One of the main CloTi rallying points since FFVII was released in 1997 has always been the infamous "Highwind Scene". But does this
scene definitively prove that Cloud and Tifa love one another? The simple answer is that no, it doesn't. And why is this? It's simple... The
Highwind Scene has two different scenes that play out depending on the affection rating between Cloud and Tifa. That means that these
scenes are
optional and which one you get doesn't affect the overall story. Let's deviate for a moment and discuss what the affection rating
system is in
FFVII and what it really means.

The Affection Ratings in FFVII...

The affection rating primarily controls who Cloud goes on a date with at the Gold Saucer. However, it also determines which scene later
plays out when Cloud and Tifa are left alone at the site where the Highwind is anchored. The values at the start of the game are set like this:

Aerith:  50
Tifa:   30
Yuffie: 10
Barret:  0

From the start, the affection rating favors Aerith. The reason for this is because Aerith is the default character for Cloud to date at the Gold
Saucer. You'll also notice that Yuffie and Barret are even lower than Tifa. Their dates are more difficult to get due to the fact that Yuffie
and, most definitely, Barret are not romantically interested in Cloud and have no place in the love triangle.

So, what determines when points are given? Well, you have optional dialogue and actions throughout the game. The choices you make will
build the affection felt toward Cloud by Aerith, Tifa, Yuffie, or Barret. In the same sense, you must understand that Cloud's affection for
said characters is also being expressed by the choices he makes. For example, when you enter Seventh Heaven, and you have a flower:

"Give it to Tifa"    (+5 Tifa)
"Give it to Marlene" (+5 Barret
)

If Cloud gives the flower to Tifa, he is expressing interest/affection for Tifa, so Tifa's affection for Cloud also goes up. If he gives the flower
to Marlene, he is showing kindness to the little orphan girl, hence Barret's increase in affection.

Another example is when Aerith asks if Tifa is your girlfriend:

"No way!"            (+1 Aerith)
"Yeah, that's right" (-5 Aerith)

If Cloud shows interest in another woman, Aerith's interest in him wanes. But, if Cloud denies that he is interested in Tifa, Aerith becomes
more interested in him and her affection grows.

More examples... When everyone lands in the sewer:

Talk to Aerith first: (+3 Aerith)
Talk to Tifa first:  (+3 Tifa)

When Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa are all dumped into the sewers quite suddenly, he has the option to check on either Aerith or Tifa first.
Whomever he decides to speak with first is obviously the one he is most concerned about, hence the increase in the girls' affection scores.
Again, Cloud shows interest/affection, the girls show interest/affection. It's a two-way street.

In response to Marlene telling Cloud,
"Guess what? Guess what? Aeris was asking me lots of
questions. Like what kind of person Cloud is. I bet she likes you, Cloud!"

"I don't know"  (-3 Aerith, +3 Tifa)
"Let's hope so" (+3 Aerith, -3 Tifa)

This scene is a little different as it occurs without either Aerith or Tifa around. The score is determined solely on whether Cloud shows
interest in Aerith or not. So, how Cloud feels is definitely reflected during the affection rating system.

An interesting note: even if Aerith and Tifa's scores are tied, Aerith will take priority over Tifa, which again shows how Cloud automatically
favors Aerith over Tifa.

For more information, check out the
FFVII Date Mechanics Guide on GameFAQs.

The Affection Rating System in FFX...

Another Final Fantasy game which employs affection ratings is Final Fantasy X. However, unlike FFVII, FFX's affection system
encompasses
all of the major characters. Sometimes it is as simple as talking to the other characters to build affection with them, but you
also have optional dialogue and actions which build affection scores, just like in
FFVII. Some examples...

* If you respond to Wakka,
"Yeah!" when he asks, "She's cute, ya?", Yuna's affection for Tidus will increase by 8 points.

* When you're in Guadosalam, choose
"I guess you're right" to increase Yuna's affection"; or choose "I'd rather have you, Rikku" to
increase Rikku's affection.

* Again, in Guadosalam, choose
"Too Late" to increase Yuna's affection; or choose "You're more my type, Lulu" to increase Lulu's
affection.

Just like in
FFVII, Tidus has to show affection or interest in order to gain affection or interest. Depending on the affection system, you can
ride to Macalania Temple on the Al-Bhed Machina with Rikku or Lulu, or ride on an Al-Bhed Machina next to Kimahri or Auron. Also,
there is a total of four cut scenes which can play out differently, depending on the affection system. Two of the scenes occur when Yuna is
not present. In these two scenes, Lulu takes priority over any other character if there are any ties in affection points. However, when Yuna
is present during the other two cut scenes, she will take priority if there is a tie.

So, why am I bringing this up? To show that, although Tidus can show interest in Rikku or Lulu, and although Lulu seems to be more
inclined to show interest in Tidus, it doesn't mean that either of them were intended to be Tidus's love interest. Regardless of any optional
scenes or dialogues, regardless of affections levels, Tidus still loves Yuna and they are the intended pairing.

Keeping all of this in mind, I believe it is much the same with
FFVII. Though Cloud can date Tifa, Yuffie, or Barret instead of Aerith, it
doesn't change the fact that Cloud and Aerith love one another and are the intended pairing of
FFVII. And, although Cloud has an optional
scene with Tifa that
may or may not show affection between them under the Highwind, it doesn't change the fact that Cloud and Aerith are
the intended pairing of
FFVII and Cloud loves Aerith regardless of any affection and/or optional scenes he might feel/share with Tifa (or
anyone else).

It is also interesting to note that Yuna is the default character for cut scenes when there is a tie, much like Aerith is the default character for
the date scene at Gold Saucer, even if there is a tie. Coincidence? I think not...

