An entire generation of gamers is still traumatized by the events of Final Fantasy VII. You were encouraged to befriend and possibly even fall in love with a flower girl from Midgar, only to have her taken away from you in a seemingly random moment of violence.
The passing of Aerith Gainsborough was intended to be a surprising twist for people who played Final Fantasy VII for the first time, but it has since become one of the most well-known plot twists in video game history, meaning that anyone going into Final Fantasy VII will likely be aware of what happens to Aerith at the end of disc one.
There are those who find it hard to appreciate Final Fantasy VII due to how dated its graphics are and how some of its subject matter is questionable when viewed from a modern perspective. Those gamers will be given their own chance to experience the pain of Aerith's loss whenever the Final Fantasy VII Remake is released. The whole point of Final Fantasy VII was that people never truly leave us as long as they remain in our memories. The fact that the loss of Aerith is still felt by many gamers is a testament to the fact that the developers succeeded in making us care about her and feel sad when she is taken away.
We are here today to learn the secrets of the last surviving member of the Cetra - from the truth behind her lineage to the theory that she always knew what awaited her in the Forgotten Capital. Here are the 20 Strange Details About Aerith’s Anatomy!
20 She Had The Power To Send People From Limbo To The Afterlife
Bugenhagen explains to the party that all souls on the planet are meant to return to the Lifestream, which will lead to them being reincarnated into a new form in the future. The events of the novel called The Girl Who Travels the Planet raise questions about the nature of the Lifestream, as Aerith encounters the lost souls of those she had encountered in her life.
Aerith discovered that some people were trapped in Limbo due to the guilt they carried from their life, such as the members of AVALANCHE who regretted the lives that were lost during their missions. It was also possible for Aerith to help lost souls pass on and become one with the Lifestream, which she was able to do with Dyne, who was able to let go of his anger and be reunited with his wife, before dissolving into nothingness.
19 She Could Communicate With The Planet Through The Wind
Aerith demonstrated supernatural abilities from a young age, as she knew that Elmyra's husband had passed away during the Wutai War before word about his demise had reached Midgar.
There was a Japan-exclusive Final Fantasy VII spin-off that was released exclusively on mobile phones, called Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, where you play as a group of Turks who do missions for the Shinra Corporation. The Turks encounter a young Aerith during the events of Before Crisis, where she claims that she can hear the voice of the wind trying to communicate with her. It's possible that the pollution of Midgar prevented Aerith from being able to properly communicate with the planet until after she left the city.
18 She Is Descended From Black Mages
The world of Final Fantasy VII was once populated by a magical race known as the Cetra, who shared a connection with the planet and could communicate with nature. The Cetra were almost totally wiped out by Jenova, forcing the remainder of the species to procreate with humans to allow their race to survive. We are only given a brief glimpse at what the original Cetra looked like, but their appearance was the same as the black mages from the older Final Fantasy titles.
A lot of gamers who played Final Fantasy VII when it was first released may not be aware that the Cetra were black mages, as it was difficult to tell what they looked like on a pre-HD television set, as you were only given a few glimpses of them in the Temple of the Ancients.
17 She Could Summon Angels (In A World Without A Heaven)
The ultimate Limit Break of each party member in Final Fantasy VII was incredibly powerful and took a long time to unlock. There is a question over whether the appearance of the Limit Breaks should be taken literally, as Cid is able to command the Highwind to fire missiles at the enemy, even if you are indoors.
Aerith's ultimate Limit Break is the Great Gospel, which summons three faceless angels to bless the party, resulting in all HP and MP being restored and the party becoming temporarily invincible. The weirdest aspect of Aerith's ability to summon angels is that Final Fantasy VII is a story about reincarnation, with the afterlife not existing outside of returning to the planet and being reborn in a new form.
16 She Could Maintain Her Original Form In The Lifestream Due To Her Cetra Blood
The fact that Sephiroth was implanted with Jenova cells when he was still an embryo caused him to become unnaturally strong and allowed him to maintain his original form in the Lifestream, from which he was able to manifest in the world of the living through the remnants of Jenova's body.
The On the Way to a Smile novel confirmed that Aerith was able to maintain her original consciousness while within the Lifestream. Aerith remains conscious within the Lifestream as a means of trying to keep Sephiroth in check, though this ultimately fails during the events of Advent Children, as Sephiroth finds a way to return to the world of the living.
15 It Takes Her The Longest To Reach Level 99
You only have access to Aerith throughout the first disc of Final Fantasy VII, as she meets her fate at the hands of Sephiroth in the Forgotten Capital and the members of AVALANCHE have to continue on without her. It's still possible for dedicated players to bring Aerith up to level 99 and teach her all of her Limit Breaks, but this is a lot harder than it looks, and that's not just because of the paltry amount of experience points on offer from the monsters on disc one.
