A flower peddler living in the Sector 5 slums, Aerith has been under Shinra surveillance all her life because of her unique background. Capable of sensing the planet's life force, she offers magical support to her comrades.
Aerith Gainsborough, alternately known with the first name Aeris, is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake. She is one of the lead protagonists of the novel Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, and a major character in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, appearing in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-.
Aerith is the last of the Cetra, an ancient race with powerful magical abilities, and so the Shinra Electric Power Company hunts her throughout her life, seeking to exploit her powers. She meets Cloud Strife in Midgar, and the two become close, leading her to join his quest to fight Shinra and hunt down Sephiroth. Aerith is upbeat, carefree, and joyful, being flirtatious towards Cloud and compassionate towards others.
Aerith wields staves in battle, and is in the back row by default, as she primarily uses magic from equipped Materia in battle. Her Limit abilities are defensive, either providing restorative powers, healing other party members, or bestowing status enhancements.
- 1 History
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Merchandise
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Etymology and symbolism
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Before Final Fantasy VII
Aerith was born to Ifalna and Professor Gast Faremis in Icicle Inn on February 7, 1985, making her half-human and half-Cetra. When she was barely twenty days old, Professor Hojo tracked Gast down, killed him, and captured Ifalna and Aerith.
Held in the Shinra Building, Aerith and Ifalna became subject to numerous experiments at the hands of Hojo and Shinra. A man named Gheddi Beck watched over Aerith and Ifalna while they were held in captivity. Aerith made drawings of what was interpreted to depict the promised land, the land of legend Shinra believed was fertile in mako energy. A boy who was Aerith's playmate at the facility, his mother working as a caretaker of Aerith and Ifalna, instructed her to draw Mideel. Gheddi—looking to make money—headed there to find the promised land for himself. He poisoned his friends with mako and assumed the identity of one of them, Glenn Reiner, but ended up getting mako poisoning himself.
Seven years later, in 1992, Ifalna and Aerith escaped the Shinra Building. Ifalna was wounded and only made it as far as the train platform in the Sector 7 slums before collapsing. Elmyra Gainsborough was there waiting for her husband's return from the Wutai War, and before passing, Ifalna asked her to keep Aerith safe, and so Elmyra brought Aerith home with her. For years, Elmyra raised Aerith alone as her adopted daughter in the slums of Sector 5. Shinra eventually found her again, and Tseng of the Turks attempted to persuade her to join Shinra willingly instead of capturing her, but Aerith refused.[note 2] As she grew up, Aerith continued to hear the planet, and although she was reluctant to admit it, she was aware of her Cetra heritage and strove to hide it.
Growing up, Aerith spent a lot of time in the Sector 5 slums church. Due to the mako reactors draining the life out of Midgar and the surrounding areas, little could grow around the metropolis. Regardless, Aerith cultivated a flower patch out of the dirt under the church's floorboards, as well as a large garden outside her house. She was close friends with Kyrie Canaan, and the two often played together in the church. One day, Aerith told Kyrie to hurry home, and when she did, Kyrie saw her parents' bodies carried in after being killed for stealing a man's wallet. When Kyrie was 10, after learning about the Ancients from her grandmother and figuring Aerith to be one, she ended the friendship with the 15-year-old Aerith due to feeling uncomfortable.
Relationship with Zack
I have twenty-three tiny wishes, but you probably won't remember them all, so I put them all together into one... I'd like to spend more time with you.Aerith's note to Zack
In 0001, Aerith met Zack Fair after he fell into the church from Mako Reactor 5. After mistaking Aerith for an angel, Zack asked her out to a date, but Aerith brushed him off. She showed him around the Sector 5 slums, and Zack bought Aerith her trademark pink hair ribbon. The two visited the Sector 6 park, and Aerith told Zack she feared SOLDIER members for being experiments who love to fight, apologizing when Zack revealed he was in SOLDIER. Zack promised to see Aerith again after he was called back to headquarters.
Aerith and Zack kept in contact for the next two years. After Zack's mentor Angeal's death, Zack visited Aerith, who held him as he cried. Angeal's will lingered in the form of a canine copy that settled at the church and defended Aerith from rogue Shinra security robots.
Zack suggested Aerith sell flowers to make money, as flowers were a luxury item in Midgar. Building her a cart, the two left to the slums to open her business, but it did not go well. Aerith asked Zack for "a few tiny wishes", and he had her write them down. Unbeknownst to them, this was the last time they saw each other, as later that day, Zack was dispatched to Nibelheim with Sephiroth and never returned. In the coming years, Aerith overcame her fears and ventured above the plate to sell flowers, although she used a basket as the flower wagon had lost a wheel.
Aerith also sold flowers to Rude of the Turks on his date with Chelsea. On August 9th, 0002, a Turk met Aerith as she exited her house, surprised by the blooming flowers. Aerith told the Turk she wished to leave Midgar and see the world, as she could hear the wind calling to her. The eco terrorist group Avalanche arrived searching for her, and the Turk helped Aerith evade them. Shears from Avalanche defeated the Turk, and Aerith was taken to the church to meet Elfe, the leader of Avalanche. Elfe urged her to join them to help them defeat Shinra and protect the promised land, but Aerith heard an "old voice" emanating from Elfe, inadvertently leading to the discovery of the Turk spying on them from the rafters. After the Turk battled Shears and Fuhito, sudden weakness struck Elfe, and Avalanche retreated. Tseng arrived, and the Turk allowed Aerith to flee while they distracted him.
Years later, when Zack escaped Shinra custody, the final Angeal copy that was left watching over Aerith was dying and sought him out. It left behind a letter from Aerith. As Zack read it, he discovered she had been doing well for herself selling flowers in Midgar, and during the four years he had been gone, had written Zack eighty-nine letters, the rest of which he never received. Tseng held the letters and sent the Turks to save Zack before the Shinra army could locate him to deliver the correspondence, but the Turks ultimately failed. Aerith tended the flowers in the church while, outside Midgar, Zack was gunned down by Shinra forces, something she seemed to sense.
Meeting Cloud and Avalanche
On December 9, 0007, in Final Fantasy VII, Aerith met Cloud Strife as he fled the bombing of Mako Reactor 1 during "No. 1 Reactor Bombing". Cloud could either warn her to get to safety, buy a flower for 1 gil, or blow her off. Later, during "The Woman at the Church", Cloud fell from Mako Reactor 5 and awakened on the church flower bed, where the two shared a brief conversation. When Reno of the Turks came to apprehend Aerith, she asked Cloud to become her bodyguard, offering a date as payment.