For more information on the
FFX affection system, check out the FFX Affection Levels FAQ on GameFAQs.

CloTi "proof" regarding the Highwind Scene...

1. "There is a page in the 20th Anniversary Ultimania which revolves around the Highwind Scene that proves CloTi is canon!"

This is the main CloTi "proof" currently floating around the Internet. It is, unfortunately for them, a complete
lie. Don't believe this when you
hear it. All you need to know about this false information is
right here. CloTi has NEVER been proclaimed as canon by Square ENIX.
And I am confident that it never will be. Their proof is based entirely on their opinion. And
opinions have never been and never will be
FACTS.

2. "The High Affection version of the Highwind Scene is the canon outcome!"

This is another one of those CloTi "proofs" that is nothing more than their opinion. They believe that the High Affection version of the
Highwind Scene is canon and so they spread their beliefs around like facts. Unfortunately for them, Square ENIX has
NEVER confirmed
that one version of the Highwind Scene is canon over the other. There's also no scene in the rest of the
Compilation of FFVII that
confirms either version of the Highwind Scene is canon. Tidus and Yuna's love is confirmed by the romantic scene between them in the
Macalania spring. Where is there a scene like that to confirm Cloud and Tifa in the
Compilation? No scene confirms it, so no one can go
around saying the High Affection version is canon when it's never
shown to be canon.

You can find more information on this subject in
this essay.

3.
"Cloud and Tifa have sex under the Highwind!"

Just like the first two "proofs", this is ALSO nothing but CloTi opinion. So, what do I think about this claim? I think it is absolutely
ridiculous. CloTis are shoving their own interpretation of a vague, optional scene down the throats of other fans like it is a fact when it is
nothing but their opinion. The fact that they also rely on an
optional scene as the ultimate proof for their pairing is also, quite frankly,
pathetic. So, here is my opinion on the subject of the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene with some facts and common sense
thrown in...

A.
The idea of sex was rejected by staff early on.

Unlike evidence that CloTis use, this is a FACT. And where did this fact come from?

Kitase: "Although I remember we had to tone down a version that was too strong."
Nojima: "
The original idea was more extreme. The plan was for Cloud to walk out of the chocobo stable in the airship, followed by
Tifa leaving while she kept looking around, but
Kitase rejected it. But I think perhaps no one expected that line to be so important
[laughs]" (
10th Anniversary Ultimania)

In this interview, Kitase and Nojima are talking about the Highwind Scene, specifically the original version of the Highwind Scene, which
had been written by a man they refer to earlier in the interview as "Kato-san". In the original version, sex was implied when Cloud leaves
the chocobo stable and Tifa follows him, looking about to make sure no one saw them leaving together. However, as you can see, Kitase
himself
rejected the scene because the idea of implied sex was "too strong", and even Nojima referred to it as "extreme". So, how can
CloTis continue to claim that Cloud and Tifa had sex when the idea of sex occurring during the Highwind Scene was outright
rejected by
the staff in favor of a more toned down version?

B.
Cloud's body language does not suggest any type of intimacy occurred.

During the night, just before the sun rises, Tifa is sitting next to Cloud resting her head on Cloud's shoulder. Cloud, on the other hand, is
sitting there with his arms folded around his legs, hugging his knees to his chest. Folded arms in a situation like this may indicate
defensiveness, anxiety, or a feeling of awkwardness (which ties in perfectly with Cloud's awkward personality).

So, S-E can show a house of prostitution in
FFVII, but they can't show Cloud at least having his arm tucked around the woman he
supposedly just had sex with and admitted his feelings to?
Really??? There is absolutely nothing explicit about showing a man with his arm
around a woman. So, why can't they show Cloud being open enough to do something like this, especially after they supposedly made love?
Instead, Cloud's body language is awkward and defensive as he sits there with his arms folded. So, how can anyone believe they had sex?
Cloud can't even put his
arm around Tifa. How in the world can you possibly believe that he could have sex with her... on the ground...
out in the open... while their friends watch??? Apparently Cloud can hug his own knees but not the woman he just made love to... Yeah,
and people
believe this garbage.

Okay, let's take a look at another situation where Cloud is sitting next to a woman... Let's take a look at the scene of Cloud and Aerith at
the playground in Midgar...

Here is Cloud approaching Aerith atop the slide, so you can see Aerith's arms by her side:




















And here is Cloud sitting next to Aerith:




















As you can see in the second picture, Aerith's legs have changed position and are off to her right. She is actually leaning
toward Cloud.
Cloud, on the other hand, has his arms down, his right arm by Aerith or even touching Aerith, and his left arm draped casually atop the cat's
ear. He is at ease with her, no sign of awkwardness or defensiveness.

So, what is the point of this? When a girl is resting her head on your shoulder and all you are doing is sitting there with your arms crossed,
there is something not right there,
especially if you were supposedly open enough with her a few moments before to be having sex with
her. Cloud and Aerith were just spending a few moments together at an abandoned playground and Cloud showed no signs of feeling
uncomfortable around her. But, when he was alone with Tifa, Cloud's body language practically screamed unease and awkwardness. And
yet CloTis still insist they must have had sex. Seems to me that Cloud's discomfort with being alone with Tifa is more than enough evidence
to quash any ideas of sex.

C.
Cloud and Tifa's conversations after the High Affection Highwind Scene do not suggest that sex occurred.

The very next morning, this is the conversation that occurs:

Cloud: ............It's almost dawn...

Tifa: H, huh...?

Cloud: Sorry. Did I wake you...? It's almost dawn, Tifa.

Tifa: Umm...
G, good morning... Cloud. Give me a little longer... Just a little
bit longer... This day will never come again... So let me have this moment...

Cloud: Yeah... okay. This is probably the last time we'll have together......

