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Trophy: Reunited
Complete "Budding Bodyguard". Bronze

Cloud falls from the Sector 5 reactor scaffolding and wakes up on a bed of yellow flowers. There, inside the church, he reunites with Aerith, the flower girl.


Budding Bodyguard is the eighth chapter in Final Fantasy VII Remake. The chapter comprises events when Cloud Strife falls from Mako Reactor 5 to the Sector 5 slums church and meets Aerith Gainsborough.

Completing the chapter unlocks the bronze trophy Reunited.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Cloud dreams of talking to another version of himself.

Cloud dreams of two specters hover around him as he falls into the light. Another version of Cloud asks if he is okay and encourages him. Cloud hears an unknown voice and asks the alternate Cloud who he is. The other Cloud, who is revealed to be Sephiroth, tells him that he is his everything and that there is still much to be done. The unknown voice calls out to Cloud again.

Cloud opens his eyes and sees a broken ceiling. He looks around and finds the voice is the flower peddler he met a while ago. The flower peddler asks if Cloud is okay and Cloud gets up to his feet. The flower peddler introduces herself as Aerith and Cloud introduces himself as well. Aerith says they're in the old church at the Sector 5 slums, and that Cloud came crashing through the roof last night.

Cloud is lucky to have fallen into her flower bed. Cloud sees the scattered petals across the floor and apologizes. Aerith tells him not to worry about it and adds that the church has a strange power. She returns Cloud the materia he dropped when he fell. Aerith has a materia that is "not good for anything at all", showing him her hair ribbon. Cloud gets a headache and sees her drop a glowing materia orb. Cloud quickly clears his head and says maybe she doesn't know how to use it, and she agrees. Aerith says the materia was a gift from her mother and asks Cloud to stay for a while.

Cloud awakes in Aerith's flower bed.
Cloud fights Reno in the church to protect Aerith.

Cloud awakes in Aerith's flower bed, and then defends her from Reno of the Turks.

Cloud looks around the church while Aerith fixes her flower bed. Aerith is happy Cloud will stay when a red-haired man named Reno barges into the church with Shinra soldiers in tow. Aerith shows off Cloud as her bodyguard and a SOLDIER member. Cloud says he is an ex-SOLDIER as Reno recognizes Cloud's mako-infused eyes. Aerith asks if Cloud will do bodyguard work for her. Cloud agrees for a high price, though confused Aerith knew he was a mercenary. Aerith promises to pay with a date. Reno asks what class Cloud was in who answers he was a First. Reno laughs and wants Cloud to prove it. Cloud attacks and Reno retaliates, Aerith telling the pair to watch out for her flower bed. Reno orders two Shinra soldiers to fire at Cloud, but Cloud swiftly defeats them. Once all soldiers are defeated, Reno challenges Cloud to a duel, only to be defeated. Cloud tries to kill the injured Reno, but Aerith yells at him to stop and numerous specters drag Cloud and Aerith to the back of the church. More Shinra soldiers arrive and Reno tells them that he is fine and commands them to pursue Aerith.

The Shinra soldiers try to open the door to the back of the church to get to the pair, but the specters prevent them. Aerith wonders why the specters didn't attack her and Cloud. The two climb upstairs to get to the attic, but Aerith almost falls, only for a specter to save her. Shinra soldiers and Reno break the door and a soldier shoots at Aerith, Reno telling him to stop. The shot breaks the wooden plank Aerith was on and she falls back down. Reno tells the forces to bring her in one piece. A soldier tries to approach Aerith, but the invisible specters protect her. Cloud tells her to run, but another soldier holds her at gun point. Cloud drops a chandelier onto the trooper to help Aerith escape. She reunites with Cloud and they get to the attic while avoiding fire from Shinra.

The Whispers protect Cloud and Aerith in the church.

The Shinra troopers ask if they should pursue Cloud and Aerith to the attic. Reno tells them to leave the two alone for now and that his partner will do the rest. Cloud and Aerith meanwhile continue through a swarm of moving specters. They cross the planks near the ceiling, and see Reno and the Shinra forces leave the church.

