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In the final battle against the endless army of shinra troops, you see memories of Zacks friends and comrades fade away and him getting riddled with gunfire.
What caused it? I knew the truth of Zacks C.O.D. materia poisoning.
In FF7 cloud goes through the same materia poisoning as he was exposed to the life stream and broke through his comatose state with the help of Tifa and cloud suffered D.I.D. thinking he was a soldier 1st class likely cause he and Zack were best friends as cloud was a shinra trooper only taking on Zacks persona believing he was a SOLDIER operative.
If this is hard to believe play crisis core and learn the truth.
Zack was in soldier because he had the tolerance for Mako that Cloud didn't. That's why Cloud was only a grunt and not a ranked member of soldier. Cloud's lack of tolerance is why he was poisoned by the mako after basically swimming in it before he was rescued in Mideel, just as he was basically swimming in it at the Shinra Mansion's basement. That tank wasn't an issue for Zack, and a lot of time passed well after they escaped the mansion up until they made it to the other side of the world outside of Midgar. Cloud is the one with mako poisoning in that scene. Zack bled out.
Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr
Zack did die from the poisoning memory erosion is the initial symptom it did not occur at first. Until he began fighting the large force of shinra troops.
And his death was big blow to cloud he developed D.I.D. remember the flashback cloud told claiming he was first class in soldier when it wasn't really the truth later in ff7 that is when cloud told the truth when he got his memory back he came to terms with Zacks death he beats his inner demons thanks to Tifa.