Why is Tifa stuttering here? IF she and Cloud had truly spent the evening making love to each other under the stars, why is she suddenly so
awkward with him?
IF Cloud and Tifa had sex the night before, Tifa should be completely at ease with Cloud, not stuttering and
stammering like a virginal schoolgirl.

Later in the morning after Cloud and Tifa get back on the Highwind:

Tifa: The airship is too big for just the two of us. Yeah, it's a little lonely
without everyone
.

Cloud: Don't worry. It'll be okay. I'll make a big enough ruckus for everyone.
Besides, I'm the pilot. No more flying around casually like before.
We won't
have time to feel lonely
.

Why in the world would they feel lonely? These two are supposedly in love. Not only that, but they are supposedly two people who just
started having sex.
IF Cloud and Tifa were truly in love with each other and actually started a sexual relationship, they would relish being
alone together. Instead, we see
both of them remarking about how lonely it is aboard the airship with no one else around.

D.
Their friends were watching everything that happened that night.

Tifa's line of "....Were you watching?" after the High Affection version plays out confirms this. Their friends even tease them a little bit:

Cloud: Red XIII!

Tifa: Why didn't you tell me!?

Red XIII: But, you know, Cid.

Cid:
Hey, Red XIII. If you butt in now, you never know what they'll say
later.....
.

Tifa: ......
Were you watching?

Cid and Red's playful lines are sort of vague, but you get the idea that they are teasing Cloud and Tifa. Tifa becomes so embarrassed that
she clutches her head and falls to the floor.

So, you CloTis want me to believe that the other characters actually
watched Cloud and Tifa bang on the pointy rock under the Highwind
and then
teased them about it? Really??? And just what kind of sick "friends" would do that???

E.
Cloud's reaction doesn't suggest sex occurred.

Even after being teased by Cid and Red XIII, Cloud is not embarrassed at all. Instead, he just turns around and starts talking to Vincent.
Pretty strange behavior for the awkward and insecure mess that is Cloud to be so completely at ease around a bunch of weirdos who just
admitted to watching him bang his "childhood friend" on a pointy rock the night before. Why don't we just use a little common sense here:
Cloud wasn't embarrassed because he and Tifa
didn't have sex.

So, why was Tifa embarrassed? Easy. She confessed her love to Cloud and spent the evening sleeping on his shoulder.
And their friends
saw all of it
. For someone as shy and insecure as Tifa to have her feelings laid bare for everyone to see must be mortifying. The fact that
Cid and Red XIII proceed to tease her just make things harder for her to bear.

A little something official to add:

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)

Again, why is the scene only embarrassing for Tifa and not Cloud??? IF the two of them were seen engaged in something as deeply
personal as sex, Cloud should, by all accounts, be terribly embarrassed and maybe a little angry that his privacy was so casually invaded by
people whom he considers to be friends. But, he just stands there and starts talking to Vincent. Clearly, he had
nothing to be embarrassed
about.

F.
Later events do not support the idea of sex occurring that night.

At the end of
FFVII, Cloud is shown reaching for Aerith's hand in the Lifestream. He also makes it clear to Tifa that it is Aerith that he
wishes to see again and that he believes that he can meet her again in The Promised Land, the place of one's supreme happiness. Pretty
strange behavior for Cloud considering he supposedly just had sex with and/or made a confession of love to
Tifa, not Aerith. Shouldn't it
be
Tifa Cloud reaches for? Shouldn't Cloud want to be with Tifa in the land of supreme happiness? And yet, it isn't Tifa Cloud is wanting,
it's
Aerith.

In
Case of Tifa and AC/ACC, it is made clear that Cloud and Tifa have separate rooms and that sex has not occurred there and never
will.

Marlene, who had always slept with Tifa, slept with her foster father Barret the night before he left. Their conversations could be heard
late into the night. (
Case of Tifa)

If Marlene always slept with Tifa, then Cloud was never in bed with Tifa, that's for sure. Pretty strange for two people who had
supposedly already become lovers to never have sex again, even when living in the same house.

It was night, and they had closed the bar. Cloud was drinking alcohol even though he rarely did. He drained his glass. Tifa thought about it
before going over and filling his glass.

"Shall I join you?" There was something she wanted to talk to him about.

"I want to drink alone."

Hearing that, Tifa lost control and said, "
Then drink in your room." (Case of Tifa)

This part of the novella makes it blatantly clear that Cloud has his own room at Seventh Heaven. If he and Tifa were sharing a room (which
they don't, otherwise Marlene certainly wouldn't be sleeping with Tifa), then Tifa should have said, "Then drink in our room". But, she
didn't. She specifically mentioned
Cloud's room, a room where he sleeps separate from her. Again, this makes it clear that Cloud and Tifa
aren't having sex during
Case of Tifa. Why not? If they supposedly confessed their love under the Highwind and became lovers, what's
stopping them?

In
AC/ACC, Cloud's room is clearly shown...




















This is the room in which Tifa goes to answer the phone for Cloud's delivery service. His room has its own phone line for his business and
is sparsely decorated with photos Cloud has taken during his travels. His desk is strewn with receipts and notes from his business and he
even has an open toolbox and spare tires for when he works on Fenrir. Something to take special note of is the bed in this room, which
makes it clear that this is Cloud's
room, not just his office. Another interesting thing to note is the fact that Cloud's bedroom door has a
window in it. Obviously, there is no intention of any hanky-panky going on in a bedroom with a window in it, especially in a home with
children. Why build a home with windows in the bedroom doors if you are building a home with a man who is supposedly your lover? And
it isn't just Cloud's room either...




















