Final Fantasy 7 Remake devs put "special effort into creating Cloud's hair," half of the character's total polygon count, in fact

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 7's Cloud Strife is one of gaming's most iconic characters. His striking, spiky hairstyle has not gone out of style in the 27 years since he first graced our screens. No matter what game you see him in, he just exudes cool, but there's no denying that since his debut appearance in 1997, he's had quite a glow-up. 

In Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, Cloud looks better than ever before, with a character model so detailed that you could probably count all of his individual pores if you really wanted to. Believe it or not, his character model's total polygon count has actually doubled from around 110,000 to 220,000 since 2020's Final Fantasy 7 Remake – a game that was already visually stunning. Of those 110,000 Cloud-based polygons in Remake, though, Square Enix definitely had its priorities in order, as it's been revealed in a PlayStation Blog post that half of them were dedicated to perfecting his luscious locks. 

"When people think of Cloud, most think of his gigantic sword and his unique hairstyle. Because it is so iconic, we needed to put special effort into creating Cloud’s hair for Final Fantasy 7 Remake, to properly express his personality," Square Enix's lead character artist and main character modeler, Dai Suzuki, explains. 

"The hair was an extremely high-priority element and in fact accounted for half of the total polygon count for the whole model. In Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the hardware has been changed to PS5, allowing for a higher polygon count to be used than in Final Fantasy 7 Remake."

For comparison, back in the original Final Fantasy 7, Cloud's battle model was made up of roughly 900 polygons, making his polygon count in Rebirth around 244 times larger. Meanwhile, his timeless Buster Sword was estimated to have had a polygon count of approximately 50-100 in the original, which has since grown to around 8,000 in Rebirth. 

There's no denying that the entire Final Fantasy 7 world, including the characters in it, now looks significantly better than it did in the late '90s, even if there is something incredibly nostalgic about those low-poly models. It makes you wonder how much more detail Square Enix might be able to cram into Cloud's hair for the third Remake installment. 

Looking for your next gaming adventure? Be sure to check out our ranking of the top 25 best RPGs for some recommendations.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.