Aerith directs Cloud to cross the rooftops to get to the station near the Sector 5 pillar. Cloud explains that once he is done with bodyguard work, he will head back to the Sector 7 slums. He recognizes Reno as one of the Turks, Shinra Electric Power Company's intelligence and black ops division, and explains what they do, which includes searching for candidates for SOLDIER. Aerith jokes that they may want to hire her.

Aerith hangs from a ledge.

The pair arrives at a rusty ladder and Cloud climbs up first. When Aerith climbs the ladder snaps and she is left hanging at a ledge of the building. Cloud saves her, and Aerith thanks him. Aerith has thought about leaving Midgar, but finds herself unable to. Cloud asks if Aerith thinks that the outside world is dangerous, with Aerith answering that there is just too much to handle if she left. She adds that though most people hate the steel sky, she doesn't.

Cloud and Aerith make it to the end of the rooftops as Cloud drops down. Aerith falls and Cloud grabs her. Aerith thanks Cloud and takes him to the station through a monster-infested abandoned construction site. A station worker is trying to calm the undercity residents who are frightened over the Mako Reactor 5 bombing. The station has a good view of the smoking mako reactor, and thus is crowded. A Shinra helicopter lands nearby and a man with sunglasses alights and leaves with two Shinra troopers. He is another Turk and Cloud and Aerith hide, opting to use the backstreets to avoid being spotted.

They come to a locked gate and take a detour. Aerith is hungry and invites Cloud for dinner at her house for her mom's cooking. Once they open up another gate and defeat a smogger, they realize that the gate they saw earlier was locked from the other side, and unlock it. They come to another gate that only opens from the other side and Cloud climbs some containers and monkey bars to get there to let Aerith through.

A crowd watching the news.

When Cloud and Aerith arrive at the Sector 5 slums they find a group of people watching the news on an outdoor screen about the Mako Reactor 5 bombing. The reporter explains the aftermath and sees Scarlet walk past, the leader of Shinra's Advanced Weaponry Division, and rushes to interview her. Scarlet first ignores him, but finally answers that Mako Reactor 5 has been temporarily shut down and that all fires have been extinguished. She adds that the situation is under control and that the people should not worry. Shinra has discerned the bomb was similar to the one used in the attack on Mako Reactor 1. When the reporter asks if the terrorists can be stopped, Scarlet's temper flares. She scares off the reporter and kicks the cameraman, saying that Shinra will keep Midgar safe. A Shinra trooper cuts the footage.

Aerith introduces Cloud and a kid named Oates, as she is friends with all kids who live in the local slums. The pair meets up with the rest of the kids who want to see the reactor. The kids tell Aerith to come to their house, with Aerith explaining to Cloud the kids live in the local orphanage called the Leaf House. The local doctor greets Aerith as they walk past, thanking her for the herbs that she gave him. Aerith introduces Cloud as her bodyguard. They find the housemother at the entrance of the Leaf House who is glad the kids are back and asks Aerith for some flowers. Because of the recent upsetting news the housemother hopes the flowers will cheer the people of the school. The housemother brings the kids inside as Aerith and Cloud continue to Aerith's house. Aerith asks what happened to the flower she gave him. Cloud says he gave it away, but won't tell to whom.

Elmyra and Aerith's house is surrounded by vast gardens.

At her house, a worried Elmyra Gainsborough asks if Aerith is up to no good as a man named Rude came by, but stops short when she sees Cloud. Aerith introduces him and Elmyra asks if he is taking good care of Aerith, with Cloud saying it is his job. Aerith promises to take Cloud back to Sector 7, but he says the Turks are still looking for her. Aerith brushes off the danger, saying she has dealt with them before and that she is worried more about Cloud getting lost. Elmyra insists they wait until tomorrow morning, since the sun will set by the time they would get to Sector 7. Aerith agrees, though Cloud is reluctant to wait. Aerith still needs to deliver flowers for the Leaf House and she asks Cloud to help. She heads upstairs to fetch her baskets, gives Cloud one, and says goodbye to Elmyra as the pair heads to her garden.

Cloud chooses which flowers to pick and the pair returns to the Leaf House, where Aerith tells Cloud to look around the Sector 5 slums while she drops off the flowers to the housemother. While exploring, Cloud finds Oates, who asks where Aerith is. Oates heads to the Leaf House with Cloud in tow. Aerith is outside and says someone spooked Oates and the other kids. Oates explains that two kids ran away after a man in black robes showed up who had a numbered tattoo on his arm. Cloud knows someone by that description and accompanies Aerith to check it out.