Take a look at the door behind Tifa as she enters Cloud's room. Looks like
all of the bedrooms at Seventh Heaven contain windows. Just
more evidence that absolutely
no sex is going on under that roof. And no one even expected it to be either, considering that they included
windows in
all of the bedroom doors when they built the place.

Also, in
Case of Tifa, Tifa actually asks Cloud if he loves her.

"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."

The fact that Tifa would even need to ask Cloud if he loves her so soon after their supposed sex on pointy rocks and confession of
everlasting love
proves that there was no love-making that night under the Highwind. If there was love consummated that night under the
Highwind, or even love confessed and reciprocated by the two of them, Tifa would have no need to ask this question. She would have no
need to doubt him. It's just more proof that there was not only no sex that night, but that the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene
is most certainly
NOT canon.

Add in the fact that Cloud responds with a "perplexed" look and the picture becomes more clear. For those of you who don't know,
"perplexed" means
"to confuse or trouble with uncertainty or doubt". Why would Cloud look doubtful at Tifa's question if he loves her and
proved it under the Highwind somehow? Immediately afterward, Cloud admits that he loves Marlene. And yet he couldn't admit that with
Tifa? And yet CloTis insist that Cloud and Tifa consummated their love for one another during the Highwind Scene. Not only that, but they
insist that the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene is canon and that Cloud admitted feelings of love to Tifa.
So, why can't he tell
her again if he's already said it once and/or proven it by making love to her?

Does Cloud perhaps not wish to answer because he doesn't love Tifa romantically, only in a platonic sense (and has never told her that he
loves her, as CloTis want me to believe)? Does Cloud not wish to answer because he is uncomfortable around Tifa because they
haven't
ever been physically intimate? Does Cloud look confused because he isn't sure if Tifa is asking this as a sort of platonic love or in a
romantic way? If Cloud really did love Tifa in a romantic sense, he would have said "yes" to her, regardless of what kind of love she was
implying. Instead, he looked doubtful and confused, and chose to remain silent, which speaks volumes about Cloud's true feelings. It also
proves that he
never told her he loved her under the Highwind and he never made love to her.

The way that Tifa quickly changed the question also speaks volumes about
Tifa's feelings. She changed "Do you love me?" to "Do you
love Marlene?"
The only reason she would do that is because she is afraid to hear his honest answer. If he had already told her he loved
her, if he had already made love to her, why would she be afraid to hear Cloud's answer? The answer to this is simple-- she already
knows. Deep down in her heart, Tifa knows Cloud does not love her in a romantic sense and that
Aerith is the one in his heart.

G.
Cloud and Tifa never mention their evening under the Highwind, even to each other, EVER again.

If Cloud and Tifa had some wonderful sexual experience under the Highwind, don't you think that at least Tifa might have mentioned it to
Cloud at some point? At the very least, it should have been in Tifa's thoughts during the
Case of Tifa novella when she was having
problems with Cloud,
especially when she was asking him if he loved her. But neither of them mention it again... EVER.

Aerith, on the other hand,
does reminisce about her date with Cloud and the evening they spent together in Cosmo Canyon:

"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 inside Cloud's dream,
Final Fantasy Dismantled)

                                    ******************************

She looked up into the sky like the time she sat beside Cloud around the kindling fire in Cosmo Canyon. (
Maiden of the Planet)

So, if Aerith can remember her romantic moments with Cloud, why can't Tifa? Is it because nothing sexual occurred for her to remember?
Is it also because the High Affection version
isn't canon, so they did not confess feelings of romantic love in the first place? Yes on both
points
.

H.
The Highwind Scene receives no special recognition during the Compilation of FFVII.

While many scenes are mentioned in different guide books and Ultimanias, including
both versions of the Highwind Scene, the Highwind
Scene is noticeably
absent during the Compilation. So, what about ClAeris scenes? Glad you asked...

i.
Aerith's death/burial scene. This was a very poignant and bittersweet scene for all ClAeris fans as it showed the depth of Cloud's
sorrow for Aerith and yet also portrayed his gentleness toward her. It was a scene that spoke volumes of his true feelings for Aerith. This
scene was reproduced during the flashbacks to
FFVII which were shown at the beginning of AC and ACC. It was also shown during the
video
Reminiscence, which is a short film that was included with Advent Children and shows the events of FFVII.

ii.
Cloud falling through Aerith's church roof. This scene was the beginning of Cloud and Aerith's relationship, and was the first time in
the game they were properly introduced. It was after this that Cloud promised to be Aerith's protector for the chance to go on a date with
her. It is a scene that many ClAeris fans adore.

This particular ClAeris scene has been reused many times during the Compilation. During
Before Crisis, one of the characters falls through
the church roof. Later, in
Crisis Core, Zack is shown making a similar entrance and meeting Aerith in the same way Cloud does years
later. Also, in
AC/ACC, after Aerith heals Cloud, she transports him back to the church. For the second time in his life, Cloud awakens
lying in Aerith's flowerbed (albeit a flooded one) after a traumatic event. This scene was
also shown in Reminiscence.

iii.
The hand reach scene. This particular scene is one of the few romantic scenes contained in FFVII and an absolute favorite of ClAeris
fans all over the world. After Cloud defeats Sephiroth, he notices he is surrounded by Lifestream. Reaching up toward the light, Cloud is
rewarded by a glimpse of Aerith's hand, reaching out to take his own. However, they are interrupted as the Northern Cave begins to
collapse.

In
AC/ACC, though, Cloud and Aerith get a second chance. Aerith descends from the heavens to boost Cloud into his battle with
Bahamut-Sin. They reach for each other and Cloud is
finally able to take Aerith's hand, as he was unable to do two years previously.
From
Reunion Files:

Nojima: "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...."

