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Happy Birthday, Tifa Lockhart

A {belated} happy birthday is in order for one of the most decorated characters in the Final Fantasy franchise, Tina Lockhart. May 3 was the official D.O.B. for the honorable heroine.

Tifa Lockhart

As a tried and true Kingdom Hearts fan, I harbor a tiny bit of disdain for Final Fantasy. After all, if FF wasn’t around, KH would’ve been more of a priority and Square Enix would’ve likely dedicated even more time to it (and we wouldn’t have had a 14-year gap in-between KH II & KH III.) Nonetheless, as one of video games’ most popular and successful franchises, gaming is admittedly much better off with FF than without it.

Similarly, Tifa’s presence in the history of video games is a significant one. Even if you haven’t played a single Final Fantasy game, you’ve no doubt come across her name as one of the toughest women in gaming. She is often compared to the likes of Samus and Lara Croft as a strong and independent female character in video games.

Tifa Lockhart
Courtesy of Square Enix

Tifa is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake, and also plays a supportive role in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII. She also briefly appears in Kingdom Hearts II.  

 Designed by the legend Tetsuya Nomura, Tifa was not present in early versions of Final Fantasy VII, as initially, the game was to have only three playable characters. As one of FFVII’s leading ladies and childhood friend of the main character, Tifa is widely recognized as one of the greatest Final Fantasy characters of all time. She’s a character of great empathy and strength unmatched by most. Tifa has a vigorous combat style, fighting with her fists and brute force powerful enough to knock out monsters twice her size. She also uses martial arts and equips knuckles as her weapons. Basically, don’t let her looks fool you—she is not a chick to be messed with.

Despite her monstrous strength, Tifa is reserved and empathic, acting as a motherly figure towards her allies when providing encouragement and emotional support. Nomura describes Tifa’s character in the CGI film Advent Children as having several dimensions, calling her “like a mother, a sweetheart, and a close ally in battle” and “remarkably strong, not only emotionally, but physically as well.”

Tifa has established an eternal bond with Final Fantasy fans as a memorable character in video game history. While I can’t claim to be one of those fans, I can however acknowledge Tifa as a valuable member of the Square Enix family.

 Happy birthday, Tifa Lockhart!

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