This is a page about the relation between Cloud Strife and Locke. I know, they aren't even in the same game, but, as we all know, that doesn't mean they can't be related. This was actually inspired by someone's suggestion that Cloud was based off of Locke. There's a lot of similarity between most of the Final Fantasy leading men, but for right now I'll stick to Cloud.
I think this suggestion was inspired by images from the SGI demo. Before Square announced that Final Fantasy VII would be appearing on the Playstation console, they released a demo image of Locke, Terra, and Shadow fighting in their newfound polygonal glory. If you look at this version of Locke and the Cloud that appeared in-game, it isn't very hard to see some similarities. Random shoulder-pad things, a vaugely similar hairstyle, and the matching color of their outfits, all these are things people could point to and say, "Hey, X is a ripoff of Y!" Frankly, I think the similarities are more due to the graphical capabilities of the time than to any real parallels in their character design, especially as a new desginer took over for the seventh installment.
But though I don't think that the character design for Cloud is based off Locke in any way, there are other similarities I've noticed. Both are at the center of a love triangle, though the "love triangle" of Final Fantasy VI is mostly fan-created. They are also both leading males with mysterious pasts, but these days, who isn't?
But what's really striking is their need to live up to a fictional ideal. While Locke hides his feelings with acts of daring, Cloud assumes the demeanor of a cool and confident mercenary. I would say both of these disguises are equally fictional, though the reasons for Cloud's are far more complex. Still, Cloud's idolization of Zack is very similar to Locke's need to jump onto the opera stage and protect Celes in the most melodramatic way possible. They both failed someone they cared deeply about, and as a result of that failure the logic of heroism has been imprinted into their brains.
Tifa: Hey, let's make a promise. Umm... if you get really famous and I'm ever in a bind...You'll come save me, all right?
Tifa: If I'm in trouble, my hero will come and rescue me. I want to experience that at least once."
After the Niebelheim incident, Cloud felt guilty, took to becoming Zack, and tried to play the hero. Sound familiar? They're alike in the sense that their fierce desire to become they hero they are not prevents them from being the hero that they are.