This article is about the original version of Death Battle's 22nd episode. You may be looking for the re-examined version of Link VS Cloud from 2021.


Episode 22 - Legend of Zelda VS Final Fantasy VII! Two heroic swordsmen enter the arena, but only one will leave alive. Does the Hero of Hyrule and his vast arsenal stand a chance against the superhuman might of Cloud Strife?

Link VS Cloud, retroactively titled Link VS Cloud (2012), is the 22nd episode of Death Battle, featuring Link from the The Legend of Zelda series and Cloud Strife from the Final Fantasy series in a battle between iconic video game swordsmen.


Boomstick: They're two of the most iconic swordsmen in video game history, known for taking on things way out of their league.

Wiz: Link, the champion of Hyrule.

Boomstick: And Cloud Strife, guardian of the lifestream. And orphans.

Wiz: Since both combatants use such vast player-customizable arsenals, in this scenario, they will wield what they are most comfortable taking into battle.

Boomstick: These are the weapons they choose to take into their fighting games. However, since standard skills, weapon traits and armor aren't specified in Dissidia and Smash, we're taking those from their whole story.

Wiz: And remember, in Death Battle, there is no outside help allowed.

Boomstick: "Oh, but Boomstick, they have summons, and they're cool, and fairies, and their–" SHUT UP! It's our show, and this is the way we do it!

Wiz: I'm Wizard and he's Boomstick, and it's our job to analyze their weapons, armor, and skills to find out who would win... a Death Battle.


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Link's Theme
by Junichi Nakatsuru
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Wiz: Link is the multi-incarnated hero of the Hyrule Kingdom. Humble and brave, he has defeated the forces of evil for 10 generations.

Boomstick: Each fairy hero is linked... Haha! each other.

Wiz: No, Boomstick, he's not a fairy.

Boomstick: Pointy ears, tights, magic, and look at that hair! Fairy.

Wiz: Each incarnation of Link bears the Spirit of the Hero, bestowing the unbreakable will and combat prowess of each previous owner.

Boomstick: Since he's got over 10 Links of learning to work with, he's an expert with tons of weapons and magic, especially his iconic Master Sword.

Wiz: This double-edged blade was forged by the goddess Hylia to slay powerful demons. It repels evil and deflects light-based magic.

Boomstick: And when Link's in top shape, he can shoot beam thingies out of it. Why this changes when he takes a hit, I don't understand, but hey, LASERS!

Wiz: When low on energy, the Master Sword can still launch the Skyward Strike by calling upon power from above. In addition, it utilizes three magical medallions.

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Hyrule Castle
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Wiz: However, the Master Sword is far from Link's only weapon.

Boomstick: He's got some deep pockets. He somehow carries around a boomerang and tons of bombs, along with a hookshot which helps him zip line his way around and brings things to him. Man, that really would've helped to get that last beer all those times on the couch. Probably still be married.

Wiz: Doubt it. Link is an excellent archer, and uses the Hero's Bow in conjunction with several different arrow types. However, much of Link's arsenal is more suited to exploration than combat.

Boomstick: Which is why he hides behind several layers of defense, like the Red Ring, which reduces injury by 75%.

Wiz: The Golden Gauntlets brace his arms against intense pressure, though do not increase striking power. He also carries three different pairs of boots.

Boomstick: Three, huh? Told you he's a fairy.

Wiz: The Iron Boots weigh 130 pounds, the Hover Boots float in midair, and the Pegasus Boots with attached Roc's Feather increases Link's speed and agility to superhuman levels.

Boomstick: But his best defense is the Hylian Shield.

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Staff Roll
by Hajime Wakai
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Wiz: Originally forged from the Thunder Dragon Lanayru, the Hylian Shield is completely indestructible.

Boomstick: Link also has a little help from the goddesses, via the Triforce of Courage. This tiny golden triangle embodies his ability to beat overwhelming odds.

Wiz: He is a puzzle solver, analyzing and exploiting his opponents' weaknesses even when there is only one possible means of winning. But, while Link has the necessary tools to take on any opponent, his over-reliance of inventory over pure skill leaves him vulnerable.

Boomstick: Still, anyone who can fight a guy three times his size, while wielding a sword twice as large as he is, is a badass in my book. With so many weapons and skills, there are few who can stand a chance against the Hero of Hyrule. Plus, if he dies, we can always just clap and bring him back to life.


Link pulls the Master Sword out of its pedestal.