Not only does the hand reach scene receive special homage in AC/ACC, it was also shown in all its heartfelt glory in Reminiscence.

iv.
The night at Cosmo Canyon. It was during this scene that Cloud came very close to confessing his feelings to Aerith. Aerith was
feeling very alone after learning about the Cetra and realizing that she was the last of her kind, saying,
"I'm......alone... I'm all alone now..."
Cloud attempts to comfort her and, in doing so, slips, revealing more than he intended:
"But I'm...... we're here for you, right?"

In Maiden of the Planet, Aerith remembers this scene fondly:

She looked up into the sky like the time she sat beside Cloud around the kindling fire in Cosmo Canyon.

So, where was the Highwind scene in the novellas? Where was the Highwind scene in
AC/ACC? Where was the Highwind Scene in
Reminiscence? Where was the Highwind Scene in any of the spin-off games made for the Compilation? That's right-- NOWHERE.

As shallow as the promise was, even the promise scene between Cloud and Tifa made it into the spin-off games and
Reminiscence. So did
Cloud's "rescue" of Tifa at the Nibelheim reactor. No Lifestream Event, no Highwind Scene, both of which CloTis insist are absolute CloTi
"proof" of Cloud and Tifa's love.
IF the Highwind Scene is supposed to reveal Cloud and Tifa's love for one another, then why isn't that
considered important enough to include in
Reminiscence, which is basically a summary of FFVII? Isn't Cloud and Tifa's so-called "love"
considered important enough for viewers to know about when watching
AC/ACC? It certainly doesn't look like it. Either that or maybe,
just maybe, CloTi fans have it wrong and Cloud
doesn't love Tifa, in which case it certainly wouldn't matter.

So, what of ClAeris scenes in
Reminiscence? Oh, so glad you asked! Included in Reminiscence are:

* Cloud buying a flower from Aerith
* Cloud and Aerith meeting in the Church
* Cloud and Aerith in the park
* Aerith appearing in Cloud's dream
* Aerith's death, Cloud's speech
* Aerith's burial
* The hand reach scene

The most
important ClAeris scenes are included. But, considering that CloTi fans insist that Cloud and Tifa became lovers under the
Highwind, seems kinda strange to leave something that important out... unless it just didn't happen. And that, folks, happens to be the case
here.

I.
A statement by Nomura has made his stance blatantly clear...

A Final Fantasy VII fan interviewed Tetsuya Nomura for Dorimaga magazine and asked, “How many girls has Sephiroth ever loved?” In
reaction, Nomura spoke evasively in anticipation of more questions regarding Cloud and Tifa’s love life, which have nothing to do with
Sephiroth.

Tetsuya Nomura: What kind of question is that? I’ve never thought about it. Honestly, I don’t care who loves whom. I think you could
imagine the scenerios that we don’t mention however you want to. You could enjoy talking about that with friends. 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
. (Dorimaga magazine interview with Nomura; November 2005)

So, here we have an interview published in November 2005, three months after the release of Advent Children, in which the director of
the film states that he
doesn't know if Cloud and Tifa were romantically involved after FFVII. If the director doesn't know, then why are
CloTis strutting around screeching "canon" everywhere and making false claims? Well, because that's what they've
always done. When
they fail to have any real evidence, they make up lies and twist the truth to make their pairing seem valid when it isn't.

The bottom line from Nomura's interview is this:
if Nomura doesn't even know if Cloud and Tifa were ever an item, then sex
clearly did not happen under the Highwind
. Also, apparently Cloud and Tifa never confessed their love to one another under the
Highwind either. So, the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene is obviously not the canon outcome. In fact, it is looking more and
more like the
Low Affection version of the Highwind Scene is the canon outcome from that infamous scene. The obvious friction and
unease between the two, coupled with the fact that they are not physically intimate, makes it blatantly obvious that a CloTi romance
hasn't
happened in the past and
isn't going to happen in the future.

Moving on from the sex topic, but not far...

4.
"The Highwind Scene was confirmed to be risqué!"

This is yet another lie. The Highwind Scene itself was never referred to as risqué. Here is the entire quote:

Kitase: "The event on the airship the night before the final battle was done by Katou as well, wasn't it."
Nojima: "Oh,
the bit with that risqué/suggestive dialogue? I wasn't the one who wrote that, that was Katou too."
Interviewer: “
Words aren't the only way to tell someone how you feel", that line, right? That's a rather mature conversation for
a FF game
.
Kitase: "Although I remember we had to tone down a version that was too strong."
Nojima: "The original idea was more extreme. The plan was for Cloud to walk out of the chocobo stable in the airship, followed by Tifa
leaving while she kept looking around, but Kitase rejected it. But I think perhaps no one expected that line to be so important [laughs]"
(
10th Anniversary Ultimania)

So, you'll notice that what is considered to be risqué/suggestive/mature is Tifa's line of "Words aren't the only way to tell someone how
you feel"
, not the Highwind Scene itself. It is only Tifa's dialogue that was considered risqué, not any supposed actions that took place
during the Highwind Scene. So, no, the Highwind Scene was
not considered risqué or mature. Cloud certainly did not respond in a
suggestive manner either, he merely sat there and said nothing.

Also, just to give you an idea of what Square ENIX considers suggestive, in the
Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, Nojima states in
an interview that Don Corneo stepping out of the Honeybee Inn and shouting
"Woot, this surely is fantastic!" can also be considered
risqué. So, that gives you an idea of what the creators consider risqué. It's actually quite
mild, and has nothing to do with banging on pointy
rocks out in the open while your friends watch.

Plus, if you take a look at the
10th Anniversary Ultimania interview, you'll notice Nojima said this:

"But I think perhaps no one expected that [Tifa's risqué] line to be so important [laughs]."

