Final Fantasy 7, considered by many the best Final Fantasy game of them all, has a handful of characters, each with their own interesting back-story, abilities, and way of life. Use each character to their advantage as time passes.
[ Cloud | Aeris | Barret | Tifa ]
[ Cid | Red XIII | Cait Sith | Yuffie | Vincent ]
Cloud Strife, the main character in Final Fantasy 7, is an ex-Shinra employee who quit and joined a rebel team known as AVALANCHE. At first only focusing on money to get by, Cloud is indeed a mercenary himself, taking any job that he can. When AVALANCHE became a part of his life, however, Cloud took part in an even larger adventure than he had ever expected.
Cloud's specialty is physical strength. Though he has the ability (just like any other character) to use magic, his enormous Buster Sword is his primary weapon, allowing him to deal deadly physical attacks on any enemy. In addition to his attacks, Cloud has some of the most powerful Limit Breaks in the game, many of which allow him to hit all enemies at once. His final Limit Break, Omnislash, allows him to rain destruction upon all enemies.
Aeris Gansborough, one of the supporting women in Final Fantasy 7, is a beautiful "flower-girl" from the slums of Midgar. You first see her immediately after your first mission at the reactor, doing...what else? Selling flowers! Aeris is an extremely memorable character in Final Fantasy 7 history, going down as a legend when it comes to RPG characters.
Aeris is a proven magical fighter. Being not very strong with just her quarterstaff, she makes up for it with a high magic stat, allowing her to perform healing and attack spells at a whim, and with power to boot. Her Limit Breaks generally focus on healing the party, eventually culminating in one of the most useful Limit Breaks in the game, Great Gospel.
Barret, the trash-talking leader of AVALANCE, is truly a very kind and considerate man. His heart has been set on protecting the earth since he first started AVALANCHE before the game began. With his friends and allies, Barret does his best to reach his goal of not only destroying Shinra, but saving the world.
Barret's right arm, after an accident several years before the game starts, is the proud owner of a giant gun. Where the bullets come from we have no idea, but Barret uses it to deal physical and magical damage to all enemies from afar, making him a true asset to your party. His limit breaks are also devastating not only phsyically, but sometimes magically.
Tifa, the lively go-getter of the AVALANCHE group, is a very old friend of Cloud's. So old, in fact, that it's only by coincidence that Tifa and Cloud were reunited after not seeing each other for a good 10+ years. When Cloud joins the group, Tifa does her best to not only keep the group together, but also to keep Cloud there.
Tifa relies on her fists to fight with, so it goes without saying that she's a physical attacker. Being able to pull off complicated combos on the enemies is Tifa's bag of tricks, and she does it well. Her Limit Break is a series of "slots", where you choose if you hit or miss. If you "hit" all 7 times, you hit the enemy / enemies 7 times.
Cid is the foul-mouthed engineer who originally created the mighty airship Highwind, and the smaller plane, Tiny Bronco. Though he acts rough sometimes, he is truly a kind-hearted fellow, helping his teammates with not only the Tiny Bronco, but also the Highwind. With his engineering expertice, Cid is truly an asset to the party.
Cid uses a large spear to deal physical damage to the enemies. Cid can also use magic relatively well, so all in all he's a well-rounded character. His limit breaks are very much like Cloud's, just with a spear. His final Limit Break, Highwind, can kill enemies and bosses very quickly.
Red XIII is an unknown wolf-like creature from Cosmo Canyon. The first time you see him is in Midgar, where unfortunate events are happening to him. When Red joins your party, he proves to be a very powerful ally, being not only strong but also very very smart.
Red favors a headdress to attack his enemies. When he attacks, he jumps up, does a little flip and then attacks, causing damage depending on the enemy and his strength. Red is also proficient in magic abilities, making him, like Cid, a powerful ally. Red's Limit Breaks are also extremely powerful, allowing him to deal devastating damage as well as party-helping effects.
Cait Sith, in a nutshell, is a giant puppet controlled by some magical force by the cat on top. You first meet Cait Sith as a fortune teller in the Gold Saucer, where he immediately joins your party. Throughout the game, you learn more and more about this giant doll, including who is behind it and where it came from.
Cait, which we assume is the cat on top of the moogle, uses a horn to yell orders at the giant moogle-puppet it sits on. The moogle-puppet then proceeds to attack enemies with its fists. Cait appears to be more oriented towards magical attacks, as he isn't very strong with physical attacks. Though he only has two limit breaks, each are extremely helpful in some battles.
Yuffie is the rambunctious young lady from Wutai in the search for new and better materia to help her village-town. In her search for this materia, however, she has become incredibly obsessed by it. At many intervals throughout the game, you'll find her goggling over some materia from shops or even your materia...
Yuffie is an asset to your party in battle. Her long-ranged attacks and magical abilities even out, allowing her to deal devastating damage to any enemy, assuming she has the right setup. Her Limit Breaks are a mix of long and short-ranged attacks and one healing attack, and her "Doom of the Living" attack is an extremely useful Limit to have at the end of the game.
Vincent is a very mysterious character. Originally hailing from Midgar as one of the Turks, he has had a very rough life with many terribly and unmentionable events occuring. As the game progresses, Vincent is on a quest to not only save the world, but find one particular person.
Vincent's main form of attack is his gun, making him a long-range attacker. This is very helpful in battle if you want him to take less damage but inflict more damage to the enemy. He isn't quite as powerful at magic as some others, but he can use it if he wishes. Vincent's Limit Breaks cause him to turn into powerful beasts, each with their own skill-set and each more powerful than the last.
Sephiroth, the general of the Shinra army, is an extremely powerful and important person. Years before Final Fantasy 7 begins, Sephiroth commanded an expedition to Mount Nibel, where he and several others examined a problematic mako reactor. However, while there, Sephiroth went through many troubled times. Eventually he completely disappeared from the radar, until such a time that one Cloud Strife began his own journey.
Sephiroth is the only one who can wield the extremely powerful blade, Masamune. This 5-foot-long sword, along with his amazing knowledge of magic, allows him to deal an enormous amount of damage to any enemy he comes across. Though he does not have any Limit Breaks that you can use, his sheer strength and magical abilities should provide more than enough reason to fear him.