cloud and tifa Coming into Final Fantasy VII Remake, voice actresses Britt Baron and Briana White–the girls behind 2 of Final Fantasy’s most cherished female personalities, Tifa and Aerith–understood they were interfering with a long, pregnant heritage of lovers. But one thing that they did not reasonably anticipate? Those lovers were dividing themselves into loyal legions above their characters.
Though Tifa and Aerith aren’t the sole female personalities –supporting cast member and Tifa’s fellow Avalanche manhood Jesse, and mystical magic artifact-swiping ninja Yuffie Kisaragi say hello –their essential roles in the overarching narrative and giant-sword-toting hero Cloud Strife’s arc’ve catapulted them into the forefront. But that place has swallowed a specific corner of Final Fantasy fandom that places itself in an endless discussion over a unique question: Are you currently Team Tifa or Team Aerith?
“I was curious,” Baron, who performs with Tifa/Team Aerith at Remake, recently explained to io9 over the phone. “Are we playing that? Is that a competitive connection?”
Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Leading Women on Strong cloud and Tifa
Due to the fact that lovers often don’t feel any competition between themselves, this debate often comes down to who finds Cloud more appealing or competent – usually depending on which protagonist has stronger connections to him. Ancient story arcs hint at potential romance between Cloud and Tifa–his childhood friend whom he expresses great affection for–or Aerith, drawn to him due to familiarities with a former paramour of hers. At one point in 1997 when viewing an entertainment megacomplex called Golden Saucer, players could select which of those two they would like for a date (they could also choose fellow party members like Yuffie or Barrett back then).
Remake never fully heals the relationship between Aerith and Tifa as two rivals; rather, it treats them as one of sports’ greatest friendships – something Baron and White were equally surprised and delighted to discover after hearing whispers about “Team Tifa/Team Aerith” talks ever since they had been cast. “This is so fascinating,” White commented; these women weren’t likely to be pitted against each other if we weren’t present,” adding with delight: “That took Britt by surprise – and even surprised me too!”
“From the start,” Baron noted, it became abundantly clear that Tifa and Aerith were simply two powerful females who work and fight alongside one another and care about one another – something which had been really exciting for me personally,” as they weren’t at odds over Cloud’s affections. “If it had been presented as ‘girls are trapped against each other/fighting over this individual’s affection’ I wanted it to represent two strong women who are distinct yet can work together and be friends – just like real life!”
White noted the unique bond between Tifa and Aerith, as well as their fellow personalities, throughout Final Fantasy’s history. “One thing you see in so many great Final Fantasy games is this link between personalities,” she noted. “Final Fantasy creates characters which cause you to fall in love together…and they all have special bonds with one another too.”
“That is what draws me to these characters,” White commented, “their humanity. So it makes sense that Remake would follow suit – how natural could that be?” she asked incredulity. “How backward can that seem?”
“I have many female friends whom I adore and support, encourage and develop,” Baron explained. “In the media we often see depictions of girls fighting and backstabbing each other–this isn’t accurate in my experience or knowledge,” she continued. “Tifa and Aerith’s relationship throughout this match was thrilling for me personally–plus meeting Brianna was amazing because we had spent hours talking to her voice [from the recording booth].”