Why would they not consider that line important when they wrote it if this scene supposedly canonizes CloTi? Shouldn't they consider a
scene in which Cloud's true love interest is revealed important? And yet they
never considered it important at all. CloTi fans were the
ones who blew the scene out of proportion. It is as it was intended--
an optional scene that doesn't even matter in the long run. A
scene that was thrown in for replay value and nothing more.

5.
"Cloud and Tifa were confirmed to share mutual feelings of love under the Highwind!"/"Mutual feelings did not occur
during the Low Affection version!"

So... do Cloud and Tifa share mutual feelings of love under the Highwind? The answer to this is yes, they do, but only in one of two
optional versions of the Highwind Scene. The Highwind Scene itself has two versions that can occur and they are all based on the affection
levels that I spoke about earlier in this essay. So, based on choices that the player makes, Cloud
can return Tifa's feelings of affection
during the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene. However, it should be noted that there is also a Low Affection version of the
Highwind Scene, in which Cloud
does not reciprocate feelings of love for Tifa, only friendship. This makes Cloud's love for Tifa
completely optional, and under player control.

For more information on confirmation that the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene does indeed show feelings of mutual love
between Cloud and Tifa, you should take a look at
this essay.

CloTi fans like to claim that certain quotes make the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene canon. The simple truth is...
it isn't. The
Highwind Scene has no canon version and Square ENIX has not confirmed that either version is default. You can find more info on that in
this essay.

So, let's take a look at some of the quotes CloTis like to use:

"When Cloud proposes that the group separates temporarily, she remains behind at the airship and communicates her feelings together with
Cloud. " (
FFVII Ultimania Omega, pg. 27, Tifa's profile)

So, where exactly does it state what kind of feelings Tifa communicated? For all we know, this quote could mean feelings of friendship or
anxiety about the coming battle. Where does it say that Tifa communicated feelings of love for Cloud? And where does this quote say
anything about Cloud reciprocating whatever "feelings" Tifa communicated? It doesn't. It's left completely up in the air. And yet CloTi
fans like to claim that quotes like these can
only mean the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene when that is completely untrue.
Just because they
think something is canon doesn't make it so. And Square ENIX has certainly never agreed with them on this matter.

More quotes like the one above...

"Declares that the team should dissolve in the final hours before the final battle, and communicates his feelings together with Tifa, who
remains behind at the airship with him." (
FFVII Ultimania Omega, pg. 15, Cloud's profile)

Again, this quote does not specify what feelings Cloud and Tifa communicated. For all we know, they were communicating feelings of
friendship and support.

"When their companions disperse to the places where people important to them await, Cloud and Tifa are the only two to remain behind.
They reveal their mutual feelings in their final hours, and......." (
FFVII Ultimania Omega, pg. 198, story summary)

Again, there is nothing to suggest what feelings were revealed. Considering that there are two optional versions of the Highwind Scene, it is
just as likely that Cloud and Tifa's "mutual feelings" were that of support and friendship. It is much the same for the other quotes CloTis use.
For example:

"Cloud and Tifa, who remain, reveal their feelings for each other and confirm them to match." (FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania, pg.
118; pg. 120 in the Revised Edition; story summary)

                                                                           *****************

"And when Cloud and Tifa remain behind alone, in their final hours, they disclose that their feelings for each other match." (
FF 20th
Anniversary Ultimania
File 2: Scenario, pg. 232; main body of FFVII's story summary)

                                                                            *****************

"She communicates her feelings together with Cloud in the final stages of the story, and in AC and DC they live together." (
Crisis Core
Ultimania
, pg. 33, Tifa's profile)

Again, none of these quotes confirm what kind of feelings were communicated under the Highwind. Here are more quotes that speak of
affection levels and such...

"If Tifa's affection regarding Cloud is high, when the two stay behind at the airship, they will confirm that their feelings of desire/wanting
for one another match." (
FFVII Ultimania Omega, pg. 27, Tifa's profile)

                                                                           ******************

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)
                                 
You'll notice that the two quotes above both confirm that Cloud and Tifa will share feelings of mutual affection or "strong feelings" for each
other
only when "the degree of affection is high". So, what about the Low Affection scene? Here's a quote for ya...

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 for Cloud
. When the affection rating is low, the conversation in the scene where
they spend the night will be apathetic and ends quickly
. (page 198, Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega)

Here we have confirmation that the Low Affection version of the Highwind Scene does not contain feelings of mutual love. But, do Cloud
and Tifa still share feelings of some sort? Yes, they do! CloTi fans like to claim that "apathetic" means that no feelings whatsoever were
shared between Cloud and Tifa, but their definition of "apathetic" is not quite right. The actual definitions of "apathetic" are
"having or
showing little or no emotion"
and/or "not interested or concerned; indifferent or unresponsive". "Apathetic" does not mean that no feelings
were shared, it simply means that the scene itself was
lacking the strong feelings of mutual affection shown in the High Affection version.
In  other words, the Low Affection version's conversation showed Cloud to be uninterested in Tifa romantically. However, it doesn't mean
that they didn't share mutual feelings of friendship.

Mutual Feelings in the Low Affection Version...

So, why do I say that Cloud and Tifa can also share feelings of friendship and support, even in the Low Affection version? Well, it's right
there in the game...

Cloud: I know why I'm fighting. I'm fighting to save the planet, and that's
that. But besides that, There's something personal too... A very personal
memory that I have. What about you all? I want all of you to find that
something within yourselves. If you don't find it, then that's okay too. You
can't fight without a reason, right? So, I won't hold it against you if you
don't come back.

Cloud’s other group left the scene. Later, Cloud and Tifa remains in the
cockpit.

Cloud: What are you going to do, Tifa?

Tifa: Did you forget? I'm... all alone. I don't have anywhere to go.