Aerith took Cloud to Elmyra's house who insisted Cloud leave to protect Aerith. He attempted to sneak out early in the morning, but Aerith confronted him and forced him to bring her along. At the Sector 6 playground, Aerith told Cloud he reminded her of Zack, as Cloud was also a SOLDIER First Class. The pair spotted Tifa Lockhart, a friend of Cloud, on a chocobo cart headed towards Wall Market. Cloud wished to help her, and Aerith chased after her.
In "To Corneo Hall", Aerith suggested Cloud crossdress in order to infiltrate Don Corneo's mansion, and helped him secure an outfit. After reaching Tifa, she revealed that her plan was to interrogate Corneo for information on Shinra. Aerith and Cloud agreed to help, and when the group confronted him, Corneo revealed Shinra planned to drop the Sector 7 plate to crush the current Avalanche's hideout in the Sector 7 slums, a group Tifa and Cloud were members of. In "Prevent the Fall of the Plate", Aerith, Tifa, and Cloud rushed to the Sector 7 slums to stop Shinra. Tifa requested that Aerith rescue the daughter of their friend and leader Barret Wallace. Tseng captured Aerith after she had secured the girl, Marlene, and the plate was dropped.
Aerith was taken to the Shinra Building to be experimented on by Professor Hojo to learn the promised land's location. Believing research would take at least 120 years and extend beyond Aerith's lifespan, Hojo wished to breed her with Red XIII, a member of a species with extraordinary longevity, to produce a hybrid. In "Storming the Shinra Building", Cloud, Tifa, and Barret freed Aerith and Red XIII from Hojo's lab. Red XIII joined Cloud to defeat Hojo's monsters and help the group escape, though the Turks captured them. Aerith was then imprisoned in the cells with the others.
In "The Nightmare Beginning Anew", Aerith spoke to Cloud held in the cell adjacent to hers with Tifa. When Aerith reminded Cloud of the deal to be her bodyguard for one date, Tifa looked upset, before changing the subject to discuss Aerith's Cetra heritage. Aerith believed she could not find the promised land even if she wished to, and intended to leave Midgar. The next day, the group awoke to find their cells mysteriously opened, the Shinra Building abandoned, and President Shinra dead. Shortly after confronting Rufus Shinra, the new president of the company, Aerith, Barret, and Red XIII evacuated via the elevator while Cloud and Tifa stole vehicles on which the group escaped via the Midgar Expressway.
Pursuit of Sephiroth
Aerith joined the group now led by Cloud on their quest to hunt down Sephiroth, whom they believed was behind the massacre at the Shinra Building. Having heard Sephiroth was linked to Cetra, Aerith wanted to know more about her heritage and protect the promised land from him. After running into the Turks in the Mythril Mine, Tseng told Aerith that Sephiroth's reappearance meant Shinra would be off her case, and he wished her well. When the group passed through Junon and stowed away on a cargo ship, Aerith told Cloud she had glimpsed Shinra's Highwind at the airport, and wished to fly on it one day.
In Costa del Sol, they ran into Professor Hojo who was there on vacation. Aerith asked him about her late mother, but Hojo revealed nothing and seemed disinterested. Aerith retreated to the hotel and mulled over the possibility of being the last Cetra in the world. In the Gold Saucer, Aerith attempted to cheer up an angered Barret, causing him to run off alone. Later, after reaching Gongaga, Aerith met Zack's parents. They had not heard anything from him for years, and mentioned that Zack's letters to them had mentioned his girlfriend, whom they suspected was Aerith. Aerith then told Cloud that Zack was her first love, but that since it had been years, he had likely found another girl and moved on.
When the group visited Cosmo Canyon, Aerith spoke to the village elders. She learned more about her heritage, and came to terms with her responsibility as the last Cetra. When the party later returned to the Gold Saucer, Aerith was a date option for Cloud. On the date, Aerith mentioned how much Cloud resembled Zack, but yet was still different, expressing a desire to meet the "real him".
The party eventually tracked Sephiroth to the Temple of the Ancients, where Aerith used her Cetra powers to help decipher the temple's mysteries and locate the inner chamber. Sephiroth revealed his plan to use the Black Materia to call Meteor, the ultimate Black Magic, before the temple itself transformed into the Black Materia. Sephiroth took control of Cloud, forcing him to relinquish it, and when Aerith tried to stop Cloud, he attacked her before being knocked out. Aerith left the group, but while Cloud was unconscious, she spoke to him in a dream. As the last Cetra, only she could stop Sephiroth, and she promised to handle it. Cloud followed Aerith's clues to the Forgotten City.
Return to the lifestream
In a temple underneath the Forgotten City, Aerith prayed for Holy, the ultimate White Magic, called by the White Materia she had worn in her hair, in order to stop Meteor. The party found her, but when Cloud approached her, Sephiroth attempted to control him and make him kill her, but Cloud resisted. As Aerith finished praying and lifted her head to see Cloud, Sephiroth—using Jenova's body as a vessel transformed into his likeness—descended from the ceiling and impaled her with the Masamune. Aerith collapsed into Cloud's arms, and as her hair ribbon unraveled, the White Materia concealed in her hair bounced off the altar into the water below. Shortly after defeating Jenova∙LIFE, the party paid their respects to Aerith, and Cloud laid her to rest. Though Aerith had succeeded in summoning Holy, Sephiroth blocked its power and it could not emerge to stop Meteor.[note 3]
The party eventually descended to the planet's core and vanquished Sephiroth. After defeating Sephiroth's spirit, Cloud found himself among the lifestream in an out-of-body experience, with Aerith extending her hand to him. As Cloud tried to grasp it, he returned to his body to find Tifa, telling her he could met Aerith again in the promised land. Sephiroth's defeat allowed Aerith to release Holy, though Meteor had fallen too close and Holy's energy was unfocused by its gravity. Within the lifestream, Aerith commanded the lifestream itself to emerge from the planet and push Meteor back, allowing Holy to focus its energy. Thus, in January of 0008, Holy and the lifestream destroyed Meteor and saved the planet.
In Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile "Lifestream: White", as Sephiroth avoided dissolution and spread Geostigma using the lifestream tainted with his memories, Aerith tried to heal the spirits of the dead and contain the damage being done. Despite the help of the other souls of the Cetra, those infected with Geostigma died faster than Aerith could heal their spirits, so she resolved to contact Cloud and stop the infection on the planet itself. Aerith considered creating avatars similar to Sephiroth, but decided against this as she would prefer to meet Cloud as he remembered her.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Aerith appeared to Cloud in a vision as he rode to the Forgotten City to save the children of Edge from Kadaj. Standing behind him, she asked his reason for coming. Cloud wanted to be forgiven, prompting her to ask, "By who?" as the vision ended. Aerith later explained she never blamed Cloud. When he fought Bahamut SIN, he saw a vision of Aerith again as she took his outstretched hand and transferred energy to him to cut through the dragon's attack and destroy it.