Oates leads the pair to the kids' hideout, which is usually off limits to adults, but Aerith says they must break the rules to find the missing kids. They fail to find the robed man, and Aerith wants to rescue the kids first. She and Cloud enter the abandoned monster-infested lot and find two kids cornered by smoggers and hedgehog pies. The two defeat the monsters, with Cloud rescuing the kids. The pair escorts the kids back to the hideout, but Cloud experiences a headache and sees one of the kids as a young Tifa being escorted by some boys and yells out her name. Aerith asks who Tifa is, a girlfriend perhaps, with Cloud not knowing how to explain.

The robed man collapses at the kids' hideout.

They arrive at the hideout, with Oates thanking them and gives Cloud a handmade necklace that denotes Cloud and Aerith as one of the kids, allowing entry to the hideout any time. The black-robed man shows up and collapses, scaring the kids. Aerith rushes to check on him, Cloud realizing he is not the same man he met in the apartment at Sector 7. Aerith wonders why the man has a number 2 tattooed to his arm. The man grabs Cloud, with Cloud seeing him as Sephiroth who tells Cloud about the reunion, saying it is nothing to fear as he turns back into the black-robed man, who shuffles out of the hideout. Aerith tells Cloud to get it together, with Cloud asking if Aerith knows about Sephiroth. She knows he was a war hero who died five years ago, but Cloud feels he is still alive. The kids return to the hideout, Oates telling Cloud that many locals need help, saying that when he is out on patrol, he often hears about people's problems. Aerith agrees to help, telling Cloud they still have time before going back to her house for dinner.

Cloud and Aerith do some odd jobs to help the locals. Moggie the Moogle in the kids' hideout welcomes Cloud to the Moogle Emporium and Cloud can purchase a membership by paying Moggie a moogle medal. Cloud and Aerith help a scared man by defeating five Mark II Monodrives in the backstreets. The man thanks them and asks Cloud and Aerith to help an old man who wants to visit his wife's grave that is crowded by monsters. Cloud and Aerith find the door to the graveyard locked and buy a graveyard key from Moggie. They defeat three venomantises there and Aerith says a prayer to the grave. Cloud and Aerith also help Ms. Folia, a teacher at the Leaf House, by looking for kids who have gone out on patrol. After gathering all the kids they hear a toad king is in the hideout trail. Cloud and Aerith defeat it, and the kids prepare a special game for Cloud. Oates tells Cloud that a tired looking guy by the community center needs help. Cloud and Aerith find Damon, a reporter for the Daily Buzz, who wants scoop about "the angel of the slums", a notorious thief who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Cloud and Aerith interview the old people in the community center, meeting an old lady named Mireille Dudley, who knows about the angel and tells Damon about the angel's hideout. Cloud and Aerith head there to investigate and defeat a chromogger. They find the angel's calling card with a friendly warning to Damon, who gives up on the scoop.

Rude confronts Cloud and Aerith.
Cloud stares down Rude with his mako eyes.

Cloud stares down Rude when the Turk arrives to kidnap Aerith for Shinra.

When Cloud and Aerith are on their way back home, the housemother shows them the floral arrangement they made from the flowers the pair had picked. She says a man in sunglasses was looking for Aerith. The man is revealed to be Rude, a man Aerith is already acquainted with. He asks if Cloud is her new bodyguard, recognizing Cloud as the one who defeated Reno by his eyes. When Rude heads to an open area with Cloud in pursuit, Aerith says Rude is not a bad person. Rude affirms, but adds that sometimes he has to do bad things, whether he likes it or not. He tells Cloud to not take it personally as he attacks, but is blocked. Cloud taunts Rude by saying the Turks are all bark but no bite. Rude battles Cloud and Aerith, but is defeated. Aerith tells him to leave her alone, with Rude refusing to surrender. He receives a phone call from Reno for a job in Sector 7. A Shinra helicopter arrives to pick him up, as Rude tells Aerith to stay home, but she playfully refuses and tells him that he knows she can't do that.