Cloud and Tifa remain behind at the airship, because neither of them have a home to go to and no one amongst the living to say good-bye
to. So, they stay there together, keeping each other company. It's also interesting to note that Cloud doesn't seem to remember that Tifa
had nowhere to go, nor does he seem to expect her to stay with him. Sort of strange that Cloud wouldn't expect Tifa to stay with him,
especially if there was something personal between them, as CloTis claim. (Note: this conversation takes place before
both versions of the
Highwind Scene).

The Low Affection version of the Highwind Scene:

Tifa  "Everyone's gone..."

Cloud "Yeah, we don't have anywhere or anyone to go home to."

(She looks down.)

Tifa "You're right..."

(A pause. She looks up and straightens her hair with one hand.)

Tifa  "But... I'm sure someday... they'll come back, don't you think?"

(He crosses his arms)

Cloud "Hmm... I wonder...? Everyone has an irreplaceable something they're holding on to... But this time, our opponent..."     

(A long pause. The sound of the wind fades. Tifa nods)

Tifa   "Hmm...
But that's all right, even if no one comes back. As long as we’re together. With you by my side, I’ll never give up
no matter how bad it gets
.”

(He uncrosses his arms and looks at Tifa.)

Cloud  "...... Tifa......"

(She moves her arms behind her.)

Tifa  "No matter how close we are now... We were far apart before. But when we were in the Lifestream surrounded by all those screams
of anguish, I thought I heard your voice..."

(She closes her eyes, crying softly. Her arms fall to her sides and she bows her head.)

Tifa   "...sniff... you probably don't remember this... But deep in my heart I heard you calling my name... Or at least I thought I did..."    

(Cloud looks away into the distance.)   

Cloud “I see. I think I’ve heard it, too. Then, it was Tifa’s voice.”

(Tifa opens her eyes and looks up.)

Tifa  "Cloud...? Do you think the stars can hear us?"

(She gazes off to one side.)

Tifa  "Do you think they see how hard we're fighting for them?"

(Cloud looks up at the sky.)    

Cloud "I dunno... But...
Whether they can or not, we still have to do what we can. And believe in ourselves... I’ll find the answer
some day, as long as I keep trying.”

(Tifa nods.)    

Tifa “Yes, that’s right.”

(Cloud stares off into the distance.)

Cloud  “We’ve got a big battle tomorrow. We’d better get some sleep.”

Tifa  “Umm. I guess you’re right.”

(Tifa closes her eyes and shakes her head.)

Tifa states she will never give up as long as she has Cloud by her side. Cloud states that they have to do what they can and believe in
themselves. Then, the next morning...

(The scene fades in once more to the grassy hill. It is still mostly dark out, but the hint of a sun is glowing beyond the horizon. Cloud and
Tifa are seated on a small rise in the ground. Tifa is resting her head on his shoulder; both are dozing. Cloud lifts his head slightly.)

Cloud "…It's almost dawn..."  

Tifa  "H, huh...?"  

(He lifts his head further.)  

Cloud “Morning, Tifa. It’s almost dawn.”

(She lifts her head off his shoulder and looks around sleepily.)  

Tifa  “Mmm… Good morning, Cloud. Just a little longer… a little bit longer. This day will never come again... So let me have this
moment..."  

(She rests his head on his shoulder again.)  

Cloud  “......”

(The scene fades to black.)

(The scene fades in to show the Highwind hovering in the bright morning sky. The camera pans back down to the hill. Cloud is still sitting
down; Tifa has risen and is gazing up at the Highwind, her hands behind her back. After a few moments, she drops her hands and shakes
her head.)

Tifa "......"

(Cloud stands.)

Cloud "We'd better go."

(She turns to him and makes a pleading gesture.)

Tifa  "But, I still...!?"

(He turns to face her, shaking his head.)

Cloud  
"It's all right, Tifa. You said so yourself yesterday. At least we don't have to go on alone."

(A pause. Tifa nods)

Tifa  
"Yes... That's right!"

(He nods)

Cloud  "Okay! Let's go!"

There we have it. Cloud and Tifa share mutual feelings of support and friendship. They no longer have to go on alone, because they have
one another to rely on. They have become friends who are like family. These feelings were expressed quite plainly and shared by both of
them. CloTis like to claim that the "mutual feelings" were shared only the night before. However, you'll notice that the quotes I provided
above about "mutual feelings" simply state that the feelings were shared during
"the final hours before the battle", which could easily mean
the next morning. In fact, this conversation takes place during
both versions of the Highwind Scene. During the High Affection version of
the Highwind Scene, Cloud and Tifa are supporting one another out of mutual romantic love. But, during the Low Affection version of the
Highwind Scene, Cloud and Tifa are supporting one another out of mutual platonic love (friends who are like family).

This mutual support was even reiterated during
Case of Tifa:

“…I think it will be all right this time.”

Cloud thought for a while before he continued.

“Because this time it will be together with you, Tifa.”

“Haven’t I always been together with you?”

“What I mean is kind of different.”

Cloud replied, smiling again.

Cloud says everything will be all right because he has Tifa there to support him. He even specifically stated that things were different
between them. What he means is that, although he and Tifa had "always been together" during the events of
FFVII, it was only after the
Highwind Scene that they realized that they no longer had to go on alone. They had each other, whether it was in a romantic way (High
Affection) or platonic way (Low Affection).

And, back to the sex topic...

6.
"But Cloud and Tifa were confirmed as sharing 'feelings without words'! That can only mean sex!"

So, did Cloud and Tifa share "feelings without words"? Sure, they do. Where does it say this?




















