Smash Ultimate recognizes a crowd-pleaser when it sees one. Everyone has their own favorite Final Fantasy, of course, but fans who grew up in the late 90s will always remember Cloud Strife. He’s angsty. He has spiked hair. And now he’s in Smash Ultimate, with a whole host of abilities based on his appearance in his original game.
Smash Ultimate sports 74 different playable characters at launch — including every single previous character from the super-franchise and a bunch of fresh faces. That’s not even including the glut of DLC fighters, assist trophies, and more. There’s so much that no one person could possibly keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a guide to every single character.
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Cloud is a swordsman in a game that’s already chock full of them. But he does distinguish himself from the Roys, Links, and Ikes of Smash Ultimate in a few key ways. He has ranged attacks in the form of Materia spells, for instance, and the unique Limit Gauge mechanic.
According to the official Nintendo description of Cloud…
He’s the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII. You can also select his Advent Children outfit. Charging up his Limit Gauge increases his special move abilities! Land a powerful hit!
Blade Beam (B) – Slashes the air to send out a shock wave. During Limit Break, the wave can hit multiple enemies.
Cross Slash (Side + B) – Executes an attack that can be expanded into the full combo with two follow-up button presses.
Climhazzard (Up + B) – Thrusts his sword and then jumps into the air. Plunges with a high-speed cut if pressed again.
Limit Charge / Finishing Touch (Down + B) – Charges up the Limit Gauge. The Limit Break version launches opponents upward.
Omnislash (Final Smash) – Cloud dashes forward and strikes foes. He then dashes upward and unleashes a flurry of swift slashes, finishing with a powerful blow that launches foes downward. Use it when the battle gets heated and try to hit several enemies.
Strengths & Weaknesses
The Final Fantasy VII protagonist has less going for him in Smash Ultimate than in his debut Wii U game, but he’s still a very strong fighter. Cloud’s sword swipes are powerful and his projectiles give him a good range option. He’s a solid fighter at all ranges, actually — especially if you like eventually closing in to beat your opponent in straight-up blow-for-blow fights.
The changes in Smash Ultimate give Cloud some new weaknesses, though. Alongside his lacking recovery, a new time limit on using his Limit Break means Cloud can’t save it for a rainy day. He also deals a little less damage and at a shorter range than he did prior. Don’t expect the wild damage output of old. Keep things on the ground and don’t be afraid to toss out your Limit Break, because it’s use-it-or-lose-it.
Cloud sure does love to wear black… Despite being able to swap between his classic costume and the character’s look from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (that CGI movie), there isn’t a lot of variation in Cloud’s skins. All of his color schemes are extremely muted. Apparently not even appearing in such a colorful game as Smash Ultimate could cheer this guy up.
And that’s Cloud Strife! The depressed protagonist got a couple of nerfs in his transition from the Wii U to the Nintendo Switch, but any character can be potent in the right player’s hands. So get out there and start practicing! Or, you could always find a more cheerful companion for your Smash Ultimate career.
All of our Smash Ultimate guides created with the help of Eric Van Allen.