Cloud Strife

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Mako Reactor
by Nobuo Uematsu
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Wiz: Cloud Strife, guardian of the Lifestream, is no ordinary swordsman.

Boomstick: There's no way around it. He's a fuckin' super soldier, but damn, he's in desperate need of a haircut.

Wiz: Impulsive and moody, Cloud strove to join the illustrious soldiers of the Shinra organization. Instead, he was forcefully exposed to Mako poisoning, a raw energy drained from the planet itself.

Boomstick: And somehow it gave him all the memories of his dead buddy, Zack, including his First Class SOLDIER training. Thanks, strangely convenient planet poison.

Wiz: That's not all Cloud inherited from his friend. His main weapon is Zack's Buster Sword, a colossal single-edged blade. With his strength, Cloud can swing this much faster than any normal human.

Boomstick: Holy shit! Look at it! That's a man's sword right there!

Wiz: The Buster Sword contains two slots for materia, condensed Mako that grants magical abilities. However, since their creation damages the planet, Cloud has limited his materia use.

Boomstick: He typically carries the Firaga materia, which shoots fire at things. And in the last slot, we're giving Cloud his most iconic materia: Thundaga. This materia can shoot electricity and summon lightning bolts.

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Bombing Mission
by Nobuo Uematsu
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Wiz: Cloud has an encyclopedia's worth of anger issues, which actually works to his advantage. He can channel his rage into extremely powerful Limit Break attacks.

Boomstick: These emo-charged Limit Breaks range from paralyzing foes with Cross Slash to launching meteors from his sword. But his deadliest move is the Omnislash, a move so fast and powerful, it practically guarantees victory.

Wiz: As he doesn't carry any other materia, Cloud obviously wears Ziedrich armor. While this magical band has zero materia slots, it grants the wearer an extraordinary amount of defense, and halves damage received from elemental, magical and physical effects.

Boomstick: Also, Cloud wears a ribbon, which makes him immune to all status effects like burns and stuns. Well, I guess that makes it worth wearing a freakin' chick accessory.

Wiz: Cloud is brash and aggressive, but not the brightest fighter. He often relies on overpowering opponents through sheer ferocity and brute strength.

Boomstick: Like a badass! You don't need to think too hard when you're strong enough to cut through freakin' skyscrapers. Cloud's singlehandedly taken down quite a few powerhouses, like the giant Bahamut SIN, and planet-busting Sephiroth. He's even been completely impaled and shrugged it off like it was nothing! Multiple times! I mean, look at this shit!

Wiz: It's impossible to deny, Cloud's superhuman abilities make him one of the deadliest swordsmen in video game history.

Boomstick: Even if he looks like a girl.

Cloud witnessed and cries over Zack's death.


Wiz: Alright, the combatants are set. Let's end this debate once and for all!

Boomstick: But first, I command you to obey the following message!

Wiz and Boomstick read out an advertisement for GameFly.

Boomstick: Well, I would be stupid not to do that right after this DEATH BATTLE!!!

Death Battle

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Those Who Fight/Fighting (Metal)
by Artificial Fear
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Link and Cloud face each other, swords drawn in a large ScrewAttack arena.

Fight season 1

Cloud charges at Link and tries to swing his Buster Sword, but Link blocks with his Master Sword. Cloud is sent backward, while Link is sent into the air. While in the air, Link fires two Sword Beams at Cloud, who deflects them. Cloud then jumps into the air, performs a flip and smashes his Buster Sword into the ground, causing a Blade Beam to go straight at Link, who blocks the attack with his Hylian Shield but gets launched back. Cloud charges at Link and they both swing at each other. Cloud uses Cross-Slash on Link, who blocks with his Hylian Shield, and on the last swing, Link rolls under Cloud.

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Power, Wisdom, Courage
by Powerglove
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Link strikes Cloud with a Spin Attack, who is sent flying back. Cloud uses the Thundaga Materia and fires multiple shots at Link, who runs and blocks them with the Master Sword. Then Link jumps and performs another Spin Attack, deflecting the Materia. Cloud jumps into the air and fires a huge Thundaga at Link from above. Link uses his Master Sword to absorb the Thundaga. As Cloud lands, Link fires a Thundaga-fueled Skyward Strike at Cloud, who gets hit and is sent flying.

