Cloud slashes the kanji 凶 on his opponent.
Cross Slash is a natural combo of three parts.
If every hit connects, the five slashes deal a total of 19% damage while drawing the kanji 凶 (wicked, misfortune, or bane) through the air.
While this move is fast enough to use as a punish option and deals good damage with moderate knockback, it deals poor shield damage and shield stun, making it unsafe to use on shields; if any part of the move hits a shield, it is quite easy for the defender to retaliate, especially after the final part. Additionally, there is a small pause before the third segment of the move, which often causes extremely light and/or damaged enemies to get knocked out before the move is complete.
As with all natural combos, the player must press the relevant button after each step to continue execution of the move. However, unlike all other such attacks, the player is not allowed to continue the move unless it hits something: Cloud will only perform the first slash repeatedly if the move whiffs regardless of what the player does, and if the opponent escapes the second hit, the third step cannot be used.
The Limit Break version of the move involves Cloud unleashing the entire sequence at high speed, regardless of whether it hits anything or whether the player makes additional inputs. These slashes deal much more damage (27% total) and greater knockback than the base version of the move, with the final hit's hitbox also becoming slightly larger. The camera will also zoom in on the hit fighter if the final hit connects while time slows down for a split second, similar to Little Mac's KO Uppercut. As Limit Cross Slash possesses very fast startup, a large hitbox, surprisingly low ending lag, and deals high shield damage, it is often considered one of Cloud's most effective and all-purpose Limit Break special moves.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
Like the other DLC characters, Cloud lacks custom move variations.
Cross Slash is Cloud's second Limit Break in Final Fantasy VII, which he learns after performing his initial Limit Break, Braver, eight times. It deals 3.25 times the damage of a normal physical attack to one enemy and inflicts paralysis. The usual animation for the attack shows him performing three strikes as opposed to the four strokes needed to write the kanji (Smash Bros. instead has him perform a total of five slashes). However, in some instances, such as in the Kingdom Hearts series, the kanji visual may be absent.
Also in some forms of media (such as in the Kingdom Hearts series and even Final Fantasy VII itself), the name is written with a hyphen ("Cross-slash").