was no one-time gig - he’s back in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH - coming to PS5 on February 29, 2023.

This new game goes deeper into Cloud and his fellow party members’ backgrounds than ever before. You’ll experience new depths to his personality and develop an even deeper insight into this most complicated of heroes. In short, there’s plenty for an actor of Cody’s calibre to get his teeth into!

We spoke to Cody about his experiences portraying Cloud - and his excitement now that he’s part of the FINAL FANTASY family.

Hi Cody. How did you feel when you saw the positive reaction to FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, and your portrayal of Cloud?

I went from being incredibly overwhelmed to feeling as if I could take a deep breath.

I think the first game, especially more than the second, was a lot of weight. There was a lot of expectations, whether they were what I put on myself, or what I expected for the fans - what they deserved in the game.

But finally having it be received and received well - especially during a crazy time because that was the pandemic – I couldn’t have been happier, honestly. And it gave me so much confidence moving forward, and so much more excitement going into the second part of the game and potentially the third as well.

So, I’m cool now, man! I feel like I’m finally able to live in this and enjoy it!

How has Cloud changed between that game and FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH?

I think in the first game we saw a much more guarded, closed off version of Cloud. A lot of stoicism involved, right? The second game allows us to go a bit deeper in his character and his emotional journey, and there’s a lot more depth to explore.

One of my favorite aspects of Cloud, and bringing it to life, is the vulnerability within him. I think we really get a chance to kind of dive deep into the second game, which opens up a whole new side of Cloud in my opinion.

How difficult was it to balance Cloud’s practiced aloofness, with his heart and humanity? There are so many sides to the character so it must have been tricky to capture them all…

I don’t think the execution of it was that difficult. You got to keep in mind - and I would love to share this publicly - I had so much help and assistance in the studio behind the scenes. Not only with my Director, Kirk, but also the sound engineer, and especially Ben - he’s one of our translators that works with Square Enix. So, I had so much knowledge, so much support which provided comfortability.

That helped alleviate a lot. But I think for me, executing the part of Cloud and really pulling it off… it has to go with just humanizing as much as possible. You know, he has a crazy storyline and crazy history. A lot of stuff has happened. There’s a lot of trauma, a lot of things impacting him.

So, seeing him grow out of his shell has been a journey. Again, it wasn’t too difficult to execute - more or less just trying to understand who he is at the core and then let everything else breathe naturally from there!

You get to play through Cloud’s memories of the past Cloud in this game. How did you change your performance for the younger version of the character?

Honestly, I had to do some actual physical changes, kind of lightening up the tone, trying to reach a higher octave. Naturally, my voice sits a little lower, so that was fun to explore.

There were two different age brackets. There was like a younger, younger cloud and then a slightly older version of that. And then the current state that I voice them in.

But outside of physically changing the voice, it was just also changing the mindset depending on where it was in the story. What had happened, what had occurred, what was his life really like, what was his relationships like? Because again, there’s such a duality to the character. And as an actor, something that has excited me the most about portraying him is there’s just so many sides, there’s so many things acting all at once.

We see young Cloud in the village, we see Cloud beginning SOLDIER training… there’s all different phases of his life. So, it’s really just about understanding the context of where he’s at and letting it all come from there.

Are there any scenes you’re particularly proud of in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH?

There is actually. There’s a whole sequence - I don’t know where exactly in the game and I don’t want to give away too much - but we’ll just say that we see a very… unhinged side of Cloud.

Exploring that, and the interactions with the core characters and who know him… I’m getting chills thinking about it - it was really, really cool! I’m excited for fans to see it.

What was the most challenging thing about portraying Cloud in this game?

I mean, the realest answer that I can give you is that the way the recording process works, we’re constantly jumping from the beginning to the middle, back to the beginning of a scene.

We don’t record anything chronologically, so it’s difficult to kind of figure out where you are in that exact moment, what has happened previously, what’s about to happen next. There’s a lot of like questioning, and really making sure you know where you’re at.

And quite honestly, I’d say that was the most difficult process. Because, again, having had the first game come out and people not go on a rampage to try to get me out, I was like: “okay” (laughs). It was so much easier and so much more comfortable.

What’s the best thing about playing Cloud Strife?

The best thing about playing Cloud Strife… is being able to play Cloud Strife, man (laughs)!

I mean, there it is - it’s iconic, it’s legendary and to be part of such a crazy franchise with such a rich history and fanbase… I’m a gamer myself so I really know what it’s like and what it feels like to be connected with a videogame, a character, a franchise, series or whatever it may be.

So, to be part of something so special to so many people in all their own ways… I feel that’s art in the best form!