After Cloud defeated Sephiroth who had been reborn from Kadaj, Aerith called down healing rain over the city, curing most of the inhabitants of Geostigma. Hearing Aerith's voice and mistaking her as his mother, the dying Kadaj dissolved into the lifestream, following which his brothers detonated themselves to take out Cloud. Cloud later awoke in the Sector 5 slums church among a pool of Aerith's healing water on her old flowerbed. He used the water to heal the children suffering from the virus. As Cloud celebrated with his friends, he spotted Aerith speak to the children near the entrance before walking through the doorway, where Zack waited.
In "Fateful Encounters", Cloud found Aerith on Sector 8's Loveless Avenue, where she was attacked by Whispers. Cloud, unable to see the Whispers, approached her before seeing a vision of Sephiroth. Aerith spoke to him as he came to, and gave him a flower, telling him that lovers give them when reunited. Cloud warned Aerith to keep her distance, but she was unfazed. When the Whispers attacked Aerith again, Cloud could see them when Aerith grabbed his hand. Cloud drawing his sword attracted the attention of Public Security, and Aerith fled the scene.
In "Budding Bodyguard", Cloud crashed through the roof of Aerith's church after falling from Mako Reactor 5. After a conversation, Reno arrived to take Aerith in. She asked Cloud to be her bodyguard, though Cloud had never specified he worked as a mercenary. Seeing he was confused, Aerith excused herself by explaining that she had guessed it from his sword. After defeating Reno, the Whispers and Aerith stopped Cloud from killing him, and the two fled the church while Reno ordered the soldiers with him not to shoot at Aerith.
Aerith and Cloud crossed the rooftops near the church and got to know one another. Aerith took Cloud to the Sector 5 slums to meet Elmyra. The two helped out the locals, starting with children at the Leaf House orphanage. They ran into a Sephiroth-clone whom Cloud momentarily saw as Sephiroth taunting him, though the illusion broke and the clone walked off. Cloud asked if Aerith knew Sephiroth, and she replied that she only knew him as a war hero who died five years ago, though appeared troubled when Cloud implied he may still be alive. After helping the townspeople, Rude, another member of the Turks, blocked their path. Though Aerith requested that Cloud leave Rude alone as she believed he wasn't a bad person, the two teamed up to fight against him until Rude was interrupted with a phone call summoning him to another mission. He urged Aerith to stay home before departing, which she refused.
Elmyra asked Cloud to leave in secret and to never come back into contact with Aerith, causing him to sneak out at night. Aerith caught up to him on the way toward Sector 6, commencing "The Town That Never Sleeps". She showed him a route back to Sector 7, professing her dislike for Sector 6. At the Evergreen Park, Aerith told Cloud he reminded her of her first love who was also in SOLDIER, though Cloud's ears rung when she mentioned his name. Even after Aerith showed him a secret passage to Sector 7, Cloud was reluctant to leave her alone in such a dangerous place. The two spotted Cloud's friend Tifa being taken by chocobo carriage to Corneo's mansion and Aerith insisted they help her, warning Cloud how dangerous Wall Market was.
Wall Market was an illegal entertainment district run by the crime lord Don Corneo, who invited women to his house to be his "bride". Aerith and Cloud sought the approval of an influential Wall Market member whose opinion the don trusted. Aerith garnered Madam M's endorsement after she and Cloud won the Corneo Cup tournament at the Corneo Colosseum, and Madam M gave Aerith a new dress and a hairstyle. Cloud did not want Aerith to enter Corneo's mansion alone, and Aerith informed him that Andrea Rhodea, the owner of the local VIP club Honeybee Inn, wanted to meet Cloud so he can be disguised as a woman. The reluctant Cloud went through the makeover much to Aerith's delight, and they entered the don's mansion and met Tifa. After the don chose Cloud as his bride, Aerith and Tifa beat up the don's lackeys before confronting him. Corneo told the three Shinra planned to drop the plate over the Sector 7 undercity, and sent them plummeting through a trap door.
Aerith fell into the sewers with Cloud and Tifa, commencing "Rough Waters". She helped defeat Abzu, and with Tifa's guidance, the group navigated their way to the exit. As Aerith and Tifa got to know each other, Tifa noticed Aerith knew something they didn't. When Tifa was distressed at Corneo's words, and Aerith attempted to cheer her up by making her think of what they would do after saving the pillar, Tifa wanting to go shopping topside with Aerith to buy things for the bar, with Cloud carrying their things. In "Haunted", the group passed through the haunted Train Graveyard. Though Tifa was scared and Cloud was alarmed by the ghosts, Aerith was instead emphatic toward them, striving to understand them. Several children had been taken by Eligor, a mysterious soul-capturing demon who also tried to torture Aerith by repeating images of her lonely childhood. Cloud and Tifa rushed to her aid, and they defeated the monster together, allowing the children's spirits to find rest.
Upon reaching the Sector 7 undercity, in "Fight for Survival", the group were slowed down by the Whispers, before finding the pillar under attack. After helping Wedge recover, Tifa, wishing to help Cloud and Avalanche leader Barret, asked Aerith to look after Wedge and Marlene, Barret's daughter. Aerith volunteered before Tifa even spoke Marlene's name. When Wedge worked to evacuate the sector, Aerith encouraged him by saying he should never look back on this day with regrets, inspiring Wedge to be more forceful. Aerith informed Marle of the incoming danger, improving the evacuation effort. After many obstacles, Aerith reached the Seventh Heaven bar and found a scared Marlene, who warmed up to Aerith. They were accosted by Tseng, and Aerith gave herself up in exchange for Marlene's safety.
Aerith was taken to Professor Hojo's laboratory in the Shinra Building, where she had to lived as a child with her mother. Hojo felt that Aerith sufficed as a specimen, but planned psychological torture, and wished to breed Aerith with a SOLDIER of S or G type just in case the experiments kill her. When Cloud stayed at Elmyra's house later, he had a chance of dreaming of meeting Aerith in the garden. Aerith told Cloud she was safe, but was touched that Cloud wished to rescue her and apologized for worrying him. She imparted that everyone dies eventually and that Cloud was better off not falling in love with her, cryptically explaining that even he thought that he had, it wouldn't be "real".