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Tenrai - Divinity II
by Nobuo Uematsu
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As Cloud remains in the air, Link takes his Hero's Bow and fires arrows at Cloud, who deflects them with his Buster Sword. Cloud lands and charges at Link, who charges an Ice Arrow. Once Cloud is close enough, he fires it, freezing Cloud, but thanks to Cloud's Ribbon, he immediately thaws out. Cloud charges Link at swings, but Link dodges and throws a Boomerang, leaving him defenseless for a moment and allowing Cloud to deliver a series of sword strikes on him. Cloud then proceeds to use Climhazzard and Link attempts to counter with his Master Sword. Cloud eventually performs a mighty upswing, knocking the Master Sword out of Link's hands and forcing him to hide behind his Hylian Shield. Cloud delivers blow after blow on Link's Hylian Shield.

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Staff Roll
by Hajime Wakai
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Then the Boomerang from earlier comes back and hits Cloud, stunning him for a few seconds. Link uses his Hookshot and retrieves his Master Sword. Link then swings at Cloud, sending him flying. In the air, Cloud uses his Firaga Materia and fires a few shots at Link. Link puts on his Pegasus Boots, begins to increase his speed, and runs with his Hylian Shield outstretched. Dodging the Firaga, Link stops and runs up a pillar. Link launches himself at Cloud, striking him with another Spin Attack. Link lands on a platform above the ground, while Cloud lands on a small ring on a pillar. Cloud then uses Meteorain, sending meteors at Link.

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Battle in the Forgotten City
by Nobuo Uematsu
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Cloud: Stars, rain down!

Link uses his Hylian Shield and blocks every meteor. While Link is distracted blocking the meteors, Cloud charges and strikes Link with his Buster Sword, sending Link into the air.

Cloud: This ends here!

Cloud then performs his ultimate technique, Omnislash Version 5, on Link, who manages to block the majority of the attack with his Hylian Shield. Once Cloud goes for the final strike, Link uses Z-Targeting to execute a well-placed sword swing, striking Cloud in the middle of the final blow and causing him to slam into the ground.

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Gerudo Valley
by The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony
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As Cloud falls to the ground on his knee, succumbing to his wound, Link throws a flurry of Bombs. The bombs explode, sending Cloud flying in the air, and with help from the Triforce, Link performs the Fatal Blow, piercing through Cloud. Link lands with his Master Sword buried into the ground as Cloud's lifeless body falls shortly after. Link then gets up and walks away.

Ko season 1


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The Legend of Zelda Orchestra
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Boomstick: Whoa! Chalk one up for the fairy guy; that was awesome!

Wiz: In what might be the closest duel in Death Battle history, Link's combination of arsenal and strategy were just enough to defeat Cloud's brute force.

Boomstick: Not to mention his items helped him match Cloud's superhuman abilities.

Wiz: Cloud may be powerful, but Link's Golden Gauntlets were stronger. In Ocarina of Time, Link used them to lift –and throw– an enormous column of granite. As granite weighs 166 pounds per square foot, this means Link can withstand over a thousand tons of pressure, surviving any of Cloud's assaults.

Boomstick: Cloud should've had his mind on more than just the Master Sword.

We cut to the "Winner" card.

Wiz: The winner is Link.



  • 10 generations of experience
  • Shield means better defense
  • Less predictable fighting style
  • Expert at finding weaknesses
  • Can fight up close or at a distance
  • Smarter fighter
  • Support items match Cloud's superhuman abilities


  • Jenova cells extremely vulnerable to Master Sword's magic
  • Naturally faster & stronger
  • Building limit breaks takes time
  • More predictable fighting style
  • Ribbon nullified arrow magic
  • Straightforward & predictable combat failed against Link's analytical style