What is your favorite memory involving FINAL FANTASY VII?

I have a couple and they came in different phases. There’s a funny story about booking the job because I auditioned for it with no real context about what it was. I got these crazy instructions about what to do, and I remember in the actual session, they were like, “Okay, so imagine seven or eight people around you and you have a really big weapon, and you just swing and take them all out at once.”

I’ve never done that before in my life, so just out of nowhere, I just went (shouts) “argh!” and started doing crazy stuff.

So, this audition happens, and I don’t hear anything for a month or a month and a half. So, I’m assuming: “Okay, I completely wrecked that!” Then I get the phone call, and they tell me what it is, the role, the project because everything was under code names at the time.

As soon as I found out what it was, I called my brother who’s a massive fan of FINAL FANTASY. I told him the news and he freaked out, and when he freaked out, the magnitude of kind of what was about to happen hit me.

It was just a really cool moment for me. It was cool moment for my brother and I to share. So that was like the first one.

My second one was New York Comic Con. I hadn’t had the chance to publicly be a part of this game yet and interact with fans. New York Comic Con was my first time being able to do it, so I was excited to see it. I’m excited for the fans to see what’s in store!

So, be honest, who’s your favorite character in the game?

I mean, I’m pretty cool. (Looks at Barret’s voice actor John Eric Bentley, who is sitting nearby) But that Barret guy is all right. He’s all right too, I guess (laughs).

What’s your favorite thing about your character?

I think I have the coolest weapon in the game for sure, hands down. But on the deeper side of things, I think just the emotional journey of the character, the depth and everything that he’s going through and has been through is very cool, very unique, and it makes him really one of one. So, it’s pretty legendary to be able to bring it to life.

Finally, is there anything you want to say to fans?

I just want to say thank you. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I’m going to keep it short and sweet and as genuine as possible.

This was a very daunting experience to tackle the first go around. The second one has been much more enjoyable and much easier. I hope whatever is to come, you guys will continue to love it.

And I thank you so much for the support!

Many thanks to Cody for his time - and his amazing performance as Cloud Strife. You can hear him in action in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH, coming to PS5 on February 29, 2023.

Preorder any digital edition of the game to get the following bonus item:

  • Moogle Trio Summoning Materia (in game item)

What’s more, if you have a save file from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE or FF7R EPISODE INTERmission, you will be able to claim the following items in FINAL FANTASY REBIRTH:


  • Summon Materia: Leviathan


  • Summon Materia: Ramuh

Please note that save data must be saved on the PS5 system.

Standard Edition (physical and digital)

Available both digitally and physically. The physical version comes across two discs and includes a reversible cover.

This edition includes:

  • The full game

It’s available to preorder now:

A Digital Deluxe Edition Upgrade will also be available to purchase for the digital Standard Edition, which adds Digital Deluxe Edition content. This cannot be preordered and will become available when the game launches.

Deluxe Edition (physical only)

The physical Deluxe Edition also includes the below:

  • The full game
  • Steelbook® case
  • A mini soundtrack CD (in jewel case)
  • Physical artbook

It's available to preorder now:

Digital Deluxe Edition (digital only)

Available to preorder from the PlayStation Store, this edition includes:

  • The full game
  • Digital mini soundtrack
  • Digital artbook
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (in-game item)

It’s available to preorder now:

Collector’s Edition

Available from the Square Enix Store, this edition is a real treat for fans. It includes:

  • The full game (across two discs)
  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH STATIC ARTS - SEPHIROTH - a large, highly detailed statue of Sephiroth
  • Steelbook® case
  • A mini soundtrack CD
  • Physical artbook features stunning illustrations and concept art from the game
  • Moogle Trio Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (in-game item)

It’s available to preorder now:

Twin Pack (digital only)

This terrific twin pack gives you access to both FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE and the upcoming game FANTASY VII REBIRTH.

Once ordered, you can start playing FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE right away and be ready to continue the adventure in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH on release day.

The set includes:


Purchase this twin set before launch to get a substantial discount - essentially you can get both titles together for the same price as one standard edition! Check the PlayStation Store to see prices in your region:

Digital Deluxe Twin Pack (digital only)

This bumper bundle gives you both FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE and the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Digital Deluxe Edition, and all the awesome content that comes with it.

Once purchased, you can start playing FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE right away:

It includes:

  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH Digital Deluxe Edition - full game
  • FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH Digital mini soundtrack
  • Magic Pot Summoning Materia (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)
  • Accessory: Reclaimant Choker (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)
  • Armor: Orchid Bracelet (FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH in-game item)

It’s available to order now. What’s more, purchase before launch for a significant discount on the price of both games!

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