In "The Belly of the Beast", Cloud, Tifa, and Barret rescued Aerith. Red XIII, another of Hojo's test subjects, was accidentally released when Barret disrupted the locking system by breaking Aerith's containment tank. Knowing he was their friend, Aerith calmed Red XIII by placing her hand on his head, imparting knowledge to him about the Whispers. Cloud passed out, commencing "Deliverance from Chaos". The group reconvened in Aerith's old room, where she told them about her heritage as a Cetra and Shinra's plans. Aerith claimed that there was a greater threat than Shinra, at which point the Whispers swarmed her. She felt lost and unsure, and claimed that the Whispers made her lose a part of herself whenever they touched her. Breaking past the Whispers, Tifa grabbed her hand and assured her that they would overcome it together. Shortly after, Wedge and Mayor Domino told the group via a video call they had secured a route out with the help of Avalanche HQ helicopter. While making their way to the helipad on the roof, the group fell into one of Hojo's science labs in the Drum, Aerith working with Tifa to escape.
The group eventually escaped the building, though Sephiroth waited for them at the end of the unfinished expressway, cutting open a portal. Aerith became stern and defiant but hesitated with how to proceed. She ultimately settled on believing that the group should enter a portal and defeat the Whispers, emissaries of the planet itself that wanted to enforce a fixed future and thus had intervened in various ways during their quest so far. She warned that defeating the Whispers would change fate and lead to "boundless, terrifying freedom". After felling a giant Whisper and helping Cloud in a duel against Sephiroth, the group left Midgar. Aerith lamented that she missed the steel sky of Midgar, as the new sky ahead of them seemed unknowable.
Aerith plaits her long light-brown hair with a large pink ribbon; within the ribbon, she keeps the White Materia orb given to her by her mother. Segmented bangs frame Aerith's face, and she has emerald green eyes. She is 163 cm tall.
Aerith's typical attire, first seen in Final Fantasy VII, comprises a shin-length pink dress that buttons up the front and a red bolero jacket. She wears brown boots and has metal bracers on her wrists and around the edges of her jacket sleeves. In subsequent appearances, Aerith's attire is more detailed. Her jacket, button-up in Final Fantasy VII, is zip-up in Advent Children onwards, and has zipper pockets and a belt at the bottom. In Advent Children, she wears leather belts in place of metal bands, and in Remake, her original cord necklace is replaced with a flower necklace with a pearl in the center on a leather ribbon, and a trio of bracelets (gold, silver, and bronze) replace the metal bracers. Aerith's choice of color for her dress was likely influenced by Zack Fair, who on their first date bought her a ribbon and later suggested she wear pink whenever they go on a date.
During "To Corneo Hall" in Final Fantasy VII, Aerith wears a red spaghetti-strapped formal gown with frill designs and red heels. Her long light brown wavy hair is let loose but retains her pink ribbon. In Remake, the equivalent "The Town That Never Sleeps" chapter sees her wear one of three dress variants. The first is a knee-length pale pink sundress and off-white heels, the second is a darker pink dress with an asymmetrical skirt and pink gladiator-style heels, while the third is a re-imagined version of her Final Fantasy VII dress.
Aerith has different variations on her dress in different stages of her life. During Crisis Core, she wears a blue and white dress with a red camisole underneath and white wedge sandals with pink straps. During Before Crisis, Aerith wears a pink, white, and red top tied around the neck with buttons up the front, and a frilly white and green skirt. As a child, Aerith wore a dark blue denim jumper dress with a light teal turtleneck, white socks, and brown shoes, with a light teal ribbon. After her adoption, she wore a burnt orange loose collar shirt with a yellow collar, brown shorts, and a matching short boots. In the original game, she had a yellow ribbon . In the remake, she already wore her signature pink ribbon .
You worry too much. I'm not some princess who needs to be coddled.
Aerith is compassionate, upbeat, and joyful, as well as street-smart with a spunky and cocky attitude. Aerith maintains a hopeful and positive outlook in the face of danger, cheering the others on when she can, and always tries to see the good in people.[note 4] She is nonetheless still able to identify an unequivocal evil, in the form of Shinra and Sephiroth. Against such threats, Aerith wishes to help however she can, but is morally opposed to violence and sees it as a last resort. She is not above harboring resentment for those who wrong her, although she puts on a front of cold defiance and conceals her weaknesses when distressed.[note 5] Aerith loves nature, particularly flowers, and tries to commune with them.
Aerith craves freedom and the ability to make decisions for herself. Raised in the slums of Midgar, she is almost entirely unfazed by the danger of monsters or Shinra.[note 6] Aerith is familiar with the slums, imparting her knowledge to Cloud, and has grown to love her surroundings for the few flowers that grow, as well as the passions of the denizens, to the point she wants to stay. In spite of this, Aerith still loves adventure and trying new things, craving one day to ride on an airship. Coupled with Aerith's adventurous nature is her stubbornness, with both Elmyra and Cloud recognizing they cannot talk her out of something after she has made up her mind, regardless of how much danger she is putting herself in.
Aerith is quick to make friends, as can be seen with Cloud, Tifa, Marlene, and Red XIII. Aerith supports them and pushes them forward, though also relies on them to have her back when she is unsure of herself.[note 7] This can be seen in her friendship with Tifa: Aerith helps put Tifa's mind at ease when she is distressed, while Tifa in turn promises to protect her and help find a way through her struggles. Aerith flirts with Cloud, able to see through his hardened persona, and gets him to open up a little more.[note 8] Though Aerith cherishes having Cloud as her bodyguard, she does not appear too reliant on him for physical protection so much as she simply enjoys his company. Aerith has apparent romantic feelings for Cloud, and remarks he reminds her of her first love, Zack.
In Final Fantasy VII Remake, Aerith appears to have deeper knowledge of unfolding events before they happen,[note 9] leading Tifa to question her behavior. She emphasizes a wish to live in the moment and cherish the present, and believes that the future is a blank page that can be made right. This belief motivates her to ultimately defy the Whispers' fate, despite hesitating due to the potential risks. She hates Sephiroth for his selfish desire to defy destiny without care for the consequences. Aerith acts incensed when insulted over her appearance, though tends to take Cloud's early rude remarks in stride, even reciprocating with her own good humor. She coldly defies Hojo though distressed upon learning of the treatment of her mother's remains. Despite the hardships she endures, Aerith returns to her friends with as much emotional strength as ever before.