  • The connections between Link and Cloud are that they are both blonde, quiet, powerful swordsmen and main protagonists of iconic Japanese video game series famous for defining story-based video game genres (The Legend of Zelda for action-adventure games and Final Fantasy for RPGs, respectively). Both are wielders of some of the most iconic swords in video game history (the Master Sword and the Buster Sword, respectively) and are the arch-enemies of villainous, nigh-immortal, magical swordsmen with strong ties to their past (Ganondorf, the reincarnation of Demise who was defeated by a previous incarnation of Link, and Sephiroth, who was Cloud's former SOLDIER superior and destroyed his hometown). Both have also fought villains who had plans to destroy their world with a meteor-like object (Majora, who wanted to destroy Termina with the Moon, and Sephiroth, who wanted to destroy the planet with a giant meteor, respectively). Both also have had a history of crossdressing (Link did so in Breath of the Wild to blend in with the Gerudo, while Cloud did so in his games to infiltrate Don Corneo's mansion).
  • This is the first episode to be animated in 3D.
  • As stated by Wiz at the start of the post-analysis, this was the closest match-up so far at this point in Death Battle history, since it's been stated more than once that this battle caused the most arguments within the crew.
  • This is the first episode that would have a prediction blog made on it by the G1 members that would go on to make up the initial Research Team.[1]
  • The controversial result of this episode was referenced in Deadpool VS Mask, in which Deadpool used the Continuity Gem to show a possible alternate outcome for this episode in which the roles of the winner and loser were reversed, alongside Rogue VS Wonder Woman, Goku VS Superman 2, Yang VS Tifa, and Gaara VS Toph.
  • This is the first episode to have the "Winner" card say "WINNER" instead of the winning combatants' name. Although the card would revert back to saying the combatant's names from the next episode onwards, this would later become a permanent change starting with Ryu Hayabusa VS Strider Hiryu.


  • Cloud uses Omnislash Version 5 in the battle, a technique that would normally require the Fusion Sword. However, Cloud does not use the Fusion Sword at any point in the fight, using his classic Buster Sword instead to do the technique.



