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The film begins two years following the events of Final Fantasy VII, in which Cl oud Strife defeated

Sephiroth and the city of Midgar was destroyed. Cloud and hi s childhood friend Tifa Lockhart, who previously helped him save the world in Fi nal Fantasy VII, now run a courier service and serve as caretakers to the orphan boy Denzel and their friend Barret's adopted daughter Marlene. Recently, Cloud has moved out of the house and isolated himself from his friends. He is still ha unted by his role in the death of Aerith Gainsborough, who was killed on his wat ch by Sephiroth. In addition, both he and Denzel are infected with the mysteriou s new ailment known as "Geostigma", which has no known cure. Cloud is contacted by Tifa and summoned to a meeting with the Shinra Company's f ormer president Rufus Shinra, who was presumed killed in Final Fantasy VII.[1] R ufus asks for Cloud's help to stop Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo, manifestations of Seph iroth's spirits who have recently been causing difficulty for him. They are phys ical manifestations of Sephiroth's surviving spirit, and are seeking to resurrec t him using the remains of the extraterrestrial Jenova.[2] Cloud refuses to help and leaves. Meanwhile, Kadaj and his colleagues are recruiting children infected with Geosti gma. Denzel falls in with the group, attracted by their promises of a cure for t he disease. Loz follows Tifa and Marlene to Aerith's church, where they had gone looking for Cloud, and attacks them. Tifa is knocked unconscious in the fight a nd Loz abducts Marlene for Kadaj. All the kidnapped children are taken to the ru ins of the mystical Forgotten City, where Kadaj embraces them as brethren and an nounces his intention for them all to be reunited with Jenova. When Cloud arrive s to rescue them, he is overpowered by Kadaj's gang, but is rescued by his old c omrade Vincent Valentine. Demoralized by his failure, Cloud asks if sin can ever be truly forgiven, to which Vincent nonchalantly replies that he has never trie d to forgive. Cloud decides to keep fighting and returns to the city, where Kada j has summoned Bahamut SIN[3] and other monsters to terrorize the population. Wi th the help of his companions from Final Fantasy VII, Cloud engages and defeats the monsters. Kadaj confronts Rufus Shinra, who reveals he possesses the box containing Jenova 's remains. He attempts to destroy it, but Kadaj manages to save it and flees th e city with his companions. Yazoo and Loz are apparently destroyed along the way by an explosive planted by Shinra's agents. Cloud chases Kadaj down and engages him in battle, ultimately subduing him. Outmatched, Kadaj opens Jenova's box an d fuses with its contents, transforming into Sephiroth. Sephiroth tells Cloud th at he will be able to use the life essences of Geostigma sufferers to achieve co mplete domination over the planet.[4] He and Cloud then fight, and throughout th e whole encounter Sephiroth appears to have the upper hand, flinging Cloud repea tedly into walls and finally impaling him through the shoulder. He asks Cloud to tell him what he most cherishes, so that he can have the pleasure of taking it away. To this, Cloud replies that he cherishes everything, then pulls out Sephir oth's sword and deals him a hail of devastating blows. Sephiroth's spirit depart s, leaving behind the mortally wounded Kadaj. As he lies dying in Cloud's arms, a healing rain starts falling across the land, curing the people of their Geosti gma. However, Yazoo and Loz confront Cloud. Cloud charges at the two, who sets o ff a massive explosion engulfing the three. Cloud later has a vision of his deceased friends Aerith Gainsborough and Zack Fa ir, who say that his time to join them has not yet come. He then awakens in the church, healed of his injuries and surrounded by his friends. Behind them, he se es Aerith and Zack leaving the church and hears Aerith's voice say, "You see, ev erything's all right." He agrees: "I know. I'm not alone... not anymore."