After 27 years, a Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth book has reignited efforts to solve a mystery that's been lingering since the original JRPG

Glenn Lobrok
(Image credit: Square Enix)

A new Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth booklet is catching fans' attention thanks to one short story that holds clues to a mystery everyone has been mulling over since the original JRPG launched 27 years ago. 

The Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth World Preview booklet is out now in Japan. The folks over at Shinra Archaeology Department have started the fan translation effort in earnest, focusing on a story called "2,000 Gil on the Road to be a Hero" that covers the onset of a 14-year-old Cloud's journey to Midgar. 

As Aitai Japan CEO and translation enthusiast Audrey summarizes on Twitter, the short story sheds light on Cloud's dear ol' dad, who has remained a mystery since the JRPG was first released 27 years ago. He's apparently an upbeat and optimistic guy who believes that "as long as you got 2,000 Gil in your wallet, you can go anywhere you like and overcome almost anything." Handy, as Cloud takes his dad's wallet, finds 2,000 Gil and uses it to go where he likes in a bid to overcome almost everything.

As Audrey also points out, this could lead us to a character we met in Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier called Glenn Lodbrok, a new and popular entrant in the 'is that Cloud's dad' arena. 

As for how the new story links to Lodbrok, we first learn that he owes someone 4,000 Gil – enough to use half to "go anywhere" twice over. Ever Crisis does put the debt down to Lodbrok being a habitual gambler trying to cover a family member's medical bills, mind you. Aside from that, the personality traits of Cloud's dad described here are quite Glenn-like. 

Lodbrok's introduction in Final Fantasy 7 spin-off titles The First Soldier and Ever Crisis had fans wondering if his blonde hair and Mako-green eyes provided the answer to who Cloud's dad is. It's partly a theory based on vibes, though The First Solider does take place around 15 years before the original Final Fantasy 7 begins, so the timelines match up.

Another popular fan theory I've seen kicked around over the years is that Cloud's dad is a Shinra, focusing on the company's presence in Nibelheim. The theory I'm more fond of is that he's just a guy. A Final Fantasy 7 Remake novel, Traces of Two Pasts, tells us he was a restless soul who wandered into the mountains one day and was never heard from again – his bag was discovered, but not him. Part of Cloud's appeal is his unremarkable background as a Shinra trooper who hoped for something more, getting just that after one act of heroism. So why not let his dad be just as unremarkable? 

The identity of Cloud's dad remains a fun thing to ponder and with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth around the corner, we may still get more clues.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth director's respect for the original JRPG's source material was influenced by a Disney live-action remake.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.