Text below the picture:

VII – The night before the final battle
Thanks to Tifa, Cloud regains himself, and before the final battle with Sephiroth,
without using words, he confirms with her that their
feelings match
. (20th Anniversary Ultimania)

In the picture Tifa is saying, "This day will never come again... So let me have this moment...". This is something that Tifa says in both
versions of the Highwind Scene.

It is also interesting to note that Square ENIX is actually
showing the moment in which Cloud and Tifa express feelings without words. I
mean,
the caption matches the picture. They are sitting together in the photo in close physical proximity. Tifa is leaning against Cloud
where she has been sleeping on his shoulder and she is wanting the moment to go on longer. It really cannot get much more clear than that.

For years, CloTis have wildly speculated about what might or might not have happened between Cloud and Tifa when the scene fades to
black. The truth is actually quite simple:
we are shown Cloud and Tifa expressing feelings without words (see the picture above and
read the corresponding caption). And it is a scene that occurs in
both versions of the Highwind Scene. In the High Affection version, Cloud
and Tifa are expressing romantic feelings, in the Low Affection version, they are expressing platonic feelings.

From the High Affection version:

Tifa: Cloud... Words aren't the only thing that tell people what you're
thinking...

Cloud: ............

Later, during the middle of the night...

Cloud: ............It's almost dawn...

Tifa: H, huh...?

Cloud: Sorry. Did I wake you...? It's almost dawn, Tifa.

Tifa: Umm... G, good morning... Cloud. Give me a little longer... Just a little
bit longer... This day will never come again... So let me have this moment...

Cloud: Yeah... okay. This is probably the last time we'll have together......

There you have it. Tifa states "Words aren't the only thing that tell people what you're thinking...". Cloud is later shown sitting with his arms
folded with Tifa leaning against him, asleep. Are you telling me that a man letting a woman sleep on his shoulder
can't show romantic
affection? Later in the night, Cloud wakes Tifa talking to himself. Tifa says that she wants the moment to last longer, and Cloud allows her
to continue sleeping on his shoulder. Clearly
Tifa considered what was going on there to be important, romantic even, if she wanted it to
continue. Again, they
continued to express feelings without words. And it was blatantly shown in the photo above the caption about them
expressing feelings "without using words". In other words, you don't get spoon-fed the idea that Cloud and Tifa are sharing romantic
feelings. You get no "I love you" from either of them, because neither of them are confident enough to say it. It's just how they are. They're
both insecure introverted messes. But being together like that, watching the sun rise... it's enough for both of them to know how the other is
feeling.

I would also like to point out that Cloud and Tifa's "mutual feelings" are
also mentioned in the 10th Anniversary Ultimania and the same
picture as the one above is shown again (with Tifa's
same lines). For a second time, we are shown Cloud and Tifa sharing mutual feelings
without words. The creators have put it right in front of fans' faces. And yet CloTis still insist that something else (sexual, of course)
must
have happened. The funny thing is, they have
zero proof of it.

The morning after the Highwind Scene, in
both versions, Cloud and Tifa reaffirm what those mutual feelings were that they shared the night
before. In
both versions, they state that they no longer had to go on alone because they have one another.

  • In the High Affection version of the Highwind Scene, Cloud and Tifa share feelings of romantic love the night before and spend the
    night snuggling close and sleeping, watching the sun rise. Their closeness tells the other what they are thinking, even when they don't
    use words to say it. The next morning, they agree that they no longer have to go on alone because they are there for each other in a
    romantic way.

  • In the Low Affection version, Cloud and Tifa share feelings of friendship and support and Tifa spends the night sleeping on Cloud's
    shoulder in a platonic fashion. They still share feelings without words, even though Tifa's "risqué" line was left out. They are there for
    one another as friends who are like family, and Tifa leans on Cloud like a sister would a brother. In the morning, they agreed that
    they no longer have to go on alone because they are there for each other in a platonic way, as friends who are like family.

The two different versions of the Highwind Scene are, in reality, strikingly similar. The same basic elements are present in both. Cloud and
Tifa share a quiet moment sleeping next to one another, sharing feelings without words. Cloud and Tifa both agree that they are there for
one another and that they no longer have to go on alone. The only difference is that in one version Cloud and Tifa share that moment and
promise to stay together out of romantic love; in the other version Cloud and Tifa have the same moment and make the same promise, but
the feelings are platonic in nature (hence
High Affection vs Low Affection).

Sex...? Really???

Honestly... is sex the only way to show affection? Of course not! There are many, many ways to show that you love someone, including
holding hands, kissing, and snuggling. And yet CloTis seem to have this narrow-minded view that
only having sex can prove you love
someone. Kind of a twisted way of looking at things, if you ask me.

For years CloTis have continued to insist that this or that
must have happened during the fade-to-black that occurs during the High
Affection version of the Highwind Scene when they have absolutely nothing but their perverse imaginations to back up such a claim. Why
make things difficult when we are
shown the scene in which Cloud and Tifa share feelings without words? Why make wild claims that you
can't back up? Just go with the facts! And the facts here are quite obvious. For two such insecure and shy individuals as Cloud and Tifa, it
is quite in character for them to share romantic feelings without words by simply being in close physical contact, snuggling next to one
another as the sun rises. On the other hand, it is for sure
out of character for the two of them to have sex on the ground out in the open
while their friends watch.

All you have to do is use a little common sense here. You have two people here who have little to no experience with the opposite sex,
who are both extremely introverted and insecure, and are only confident in a battle situation. You also have a scene which the creators
specifically
toned down from a previous version that did indicate sex (in the High Affection version). In line with the creators' way of
thinking and in line with Cloud and Tifa as people, I wouldn't expect them to do much beyond sitting together peacefully, watching the sun
rise, which is
exactly what they did. How do I know this? Because it's shown.
The Highwind Scene
Optional Love