As the last living Cetra, Aerith has many unique powers in her ability to commune with the planet's life force. This leads her to being able to sense the loss of life around the world, seen most clearly with the loss of Elmyra's husband. The exact means of her communication with the planet are unknown: though Aerith talks to flowers, she confessed to Cloud they do not simply have a conversation with her, but nonetheless she believed they had something important to say. Aerith's powers also allowed her to reach out to Red XIII and calm him, imparting knowledge to him. Her powers also include an ability to somehow affect the portal to the Singularity to follow Sephiroth, though her abilities are weaker than his as she is unable to control the Whispers as he is. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, it is implied that Aerith has inklings on what will happen in the future.[note 10]
In combat, Aerith is a powerful mage who wields staves and cast spells. Her limit break abilities have primarily defensive and supportive powers. For instance, Healing Wind allows her to heal her allies, Fury Brand empowers their own limit breaks, Seal Evil renders enemies harmless, and both Planet Protector and Great Gospel allow her to render them invulnerable. Aerith calls forth these powers by communing with the planet directly and asking it to bless them.
After returning to the lifestream, Aerith became extremely powerful. As well as casting Holy, the most powerful White Magic spell that can cleanse the planet of all threats, she was also able to command the lifestream from the planet to push Meteor back and allow Holy to destroy it. Beyond this, Aerith was able to protect Tifa's mind in the lifestream, and help Cloud battle Bahamut SIN.
Final Fantasy VII
Aerith (named Aeris in the original game) is a playable party member in Final Fantasy VII. She focuses on casting magic with her high magical stats and low physical stats, as well as having healing abilities and buffs as her Limits. She wields several staves, which often contain many Materia slots and boost her Magic stat further.
Aeris's main strength is the ability to acquire powerful equipment early. Her Striking Staff is available before leaving Midgar, which has stats and Materia slots far exceeding any weapon available for any other character for a significant time. Later, she can acquire the Fairy Tale with seven Materia slots, more than any character can acquire for a significant time. Aeris can also acquire her ultimate weapon, Princess Guard, first of anyone. This is the only ultimate weapon with standard Materia growth, and grows in attack power proportional to killed allies.
Aeris is a date option for Cloud in the Gold Saucer, and she is the easiest option to date.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Aerith is a ranged support character who excels in spellcasting. Instead of striking with her staves, she sends magical projectiles from a distance that home in on her targets. Her unique ability, Tempest, is a ranged attack that can be charged up to deal more damage. Aerith also provides a variety of unique supportive abilities that give her unmatched utility to the party. Her unique limit breaks provide healing and support rather than dealing damage.
Aerith's main strength is in being the best spellcaster because she has the highest Magic attribute in the game, and with her Arcane Ward ability all spells cast within it are cast twice. Aerith's damage is entirely magical, and even her regular attacks use her magic attribute. Her main issue is her low durability, due to having the lowest HP and Vitality attribute, and her slow mobility. However, her skillset allows her to remain at a safe distance from enemies, and her damage output can be tremendous. Aerith's role in the party is unique, and though she is locked into this playstyle, she excels at it.
Aerith joins the party in Chapter 8, "Budding Bodyguard", joining Cloud. She is present for the Odd Jobs in the chapter, and completing them will improve Cloud's affection score and determine the dress she wears in Chapter 9, "The Town That Never Sleeps". Aerith remains in the party from Chapter 8 until the end of Chapter 12, "Fight for Survival", but rejoins in Chapter 17, "Deliverance from Chaos".
Aerith is fought as a boss in the Training Mode of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-.
In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Healing Wave is a Limit Break used by Zack when Aerith's portrait lines up in the Digital Mind Wave during a modulating phase. It acts similar to Great Gospel, healing Zack of all status ailments, granting him invincibility, and restoring a large amount of AP, MP and HP, possibly beyond their max amounts. Zack can use Healing Wave after meeting with Aerith, since the beginning of chapter 5.
Aerith's musical theme is called "Aerith's Theme". Two other pieces focusing on Aerith, "Flowers Blooming in the Church" and "Water", are derived from this central piece. Also, the background theme of the final dungeon, "The Great Northern Cave", contains a motif from her theme. Her theme has various version on the Final Fantasy VII Remake Original Soundtrack to befit different scenes with her.
A cover of "Aerith's Theme" with lyrics and the alternate title, "Pure Heart", was sung by Ritsuko Nakano (AKA Rikki) the singer of the vocal theme of Final Fantasy X, "Suteki da ne", as an additional song on the theme's album. Later versions, including versions with lyrics and orchestrated by Nobuo Uematsu, use the original title.
In 2016, during a special event titled "Awakening Cloud" for Final Fantasy Record Keeper, players were treated with a special theme, a heavy metal cover of "Fight On!" (also known as "Those Who Fight Further") that would play in the main menu screen. The theme featured a moment where the "Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII" and "Aerith's Theme" became a medley.
Aerith has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as an Assist-only character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy series as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Mobius Final Fantasy on selected battle cards and as a manifestation of Echo. Also, as a job for Meia.
- Final Fantasy Explorers as a Trance.
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a card.
Aerith makes frequent guest appearances in crossover titles, being just below Cloud, Sephiroth, and Tifa in terms of representation from Final Fantasy VII. Though Aerith is not playable in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, she can be summoned as an Assist in battle, using her usual limit breaks, being the only character in the game that is summonable for Assists while not playable.
In playable appearances, Aerith is depicted as a White Mage support character with healing spells, while geared towards also supplying offensive damage. In Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia and Final Fantasy Record Keeper, her abilities are a mix of healing the party and buffing them to improve their offensive potential, while supplying damage on her own. Aerith frequently makes use of her powerful limit break abilities from the original game, including Healing Wind and Fury Brand.
Although Aerith herself does not appear in Super Smash Bros., she is alluded to in a few instances. In Cloud's debut trailer, Zelda from The Legend of Zelda series kneels down as Cloud is lying prone and holding Lip's Stick while Pikmin surround him, how Cloud met with Aerith in her church Final Fantasy VII. In addition, Sephiroth's debut trailer "The One-Winged Angel!" in Ultimate has him narrowly miss Zelda while she's down on the ground with Hell's Gate in Dream Land, alluding to his murder of Aerith in his debut game. Some of Cloud's Cloudy Wolf variants in both games also have him wearing the memorial ribbon towards Aerith in Advent Children. One of the unlockable images in Ultimate has Cloud wading in a body of water while carrying Zelda as she's got her eyes closed and her mouth wide open, a reference to Aerith's funeral. Later, at the beginning of Sephiroth's in-depth video, she, along with Barrett and Tifa were revealed as Mii Costumes.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Aerith has had key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
- Kingdom Hearts series as a supporting character.