It takes Aerith the longest to reach level 99 (save for Young Cloud, who has to be hacked into your party), as she requires 2,484,643 experience points to level up, while the rest of the party need to acquire either 2,452,783 or 2,420,933 experience points, depending on the character.
14 She Has The Potential To Be The Strongest Fighter In Midgar
Aerith's stats are based around magic, which means that she won't last long in melee combat. It's best to keep Aerith in the back-row and have her use spells to buff the party or destroy the enemy. It's possible to turn Aerith into a physical powerhouse for a brief period of time in Midgar, as you can steal a powerful weapon from a rare enemy in the Train Graveyard.
There is an enemy in the Train Graveyard called Eligor, who carries the Striking Staff weapon. You have to use the Steal command on Eligor in order to acquire the Striking Staff. The Striking Staff is a powerful physical weapon for Aerith that outstrips anything else your party can have at that point in the game, making her one of your best warriors until you reach the city of Junon.
13 She Could Sense Summoned Monsters
The version of AVALANCHE that is led by Barret at the start of Final Fantasy VII is actually the second incarnation of the group. The first incarnation of AVALANCHE was far more aggressive, which prompted the Shinra Corporation to dispatch the Turks to deal with them. This conflict was part of the story seen in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-.
The original leader of AVALANCHE was a woman named Elfe, who wanted Aerith on her side, as she believed that Aerith could lead them to the Promised Land. Their meeting was interrupted by the Turks, but Aerith was able to determine that Elfe was actually the container for Zirconiade. Zirconiade was an incredibly powerful summon monster whose materia had been grafted onto Elfe's flesh. Aerith was able to sense Zirconiade's presence within Elfe, due to its strength.
12 She Can Solo Ruby Weapon
You can't use Aerith against Emerald Weapon or Ruby Weapon, as she perishes long before they arrive on the world map. Players have been able to hack Aerith back into the game using cheating devices and have used her to defeat Ruby Weapon on her own. Aerith's Great Gospel Limit Break would have been incredibly useful against Ruby Weapon, due to how it grants temporary invincibility, but players have been able to win the battle using Aerith on her own.
Ruby Weapon might be one of the hardest bosses in the game, but players have worked out various strategies to defeat it, such as using items like Dazers (combined with the W-Item materia) to stun it. The existence of Hero Drinks also allows Aerith to tank hits from Ruby Weapon's attacks, allowing her to survive its onslaught.
11 SHe Once Had A Limit Break Based On Tantalizing Secrets
Aerith's Limit Breaks are all based around magic, which means that they mostly rely on effects that either buff or heal the party. When Final Fantasy VII was in development, the Limit Breaks were still being designed and storyboarded for use in the game. There is concept art for an unused Limit Break that shows Aerith powering up Cloud by whispering something to him.
It's possible that this Limit Break came from the time in development when there were only three characters (Aerith, Barret, and Cloud), as it's unclear how this Limit Break would work with every character, which may have been why it was cut.
10 Her Powers Are Based Around A Cut Character Class Concept
There are some Final Fantasy games that use an equivalent to the Dungeons & Dragons character class system, which is often referred to as jobs. The version of Final Fantasy VI from Japan included names for the jobs of each character, even though they couldn't be switched. Final Fantasy VII was originally going to do the same thing, but the idea was scrapped during development.
Aerith's job was originally going to be a geomancer, which is a class that is associated with using magic that is drawn from the land itself. Aerith being a geomancer was likely the reason why so many of her Limit Breaks are based around buffs and healing magic that is derived from nature.
9 She Has The Power To Manifest In The Real World (Like Sephiroth)
The story of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children involves Sephiroth's plan to return to the world of the living, which he accomplishes with the aid of Kadaj and the remaining Jenova cells. The On the Way to a Smile novel shows Aerith within the Lifestream as she becomes aware of Sephiroth's plan. Aerith realizes that Sephiroth is able to return to the world of the living with the aid of proxies and that she may be able to do the same.
Aerith doesn't go through with this plan, even though she knows that it will allow her to see her old friends once more, as it will not be her true form that returns and she wants to meet Cloud in the form that he remembers her in.
8 Her Face Was Redesigned In Advent Children Complete
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was given the George Lucas treatment when an updated version of the movie with extra content was released in 2009. The new version of the film was called Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete and it featured numerous changes to the visuals of the movie.