If Cloud and Aerith completed all odd jobs, Aerith will talk with the flowers in her garden, telling Cloud the flowers said that they did good work today. Aerith feels like the flowers are trying to tell her something, but that she needs to take a final step before she can understand it. She thinks she should give up, but Cloud says she is not that type of person. Aerith says that she worked so hard at helping out the people today because it was a special day. Cloud tells the flowers to speak to Aerith, and joins her, telling her that the flowers said that they did good work today.

When Cloud and Aerith return to her house, Elmyra scolds the pair for coming so late. She tells Aerith that dinner is ready and asks her to set up the guest room for Cloud. As Aerith heads upstairs Elmyra tells Cloud that she knows he is a SOLDIER because of the eyes. Cloud corrects, saying he is an ex-SOLDIER. Elmyra asks Cloud to leave covertly tonight, saying that SOLDIER members traded their normal life for power, and that Cloud can't have both. Aerith comes back downstairs, sees Cloud's face, and realizes something is wrong.

Cloud dreams of staying in his childhood home.
Cloud's mother, Claudia, cooking for Cloud

Cloud dreams of staying at his childhood home while his mother cooked for him.

As Cloud goes to sleep after dinner, he dreams of laying in his childhood bed in Nibelheim. His mom, Claudia, is proud of Cloud having grown up, but would feel better if he found a mature girlfriend that would keep an eye on him. Cloud wakes up in the guest room at nighttime and sneaks downstairs without making a sound, finding Elmyra there. He asks how to get to Sector 7, with Elmyra saying he needs to get through Sector 6, which is right next to the Sector 5 slums. She wants Cloud to promise to never talk to Aerith again. Cloud affirms and leaves the house.

On the way, Cloud meets with the housemother, who thanks Cloud one more time for helping the kids today, and tells him to pass her thanks to Aerith as well. At the exit of the Sector 5 slums, however, he finds Aerith waiting for him.

Spoilers end here.


Main Scenario[]

Many of the quests in "Budding Bodyguard" are combat quests involving a party of Cloud Strife and Aerith Gainsborough. In the first quest, "Second Chance Meeting", Cloud fights a solo boss battle against Reno, after which the next few quests are mostly exploration quests up until "Head for the Station", when Aerith joins the party and monsters are battled.

This carries on through to when the party arrive in the Center District of the Sector 5 Slums. Here, monsters are fought in "Danger in the Hideout" and combat quests become available in "Requests for the Mercenary", at the end of which, Cloud and Aerith fight Rude.

Odd Jobs[]

Odd Jobs open up in the Main Scenario quest "Requests for the Mercenary", all completed with a party of Cloud and Aerith. These odd jobs are crucial both for affection mechanics and for choosing a dress for Aerith, as the number of completed jobs determines both the dress she gets and Cloud's affection score with her for the "Resolve" quest later.

"The Mysterious Moogle Merchant" is one of two sidequests with no combat involved, and is the easiest to complete by simply talking to Moggie in the kids' hideout. The remaining quests are combat-oriented: in "Kids on Patrol", Cloud must find several children around the slums to return them to the Leaf House and then fight the hedgehog pie king. This unlocks "A Verified Hero", a non-combat quest revolving around the Whack-a-Box minigame, as well as "The Angel of the Slums", a combat sidequest in which Cloud and Aerith fight the Chromogger.

"Weapons on a Rampage" is a straightforward combat quest where Cloud and Aerith defeat the Mark II Monodrives around the backstreets. It leads into "Paying Respects", when Cloud and Aerith fight venomantises around the Slums Cemetery.


The two Discovery sidequests are very different in nature. "The Gate Won't Open" opens up a shortcut through the backstreets areas in the Sector 5 Slums, while "The Language of Flowers" is a short cutscene with Aerith.

Behind the scenes[]

93% of players reported Aerith wearing the best dress, suggesting 93% of players completed all Odd Jobs during "Budding Bodyguard". This is compared to 4% who reported seeing her second dress (suggesting they completed half of the Odd Jobs), and 3% who saw the basic one (suggesting they completed none).[1]


  1. Square Enix (2020, August 14). "Results of the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Post-Play Survey". From Final Fantasy Portal Site. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020.