- Itadaki Street series as a playable character.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a Mii Fighter Outfit for Swordfighter.
Aerith has a sizable role as a recurring character in the Kingdom Hearts series, beginning with the first entry. She is a member of a team including Squall Leonhart (named "Leon" in the series), Yuffie Kisaragi, and Cid Highwind.
Mentions and cameos
Allusions are made to Aerith throughout Final Fantasy. Though she does not appear in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, posters of her can be found on the walls, and she has an entry in the game manual. In Final Fantasy Tactics, a character named Aerith is native to Ivalice, initially referred to as a "Flower Girl", with the Chemist job. This Aerith also talks to the Cloud who appears in the game, selling him a flower. In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Aerith's attire is available as a costume for Lightning, known as "Midgar's Flower Girl". In the 1.0 version of Final Fantasy XIV, a non-player character in the Miner quests would mistaken refer to a Miqo'te "Aerith" (or a Midlander Hyur "Cloud"). In Final Fantasy Dimensions, when the Mysterious Old Man tries to introduce himself as "Clou-", Alba replies by saying her name might as be "Aeri-".
Outside the Final Fantasy series, Aerith is referenced throughout pop culture. In Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, an NPC flower vendor in the city of Dalaran is named Aerith Primrose, wearing clothing nearly identical to Aerith's Final Fantasy VII design. In Cloud's reveal trailer for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, his first meeting with Aerith is recreated with an unconscious Cloud next to a kneeling Princess Zelda holding a flower. In the next game in the franchise, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a picture is shown of Cloud holding Princess Zelda in the water, similar to when he was laying Aerith's body to the lake in Forgotten City, after the Advent Children Cloud Fighter Spirit is unlocked.
Costumes of Aerith appear in numerous other titles. In LittleBigPlanet 2, Aerith has a downloadable costume, along with Cloud, Sephiroth, Vincent, and Tifa. Aerith's outfit also appears as a costume in Gunslinger Stratos 2, released as part of a Final Fantasy-themed collaboration event for the game in November 2014. In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, a costume themed around Aerith's outfit is available as the 3P costume for Mirage Koas.
Yoshitaka Amano's "Tranquility" artwork of Cloud and Aerith, originally used as the cover for Final Fantasy VII: Original Soundtrack, appears on a wall in Parasite Eve I. Parasite Eve II portrays a laboratory where Aya Brea tries to use a computer infected with a virus called "Fatekeeper". The anti-virus, "Cloud", is found inside the September issue of a magazine called "Aeris".
Behind the scenes
Concept and design
Aerith was one of the first three main characters designed for Final Fantasy VII. She was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, with influence from director and scenario writer Yoshinori Kitase, as well as Hironobu Sakaguchi, whilst Yoshitaka Amano created conceptual artwork that also influenced her design. Aerith's long dress was a trademark of her design, as a contrast to Tifa.
For Final Fantasy VII Remake, Aerith's design was revisited in terms of physical appearance and personality. Nomura's team wished to visually separate the two heroines, Aerith and Tifa, wherein Aerith's beauty would follow western aesthetics while Tifa would have a more eastern-style look. Nomura requested Aerith's jacket resemble a biker, in contrast to her original design; as he was particular about this, the modelers checked with him often.
Early in development of Final Fantasy VII, due to similarities between the hair in her design and Sephiroth's, it was considered that Sephiroth would be Aerith's brother. This later changed to Sephiroth being Aerith's former lover. Aerith's first love was changed to Zack late during development.
Aerith's death was planned to be part of the plot even when she, Cloud, and Barret were the only playable characters. Nomura and Kitase had decided that one of the main characters would die for the story's theme to work, and decided between Barret and Aerith. Aerith was ultimately chosen as the developers felt that Barret's death would be too predictable. Reflecting on the decision, Nomura stated that the reaction fans had to her death proved they were successful with her character, as her death would simply have been accepted if there was not such a strong reaction.
For Final Fantasy VII Remake, scenario writer Kazushige Nojima described Aerith as the most important character, paying special attention to her lines. He wrote her under the presumption that her words were filled with hints of what's to come. He got some pushback for Aerith's warning to Cloud to not fall in love with her in the Chapter 14 Resolution scene, some of the staff feeling it made her come off as looking down on Cloud. However, if viewed through the lens that Aerith knows the future, it is a powerful line, and Nojima thought the contrast was interesting.
In the original English release of Final Fantasy VII, Aerith's name was transliterated as "Aeris" by SCEA. The transliteration stems from the nature of the katakana writing system and how it is used to represent loan words. The name in kana is エアリス, "e-a-ri-su". Because the Japanese language lacks a pure "th" sound, ス (su) is used as a best-fit substitute for the sound when spelling out loan words.
Since Kingdom Hearts and all related appearances since, the official English spelling of her name was cemented as "Aerith". Prior to this, Japanese publications referring to the character with a Latin-text name have always used the name "Aerith", including the game manual with the Japanese edition of the game, and in the Final Fantasy VII Official Establishment File prior to its release.
However, within the code of Final Fantasy VII, she is called "Aerith" by default before her name is selected by the player. As the first time her name appears is after the name select screen, in which her name defaults to "Aeris", the player would not see this unless the name selection screen was bypassed. This is also true of Cloud, who is named "Ex-SOLDIER" in the game by default until his name is selected in the player, and of Red XIII, who is named "Red" before the name select screen.
In early concept artwork, Nomura wrote her name closer to a straight romanization as "Earith". This translation is also used in the files of the 2012 PC port, in which the filename of her death scene is "earithdd.avi".
Aerith was first voiced in Kingdom Hearts, and has had several different voice actors in English. In Kingdom Hearts she was voiced by Mandy Moore; later she was voiced by Mena Suvari for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Kingdom Hearts II; and she was voiced by Andrea Bowen for Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. Aerith's Japanese voice actor is Maaya Sakamoto. She shares her voice actor with Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII and Diva from Final Fantasy Type-0. Maaya Sakamoto is married to Zack's voice actor, Kenichi Suzumura. For Final Fantasy's 30th Anniversary Celebration, Final Fantasy Record Keeper had a special commercial featuring Maaya Sakamoto and Cloud Strife's voice actor, Takahiro Sakurai.