  1. Additionally this fight was the first ep that introduced the Fan Blog that would later become the Research Team. Essentially it was a group started by Lousy, Akuma, and two other community members (SamuraiSpartan and PSB) who would make blogs to predict the winner of each Death Battle fight.
    Matthew Jones, Ultraguy Death Battle Retrospective Eps 21-30
Season 1 1 Boba Fett VS Samus Aran (2010)2 Akuma VS Shang Tsung3 Rogue VS Wonder Woman4 Goomba VS Koopa5 Haggar VS Zangief6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Battle Royale7 Zitz VS Leonardo8 Yoshi VS Riptor9 Felicia VS Taokaka10 Kratos VS Spawn11 Bomberman VS Dig Dug12 Vegeta VS Shadow13 Mario VS Sonic (2011)14 Justin Bieber VS Rebecca Black14.5 DEATH BATTLE! vs The World15 Luke Skywalker VS Harry Potter16 Chun-Li VS Mai Shiranui17 Starscream VS Rainbow Dash18 Master Chief VS Doomguy19 Eggman VS Wily20 Zelda VS Peach21 Thor VS Raiden22 Link VS Cloud (2012)23 Batman VS Spider-Man24 Pikachu VS Blanka25 Goku VS Superman 1
Season 2 26 He-Man VS Lion-O27 Shao Kahn VS M. Bison28 Ryu Hayabusa VS Strider Hiryu29 Ivy VS Orchid30 Fox McCloud VS Bucky O'Hare31 Terminator VS RoboCop32 Luigi VS Tails32.5 Vegeta VS Mewtwo?33 Pokémon Battle Royale34 Fulgore VS Sektor35 Godzilla VS Gamera36 Batman VS Captain America37 Tigerzord VS Gundam Epyon38 Ryu VS Scorpion39 Deadpool VS Deathstroke40 Kirby VS Majin Buu41 Ragna VS Sol Badguy42 Gaara VS Toph43 Boba Fett VS Samus Aran (2015)44 Chuck Norris VS Segata Sanshiro45 Guts VS Nightmare46 Iron Man VS Lex Luthor47 Beast VS Goliath48 Solid Snake VS Sam Fisher49 Darth Vader VS Doctor Doom50 Goku VS Superman 251 Donkey Kong VS Knuckles52 Wolverine VS Raiden53 Hercule Satan VS Dan Hibiki54 Yang VS Tifa55 Mega Man VS Astro Boy56 Green Arrow VS Hawkeye57 Pokémon VS Digimon
Season 3 58 Dante VS Bayonetta59 Bowser VS Ganon60 Ratchet & Clank VS Jak & Daxter61 Flash VS Quicksilver62 Joker VS Sweet Tooth63 Mewtwo VS Shadow64 Meta VS Carolina65 Cammy VS Sonya66 Tracer VS Scout67 Ken VS Terry68 Amy Rose VS Ramona Flowers69 Hulk VS Doomsday70 Zoro VS Erza71 Deadpool VS Pinkie Pie
Season 4 72 Lara Croft VS Nathan Drake73 Scrooge McDuck VS Shovel Knight74 Venom VS Bane75 Power Rangers VS Voltron76 Natsu VS Ace77 Sub-Zero VS Glacius78 Android 18 VS Captain Marvel79 Metal Sonic VS Zero80 Lucario VS Renamon81 Balrog VS TJ Combo82 Shredder VS Silver Samurai83 Smokey Bear VS McGruff the Crime Dog84 Thor VS Wonder Woman85 Naruto VS Ichigo86 Batman Beyond VS Spider-Man 209987 Sephiroth VS Vergil
Season 5 88 Black Panther VS Batman89 Raven VS Twilight Sparkle90 Jotaro VS Kenshiro91 Crash VS Spyro92 Sora VS Pit93 Leon Kennedy VS Frank West94 Doctor Strange VS Doctor Fate95 Ryu VS Jin96 Samurai Jack VS Afro Samurai97 Carnage VS Lucy98 Optimus Prime VS Gundam99 Nightwing VS Daredevil100 Mario VS Sonic (2018)101 Ultron VS Sigma102 Roshi VS Jiraiya103 Thanos VS Darkseid
Season 6 104 Aquaman VS Namor105 Mega Man Battle Royale106 Black Widow VS Widowmaker107 Captain Marvel VS Shazam108 Wario VS King Dedede109 Ben 10 VS Green Lantern110 Weiss VS Mitsuru111 Johnny Cage VS Captain Falcon112 Aang VS Edward Elric113 Ghost Rider VS Lobo114 Dragonzord VS Mechagodzilla115 Sasuke VS Hiei116 Ganondorf VS Dracula117 Mob VS Tatsumaki118 Deadpool VS Mask119 All Might VS Might Guy
Season 7 120 Miles Morales VS Static121 Black Canary VS Sindel122 Leonardo VS Red Ranger Jason123 Genos VS War Machine124 Gray VS Esdeath125 Goro VS Machamp126 Cable VS Booster Gold127 Obi-Wan Kenobi VS Kakashi128 Danny Phantom VS American Dragon Jake Long129 She-Ra VS Wonder Woman130 Beerus VS Sailor Galaxia131 Zuko VS Shoto Todoroki132 Flash VS Sonic132.5 The Seven Battle Royale133 Winter Soldier VS Red Hood134 Venom VS Crona135 Sabrewulf VS Jon Talbain136 Red VS Blue137 Batgirl VS Spider-Gwen138 Sanji VS Rock Lee139 Hulk VS Broly
Season 8 140 Yoda VS King Mickey141 Shadow VS Ryuko142 Lex Luthor VS Doctor Doom143 Heihachi Mishima VS Geese Howard144 Blake VS Mikasa145 Iron Fist VS Po146 Steven Universe VS Star Butterfly147 Link VS Cloud (2021)148 Batman VS Iron Man149 Goku Black VS Reverse-Flash150 Macho Man VS Kool-Aid Man151 DIO VS Alucard152 Akuma VS Shao Kahn153 Korra VS Storm154 Madara VS Aizen155 Saitama VS Popeye
Season 9 156 Harley Quinn VS Jinx157 Scarlet Witch VS Zatanna158 Tanjiro VS Jonathan Joestar159 Thor VS Vegeta160 Omni-Man VS Homelander161 Magneto VS Tetsuo162 Hercules VS Sun Wukong163 Boba Fett VS Predator163.5 Excalibur VS Raiden164 James Bond VS John Wick165 Black Adam VS Apocalypse166 Trunks VS Silver167 SpongeBob VS Aquaman168 Jason Voorhees VS Michael Myers169 Sauron VS Lich King170 Deku VS Asta171 Gogeta VS Vegito
Season 10 172 Ant-Man VS Atom173 Skyrim VS Dark Souls174 Killua VS Misaka175 Stitch VS Rocket Raccoon176 Darth Vader VS Obito Uchiha177 Phoenix VS Raven178 Guts VS Dimitri179 Martian Manhunter VS Silver Surfer180 Bill Cipher VS Discord181 Cole MacGrath VS Alex Mercer182 Frieza VS Megatron183 Gojo VS Makima184 Scooby-Doo VS Courage the Cowardly Dog185 Rick Sanchez VS The Doctor186 Goku VS Superman (2023)187 Galactus VS Unicron
Season 11 ??? Wile E. Coyote VS Tom Cat*
Unknown ??? Ruby VS Maka*
*Currently unreleased