One of the biggest changes to Advent Children Complete involves Aerith, as the design of her face was reworked for the final scenes of the movie. Aerith's face was given more lifelike textures in accordance with the new technology used on the Complete version of the movie and the fact that it was being released on Blu-ray, which required some of the visuals to be improved for the HD format.
7 She & Sephiroth Have A Similar Hairstyle Because They Were Almost Siblings
There are a lot of similarities between Aerith and Sephiroth, which is something that is referenced throughout the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Sephiroth barely interacts with Aerith before their final encounter, as he is only interested in dealing with the last of the Cetra.
Aerith and Sephiroth's relationship was originally planned to be a lot deeper, as they were initially supposed to be siblings, which was briefly switched to them being former lovers. The sibling aspect can be seen in the similar hairstyles that Aerith and Sephiroth have, as they mirror each other in their shape, though Aerith ties her hair into a long ponytail, while Sephiroth lets his fly free.
6 Her Concept Art Shows Her With Animals In Her Hair
Yoshitaka Amano is the artist who designed the aesthetic of the first six Final Fantasy games, even though the Nintendo hardware of the day wasn't able to properly exhibit his work on the screen. Tetsuya Nomura handled most of the artwork on Final Fantasy VII, as Amano had other commitments that limited his time on the project.
Amano had some strange ideas for Aerith in some of the pieces of concept art that he created for Final Fantasy VII, as he revealed a piece for Illustration magazine that showed Aerith wearing no clothes and with animals sticking out of her hair.
5 Her Conservative Design Was Meant To Contrast Tifa's More Revealing Design
Final Fantasy VII has dating mechanics, which means that your choices in conversation will determine who you take on a date while in the Gold Saucer. The choices you make throughout the early portions of the game will force you to decide who you like more - Aerith or Tifa.
The designs of Aerith and Tifa were intentionally made to contrast each other - Aerith dresses in a more conservative manner and has a slimmer figure, while Tifa wears revealing clothes and has a fuller figure. The eye colors of Aerith and Tifa were almost meant to be very different from the other, with Aerith having bright green eyes, while Tifa has red eyes with a brownish tint.
4 It's Never Explained Why She Never Bled From Her Wounds
The FMV sequence where Sephiroth plunges his sword into Aerith might be the most famous scene of any video game of the 32-bit era of gaming, if not of all time. The fans have often wondered why Aerith never bled when Sephiroth attacked her and removed his sword, which has led to numerous fan theories, including ones that involved her actually surviving the assault... and then drowning when Cloud puts her body in the water.
You might think that censorship rules might have prohibited that level of violence, but Sephiroth bleeds during the final sequence of the game after Cloud defeats him in combat.
3 She Had A Different Menu Design In The First Final Fantasy VII Demo
There were several demos of Final Fantasy VII available before the game was officially released. The first of these demos is referred to as the "Aeris Demo," as Aerith is a playable party member during the bombing mission at the start of the game, while the second demo is known as the "Tifa demo," as Tifa is in the group instead of Aerith.
The Aeris Demo comes from an earlier point in the development of Final Fantasy VII, as the translation is quite different from the final version of the game. The menu portrait used by Aerith was different in the Aerith Demo, too, as her expression was more serious and stern. Aerith's expression was made more appealing in the final version of the game, as her design was changed so that she was smiling.
2 Her Design Was Intentionally Difficult In Order To Test The Developers At Squaresoft
Square Enix (formerly known as Squaresoft) has always pushed the envelope when it comes to the graphics of the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy VII represented the jump from 2D to 3D, which the developers wanted to make sure was as successful as possible.
When coming up with Aerith's design, Tetsuya Nomura realized that her dress would be difficult to recreate using polygons. Nomura decided to use them anyway, as he wanted these difficulties to improve the skills of the producers working on the project and wanted to do the things that the competition of the time was avoiding, so as to make Final Fantasy VII stand out even more.
1 It's Believed That She Could See The Future And Knew That She Had To Perish To Save The World
The ending of Final Fantasy VII confused a lot of gamers at the time, as it was unclear whether the human race was wiped out by Meteor or not. The confusion was added to by the fact that the last moment of the final FMV (save for the epilogue) shows Aerith's face lit up by green lights, which is the same as one of the first shots of the game.The similarity between the two shots has led to a prominent fan theory about Aerith possessing the ability to see the future and that the entire game was her vision at the beginning of the story.
It's possible that Aerith knew she had to perish in order for the world to survive, as her presence inside the Lifestream was needed in order for it to help Holy hold back Meteor. Aerith may not have even realized the meaning behind her visions until she visited the Temple of the Ancients, at which point she starts to act strangely and almost seems to go to her fate willingly.
Are there any other interesting facts about Aerith's body in Final Fantasy? Sound off in the comments!