In Final Fantasy VII Remake, Aerith is voiced by Briana White. Briana auditioned not expecting to be cast, as Aerith is her first real voice acting role, and before playing the game, her only experience with the Final Fantasy series was with Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy XV, which she had enjoyed. Though she avoided playing the game while recording lines in order to keep her portrayal separate from the original, after recording, she played the game and uploaded gameplay of her playthrough on YouTube in a series featuring other voice actors, beginning with John Eric Bentley, the voice of Barret. While playing the game, she noted many similarities in Aerith's personality in the original game compared with the voice lines she had recorded. For her portrayal, Briana found that Aerith may only be a "sweet flower girl" in some iterations, but wanted to preserve the idea that Aerith is also "sassy, can spit fire, and doesn't need to be protected".
Aerith is one of the most popular Final Fantasy characters. In the All Final Fantasy Big Vote in 2020, she was voted as the third-most popular Final Fantasy character, below only Cloud and Yuna. In a poll of Japanese players, Aerith was voted as the third-favorite character for Final Fantasy VII Remake, below Cloud and Tifa.
Aerith's personality has received a positive reaction from critics. Stuart Hoggan, writing for RPGamer, praised Aerith's "admirable pluck that was not brassy nor off-putting", saying her personality broke the mold for female characters and rose above being a simple damsel in distress. Rob Wright, writing for Tom's Hardware in 2007, listed her as one of the top 50 female characters in gaming, describing her as "pure-hearted and soulful as any hero" with "outer beauty to match the inner beauty".
The death of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII has been seen as a monumental moment in gaming history, due to the impact it had on fans. In 2007, GameSpy staff listed it as the tenth top cinematic moment in gaming history, calling it "dramatic as it is beautiful", and comparing it to the death of Gwen Stacy from the Spider-Man comic books. Emma Boyes, writing for IGN in 2012, described the death of Aerith as a genuinely shocking moment, saying her death stays with players and allows them to sympathize with Cloud's quest for vengeance against Sephiroth. Several players in response created numerous fan theories on message boards and dissected the game's code to explore the possibility of reviving Aerith or preventing her death. In describing this, Brian Taylor, writing for Kill Screen, compared this to campaigns of writing letters to Charles Dickens to urge him not to kill the endearing protagonist of The Old Curiosity Shop.
Aerith received praised for her depiction in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Writing for Siliconera, Jenni Lada praised her imperfect personality traits, highlighting her nosiness, recklessness, and being "a little annoying", for humanizing her in Remake compared to the original game, allowing her to grow beyond being an "idealized figure on a pedestal".
Aerith has appeared in numerous merchandise. Her Remake flower necklace was also released as official jewelry.
Etymology and symbolism
According to the September 1997 issue of the Famitsu magazine, Aerith's name was made to sound similar to "earth" due to her connection to the planet; in katakana it approximates to "earisu". Because of differences between English and Japanese regarding the distinct th sound, the name has also been popularly localized as Aeris. Her surname comes from the French singer Serge Gainsbourg, though spelled with the English variant that is also popular in place names; incidentally, it can translate to "a clever/crafty person from the city".
Additionally, the Hebrew word עירית, ʻīrīṯ (the ṯ was pronounced th), refers to the asphodel flower. It is also a modern Hebrew girls' name, Irit. This might have been appropriate, considering Aerith's association with flowers. Because of the inexact way Hebrew treats vowels in writing, an alternate reading ʻērīṯ is also conceivable from an intuitive reading of the letters.
Her name could also be representative of Tiferet, also pronounced Tifereth, representative of the sixth Sefira in the Tree of Life, symbolizing love, beauty, and self-sacrifice. This would tie in with the larger theme Final Fantasy VII has with Jewish mysticism. Given how Tifa's concept was developed after the decision to have Aerith die, and certain characteristics originally attributed to Aerith in earlier storyboards were transferred to Tifa's storyline, it would make sense their names would derive from a split of "Tifereth".
Final Fantasy VII derives symbolism from Jewish mysticism, and Aerith's character may have been influenced by it as well. Sephirot are the ten attributes through which God appears, and Aerith may be tied to one such attribute, chesed, meaning kindness or love. It is a virtue that contributes to a concept translated as the healing of the world, and the concept suggests man's responsibility to repair and transform the world. The Talmud says, "the Torah begins with chesed and ends with chesed", and Aerith is the first and last character seen in the main events of Final Fantasy VII (excepting the epilogue). Those who embody chesed go "above and beyond that which is normally required", and chesed is the first of the sephirot of the attribute of action; in other words, the initiation of action. This is similar to how Aerith ventures off alone to summon Holy. The gematria (a numerological system for assigning numbers to words) of chesed is 72; Aerith's birthday is February 7.
- Due to poor conversions from centimeters to feet in English materials, Aerith's height has been listed as 5'3". Her height is actually 5.3ft, or 5ft4in.
- The main reason Shinra wanted Aerith was the Neo Midgar project, as they wanted her to locate the promised land. At the time, the Wutai War ate up most of Shinra's resources, postponing the project, meaning taking Aerith in was a lesser priority.
- While in the lifestream, Aerith attempted to fight off Sephiroth's influence and met with the spirits of other deceased characters in her efforts. She also witnessed Cloud and Tifa fall into the lifestream and into Cloud's Subconscious, and protected Tifa's mind from the lifestream while she restored Cloud's true persona.
- Aerith makes a point that Rude is "not a bad person". While Cloud and Tifa are frightened of the Train Graveyard's ghosts, Aerith tries to commune with them, believing they are misunderstood.
- When auditioning for Don Corneo, Aerith stands still and stoic, compared to the less comfortable Tifa. Later, when Hojo mocks Aerith with claims of collecting her mother's flesh and bone, Aerith remains still and silent until Hojo leaves, at which point she gasps in discomfort. Aerith later remarks her disdain for him.
- Aerith is willing to leave the house often, despite knowing the Turks are after her, and despite Shinra soldiers patrolling the streets. She shows her indifference to Cloud when she jokes she is the stronger prey of the two after he warns her of monsters.
- When confronted with the Whispers, Aerith first confesses to the group how she feels "lost in a maze", before later asking them all to help her fight them, despite being terrified of what the consequences may be.
- Aerith is frequently playful towards Cloud, and Cloud does not act harshly to her in return (compared to with Jessie Rasberry). When he tries to appear cool, and brings up any danger he is involved in, she often simply laughs it off. Though Cloud is a little slow in his responses to her, he does try to open up, as can be seen when he tries (and eventually succeeds) to high-five Aerith following numerous failed attempts.
