Clerith Vs. Cloti Debate

Clerith Vs. Cloti Debate

Part of a series on Final Fantasy VII. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 31, 2024 at 11:37AM EDT by Brandon.

Added Mar 30, 2024 at 07:02PM EDT by Tomberry.

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Clerith VS Cloti Is an ongoing online debate referencing shipping preferences by fans of the popular videogame franchise Final Fantasy VII, specifically between main character Cloud Strife and two potential romantic interests: Aerith Gainsborough (shipped as Clerith), a flower girl he met at the beginning of the game who became instantly infatuated with him or Tifa Lockhart (shipped as Cloti), his childhood friend. The debate came to a head following the release of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth in March 2024.


In the 1997 RPG game Final Fantasy VII, a "secret date" event[1] can be achieved through "affection points" obtained via specific actions, dialogue options and various side quests throught out the game. This gives our main protagonist, Cloud, the opportunity to go on a ferris wheel date with one of four potential candidates: Aerith, Tifa, Yuffie or Barret. Each choice unlocks unique scenes and dialogue (compilation shown below).


Since the game's release, fans were quick to divide themselves into two sides making theories about Cloud's potential romantic interests in either Tifa or Aerith which gave birth to two distinct ship names, Cloti and Clerith, each side defending their views of their respective shipping via possible hints in the original game and others that followed.
On July 28th 2007, YouTube user TeaddyBearTear posted an AMV video begging the question, highlighting various fanarts (shown below):

On September 25th 2009, fan website "The Lifestream" posted an analysis of what is referred to as "The Love Triangle of FFVII"[2]
During the 2010s, forums threads[3] and blog posts[4], especially on tumblr bloomed in defence of either couple.
In May 2022, a whole website dedicated to the Clerith fandom was launched[5].

Italian Senate Tifa

On January 17th, 2022, the Italian Senate was in the middle of a meeting about Transparent Public Service, for which they had Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Giorgio Parisi in attendance. Maria Laura Mantovani, one of the organizers behind the event, posted the room ID and password on her facebook page to the Zoom meeting and someone joined then began to broadcast an explicit video of Tifa and Cloud made by JuicyNeko for the livestream's duration. This livestream hack quickly propagated online and spread word of Cloti, as seen in the TikTok by TikToker Cloudiemcdoom[6] on January 21st, 2022, in which he pretends to be Cloud at a post-game interview following the event (shown below).

@cloudiemcdoom When Tifa's video leaked into the Italian Senate zoom meeting…😬 #cloudiemcdoom #tifalockhart #fyp #interview #finalfantasy #foryou #scandal ♬ original sound – cloudiemcdoom

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Revival

This next part contains spoilers related to plot points in the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth game
proceeds at your own discretion

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, second installment in the Remake series was released on february 29th 2024.
Granting access to the Gold Saucer amusement park in which the secret date sidequest could be achieved in the original game, it was brought back and updated in this newer version. This time, using the same affection system, it is possible to go on a date as Cloud with various characters from his team (compilation shown below).

A major difference in the outcomes emerged and was noticed by fans as, if the affection points are maxed out accordingly, Cloud and Aerith would have a heartwarming hug while Cloud flat out kissed Tifa, which added more fuel to the debate.
A compilation of fans reacting to the kiss was uploaded to YouTube on March 30th (shown below):



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