He doesn't need to. He just needs someone to surround him with light.Tifa to Sephiroth
Tifa is a character in Kingdom Hearts II that originates from Final Fantasy VII. Tifa may or may not be a human resident of Hollow Bastion, but rather a physical embodiment of Cloud's inner light to oppose Sephiroth, who symbolizes his inner darkness. The ambiguity of her nature was deliberately inserted by Nomura in order to generate discussion among players.
Tifa is portrayed as kind and strong, but reserved. She is shown to be unflinchingly loyal and persevering, as demonstrated by her continued quest to help Cloud, despite setbacks. She is brave and confident of her abilities, as shown by her brief fight against Sephiroth.
Like Cloud, Tifa's appearance in Kingdom Hearts II is based off of her look in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. She has long—roughly waist-length brown hair that is tucked behind her ear on the left side, showing that she has a sliver, teardrop-shaped earring. Her eyes are rust colored and she seems to wear pink lipstick.
She wears a black, leather tank top with a zipper down the front overtop a slightly longer, white tank top (similar to her original shirt in Final Fantasy VII). Tifa also wears a black, leather skort with two black ribbons tied on either leg. The back of this skort is quite long and reaches the floor. She also wears black, leather gloves and black and white shoes, with black ribbons tied around each.
During Sora's first trip back to Hollow Bastion, Tifa appears inspecting Ansem the Wise's study, looking for "a guy with spiky hair." Sora pulls on one of his own spikes before Tifa laughs and says "Spikier".
The person she's looking for turns out to be Cloud, and she almost catches up to him during the Heartless invasion, but he chases after Sephiroth, leaving her to fight a large group of Heartless on her own. She is later the third person to fight alongside Sora in the Ravine Trail, preceded by Yuffie and Leon, and followed by Cloud.
If Sora wins the optional Sephiroth boss fight, he can find Cloud and tell him that Sephiroth is waiting for their battle. It is as this confrontation with Sephiroth reaches its climax that Tifa finally catches up to Cloud. She tries to help Cloud, saying that all that needs to be done is to surround him in light, and telling Sephiroth that the darkness will always be there, but in a place that he can't reach. She fights with Sephiroth very briefly, then gives Cloud the light to overcome his darkness, after which the two men return to battle and disappear once again, leaving her to continue the pursuit.
After this, Tifa will give Sora the Fenrir Keychain. Cloud and Sephiroth are the only Final Fantasy VII characters she interacts with; she never meets with Aerith, Yuffie, or Cid. However, Yuffie is debatable, because Tifa fights alongside Yuffie in Round 10 in the Hades Paradox Cup. Although she appears in Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden, much like Cloud and Sephiroth, it is unclear if it is her homeworld, though Cloud has been confirmed to originate from Radiant Garden.
She possesses the same tremendous strength she did in Final Fantasy VII, easily capable of high level martial arts such as lifting a gigantic portrait of Xehanort, and kicking a wall hard enough to shake a whole room (her high physical strength being displayed in a comical way is a small running gag). During the Battle of the 1000 Heartless she proved more than capable of defending herself from the Heartless with her combat skills, and was shown to briefly be able to fight Sephiroth and dodge several of his attacks until Cloud's intervention.
She can perform her final Limit Break attack called "Final Heaven", which enables her to send a massive energy blast at her opponent.
Tifa grew up in the village of Nibelheim with Cloud Strife until he left for Midgar to become a member of SOLDIER, but fails. A few years later the fateful Nibelheim Incident took place. Sephiroth killed several people and burned down the village. Tifa, with Cloud and Zack, tried to fight Sephiroth. Tifa and Zack were badly wounded, but Cloud managed to defeat Sephiroth.
In the intervening years between this event and the beginning of Final Fantasy VII, Tifa trained in martial arts to become stronger and joined AVALANCHE, an anti-Shinra group, when she reunites with Cloud. When they learn that Sephiroth is still alive and plotting evil, they decide to fight and defeat him once and for all, with the help of other characters.
- Tifa was intended to be featured with Cloud and Sephiroth in the original Kingdom Hearts, but was removed due to time constraints.
- She may or may not also be a human resident of Hollow Bastion, but rather a physical embodiment of Cloud's light to oppose Sephiroth, who symbolizes his darkness. The ambiguity of her nature was deliberately inserted by Nomura in order to generate discussion from the players.
- In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Tifa's EX Mode allows her to don her ultimate weapon, the "Premium Heart" set of fighting gloves; in their Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy incarnation, they have the heart from the Kingdom Hearts logo on them.
- Regarding her two voice actresses, her Japanese voice actress, Ayumi Ito, had already voiced her in the Japanese version of Advent Children, which was already released in Japan before Kingdom Hearts II, and reprised her role again for this game, whereas this is reversed for her English voice actress; this game marked the debut performance of her English voice actress, Rachael Leigh Cook, who later reprised her role in the English version of Advent Children, which was later released in the United States after the English version of Kingdom Hearts II.
- Tifa and Zack are the only two Final Fantasy VII characters to not debut in Kingdom Hearts I; Tifa debuted in Kingdom Hearts II and Zack debuted in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, respectively.
- In addition, Kingdom Hearts II and Birth by Sleep mark Tifa and Zack's only respective appearances in the series to date.
- While Aerith and Yuffie, the other two female Final Fantasy VII characters, have multiple appearances in the Kingdom Hearts series, Tifa has multiple appearances in the Dissidia: Final Fantasy series. Aerith appeared in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a DLC assist-only character, marking her only appearance in the Dissidia series to date.
- Out of all the Final Fantasy VII characters (or Final Fantasy characters in general) to appear in Kingdom Hearts II, Tifa receives the least publicity and promotion, and the least interaction with Sora, Donald, Goofy, and/or the other Final Fantasy characters; nonetheless, the game does hold the important distinction of establishing Rachael Leigh Cook as Tifa's primary English voice actress.
- Because she is categorized within the Final Fantasy series as a monk who specializes in hand-to-hand combat, Tifa is the only character in the Kingdom Hearts series who can fight heartless without any weapons, other than just her hands and feet.
- Although her last name, Lockhart, is never mentioned in her cameo appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, it could theoretically take on a different meaning than in Final Fantasy VII. In Final Fantasy VII, her last name alluded to keeping secrets locked inside her heart, but in Kingdom Hearts II, her last name could imply that her heart is in fact locked, which means that the heartless cannot get her heart, but that would in turn mean that Tifa would have to develop an extremely strong resistance against the corrupting forces of darkness in order to achieve a locked heart. As it is implied that Tifa is the embodiment of Cloud's light to oppose Sephiroth, who represents Cloud's darkness, she has most likely developed an extremely strong resistance against darkness. Ironically enough, her in-game outfit, which was taken directly from Advent Children, is mostly black in color.
- Tifa is the only Final Fantasy character to not receive an original Kingdom Hearts-style redesign, as her Kingdom Hearts II outfit was taken directly from Advent Children, possibly for promotional reasons to match Cloud's new outfit, and also possibly because her classic Final Fantasy VII outfit, which is used for her Dissidia appearances, might have been considered "too sexy" for the game; as it lacks a sports bra underneath her tank top, and modesty shorts underneath her skirt, and may have given Kingdom Hearts II a Teen rating instead of an E10+ rating by the ESRB (the E10+ ESRB rating did not exist at the time of the first game's release). Her Final Fantasy VII Remake outfit was designed to make her slightly more modest than her classic outfit, adding a sports bra and modesty shorts.