- Aerith knows Cloud is a mercenary, but later claims it to be a guess. She knew Tifa would ask her to help Marlene before meeting Marlene or before it being mentioned. Later, Aerith tells the group there is a much greater threat than Shinra, warning about Sephiroth, only for the Whispers to attack her.
- Aerith already knows Marlene's name without anyone having told her, and knows about Barret when Marlene asks for her "daddy" without having ever met him. She implies that she and Cloud can't have a future together in her Resolution scene, implying she knows what will happen to her, and is the one to explain to the others how Sephiroth is the true threat to the planet over Shinra. If Aerith is in the final battle, Sephiroth says "Can you not see your future? What hope have you? You cannot change it."
- Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania, p. 22
- Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania Revised Edition, p. 32
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Icicle Inn optional dialogue"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake Kaiga no Naka no Chōsatai
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Aeris's Secret"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Words of Hope"
- Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story
- Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-
- Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Episode 6
- Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Episode 11
- Final Fantasy VII script § "No. 1 Reactor Bombing"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "The Woman at the Church"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "To Corneo Hall"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Prevent the Fall of the Plate"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Storming the Shinra Building"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "The Nightmare Beginning Anew"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Going After Sephiroth"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Dangerous Voyage"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "The Palace of Pleasure"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Gongaga, the Village of Sadness"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "In the Land of the Study of Planet Life"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Secret Date"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Parting with Aeris"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "What Aeris Left Behind"
- Hoshi o Meguru Otome
- Final Fantasy VII script § "The Planet's Judgment"
- Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile, "Lifestream: White"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Taking a Detour"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Second Chance Meeting"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "To the Attic"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Escort the Children"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Requests for the Mercenary"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Tour Guide"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Saying Goodbye"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Chasing Tifa"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Aerith's Plan"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Showdown with Corneo"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Crossing the Trunk Line"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Shadow in the Control Room"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Back Amongst Friends (continued)"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Link Up with Avalanche"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Evacuation Orders"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Saving Marlene (continued)"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Reconnaissance"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Resolve"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "A Way Out"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Turning Point"
- Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-
- Final Fantasy VII script § "The Palace of Pleasure"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Pass Through the Maintenance Facility"
- Final Fantasy VII script § "Barret's Past"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake, battle dialogue
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "A Helping Hand"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Research the 3rd Ward (continued)"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Language of Flowers"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Through the Backstreets"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Head for the Station"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Operation: Save Aerith"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Working Together Again"
- Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Resolution"
- Hoshi o Meguru Otome
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
- Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania Revised Edition, p. 8-13
- Knight 2003
- Nelva 2019
- Final Fantasy VII Remake Material Ultimania, p. 33
- Famitsu May 2012
- Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, p. 525
- Electronic Gaming Monthly 2005
- Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania, p. 744
- Final Fantasy VII, game manual (PlayStation, NTSC-J), p. 06
- Final Fantasy VII Official Establishment File, p. 20, [Scan]
- Final Fantasy VII
- Concept artwork by Tetsuya Nomura
- White 2019
- West 2020
- White 2020
- Watts 2020
- NHK 2020
- Famitsu July 2020, p. 19
- Hoggan 2007
- Wright 2007
- GameSpy Staff 2007
- Boyes 2012
- Taylor 2011
- Lada 2020
- interview on page 59 of Weekly Famitsu No. 1224 2012/05/31
- Video games
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- Square Enix (2004). Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i Series. Square Enix.
- Square Enix (2008). Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-. PlayStation Portable. Square Enix.
- Square Enix, Monolith Soft (2006). Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. PlayStation 2. Square Enix.
- Square Enix (2020). Final Fantasy VII Remake. PlayStation 4. Square Enix.
- Movies and television
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- Studio BentStuff (1997). Final Fantasy VII Kaitai Shinsho The Complete. ASCII Corporation. ISBN 978-4-8936-6678-9.
- Studio BentStuff (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega. Square Enix. ISBN 978-4-8936-6678-9.
- October 2005. Interivew with Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura. (Archive link). Electronic Gaming Monthly.
- Benny Matsuyama (2005). Hoshi o Meguru Otome. Square Enix. ISBN 978-4-8936-6678-9.
- Doug Walsh (2006). Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Signature Series Guide. BradyGames. ISBN 978-0744008357.
- Studio BentStuff (2009). Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania Revised Edition. SE-Mook. ISBN 978-4-7575-2560-3.
- Kazushige Nojima, Melissa Tanaka (translator) (2018). Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile. Yen Press. ISBN 978-1-9753-8235-3.
- May 31, 2012. Tetusya Nomura interview. (Nomura interview translation, Kitase interview translation). Famitsu.
- Square Enix (2020). Final Fantasy VII Remake World Preview. SE-Mook. ISBN 978-4-7575-6541-8.
- Kazushige Nojima (2020). Final Fantasy VII Remake Kaiga no Naka no Chōsatai. SE-Mook. ISBN 978-4-7575-6541-8.
- Studio BentStuff (2020). Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania. SE-Mook. ISBN 978-4-7575-6586-9.
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- Rob Wright (February 20, 2007). The 50 Greatest Female Characters in Video Game History. Tom's Hardware.
- GameSpy Staff (April 16, 2007). GameSpy's Top 25 Video Game Cinematic Moments. GameSpy. Accessed November 2, 2020. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
- Stuart Hoggan. Damsels and Distress?. RPGamer. Accessed November 2, 2020. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008.
- Brian Taylor (September 4, 2011). Save Aeris — How can we be moved by the fate of Aeris Gainsborough. Kill Screen. Accessed November 2, 2020. Archived from the original on August 1, 2014.
- Emme Boyes (14 February 2012). The Greatest Video Game Couples. OGN. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020.
- Giuseppe Nelva (June 19, 2019). Final Fantasy VII Remake Gets New Screenshots and Details on Content and Design on Famitsu. Twinfinite. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020.
- February 29, 2020. Result announcement. NHK. Accessed October 26, 2020. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020.
- Steve Watts (April 6, 2020). How The Final Fantasy 7 Remake Cast Found Its Voice. GameSpot. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020.
- Jenni Lada (April 15, 2020). Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Aerith Remains Kind and Appropriately Enigmatic. Siliconera. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020.
- Josh West (April 21, 2020). Meet Britt Baron and Briana White, the voice actors behind Tifa and Aerith in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. GamesRadar. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020.
- Briana White (August 20, 2019). I'm the Voice Actor for Aerith in Final Fantasy VII Remake!. YouTube.
- Briana White (January 21, 2020). Aerith & Barret Remake Voice Actors Play Final Fantasy VII - Briana White & John Bentley. YouTube.