Tifa Lockhart is a female protagonist in Final Fantasy VII. She is Cloud's childhood friend from Nibelheim and a member of AVALANCHE. However, her personality is much more laid back and selfless in comparison, with a motherly streak concerning all her friends and her attitude to others. Tifa is quick to hide her true feelings from people, and her shyness is a key aspect of her character, and she is caring and loving to a fault. Tifa also owns a bar called 7th Heaven, located in Sector 7 of Midgar, which also serves as a hideout for AVALANCHE.
Tifa is almost 5'6" with long hair reaching down past her waist and tied at the end in a distinctive dolphin-tail split. In most of her appearances, Tifa's hair is black, but in some concept art it has been deep brown instead. Tifa's eyes are officially addressed as brown, but they have also been depicted as red in some appearances, and she wears white tear-drop earrings. She wears a sleeveless white shirt that bares her stomach with a short black miniskirt and a pair of black suspenders. Her body is slim, belying her great physical strength.
In Advent Children, Tifa's hair is shorter for easier animation, and merely reaches partway down her back. She wears a skirt with a black ribbon on each short leg instead of a regular skirt. She wears a sleeveless white shirt underneath a sleeveless black vest with a zipper, and when fighting wears leather gloves. Tifa wears this same attire in Kingdom Hearts II. In Crisis Core and Before Crisis, Tifa wears a cowgirl outfit with an orange and brown vest over a white corset with an orange miniskirt and boots with a cowboy hat. She is also seen wearing this outfit in Final Fantasy VII in a photo of her with Zack Fair and Sephiroth, taken during the events of Crisis Core and Before Crisis.
Tifa is a very shy character, which is perhaps best displayed by her last name, Lockhart. Tifa doesn't express her feelings often, and she has trouble doing so. She has a strong motherly streak and helps take care of the other AVALANCHE members in her bar, and she also has no compunctions about using her strength to keep rambunctious patrons in line, if what other characters indicate is true. Tifa is also very caring and helps whenever she can. She often comforts the other AVALANCHE members, and in Final Fantasy VII is often found spending time with Aeris Gainsborough when the party splits up, who is similarly caring and compassionate. She is also close to Barret Wallace, the leader of AVALANCHE. On the Way to a Smile reveals that due to the Nibleheim Incident, Tifa bears a deep-seated hatred of Shinra and Sephiroth, and when the Lifestream emerged at the end of Final Fantasy VII, she metaphorically hoped it would absolve her sins, as she feels horribly guilty over the destruction she and AVALANCHE caused.
Nomura and Nojima had a hard time creating the new Tifa and focused on developing the emotional backbone that her character is to the cast. They made sure to portray her as a modern woman who can function without her man, rather than a clingy one. When Tifa finally tells Cloud what's inside her heart, the original scene had Tifa feeling a little guilty about being blunt. Nojima decided to cut it for time. The final portrayal makes Tifa a positive role model and female lead for women around the world. As she was in Final Fantasy VII, on the outside Tifa is a hard worker and spends her time caring for everyone but herself. On the inside, she keeps the feelings of uneasiness towards Cloud locked up.