The Woman at the Church is the fourth chapter in Final Fantasy VII, part of the first act, "Banner of Revolution". After planting a bomb in the No. 5 Reactor, Cloud Strife falls from the exploding walkway, only to wake up in the Sector 5 slums church. There, he meets Aerith Gainsborough, who is chased by the Shinra Electric Power Company, and the two must escape Shinra's Turks.
Church in the Slums
Upon waking up at the Church in the Slums, a short conversation will begin between Cloud and "Flower girl". After the conversation ends, the player must talk to her again, and the option will appear to name her, with her name defaulting to "Aeris". After the conversation continues, a character will appear in the back of the church. Run towards him, for Aeris to call out to Cloud. After she does, run back and talk to Aeris, for the scene to continue.
This will lead to another scene, in which Reno, a member of the Turks, and a group of Shinra soldiers will close in on them. The two will eventually run through the back of the church, and Aeris joins the party as a playable character. After some more dialogue, fights occur with Shinra soldiers while escaping Reno. The outcomes here affect date mechanics based on how well Cloud helps Aeris avoid fights.
There are three options when a fight begins. "Fight 'em" will cause a battle either with Guard Hounds and/or MP. These fights are better off avoided, as Aeris's physical damage is fairly low, and the EXP gained is negligible. Nonetheless, they can be defeated in a few hits. "RUN!" will cause Aeris to flee, but does not guarantee she will escape.
The best way to avoid the fights entirely is to select "Hold on a minute!" and, as Cloud, use barrels to push the enemies off. To do this, Cloud needs to push the barrels in the right order: The left barrel first, then top barrel second, and then the right barrel last. If the player waits too long to push a barrel, Aeris is forced into battle. If the player pushes the wrong barrel Aeris must battle an enemy anyway, and Cloud can also prompt Aeris to fight without pushing any barrels.
After defeating all the enemies, Aeris reunites with Cloud and the two must run from the church through the rooftops to Sector 5 Slum.
Sector 5 Slum
After leaving the church, Aeris will direct Cloud to her house, diagonally northwest from the church. After traveling through one screen, head up north after this to reach the market. There are a few non-player characters to interact with, and the player can restock on items, but there are no new Materia.
The quest can be continued by heading east to reach Aeris's garden, where her house is located. A Cover Materia and an Ether can be found on the islands to the right. After obtaining them, head inside the house for a conversation with Aeris and Elmyra Gainsborough, her mother. During the conversation, Aeris will ask Cloud if Tifa is his girlfriend; selecting "Year, that's right" will reduce Cloud's affection score with Aeris by 5, but answering "No way!" will increase the score by 1. Following the conversation, the camera perspective on the room will change, and control of Cloud is regained. After talking to Elmyra, she will ask Cloud to leave in the middle of the night. Cloud must then head upstairs to talk to Aeris and sleep in a room on the left.
After a short scene, Cloud has to leave in the middle of the night. This can be done by walking down the stairs without running; if Cloud runs, Aeris will catch him and take him back to his room. After successfully leaving the first floor, Cloud can then travel through Sector 5.
After this, head west through the market and to a wall on the other side, where Aeris is waiting. She will join the party, and Cloud must continue by heading through a hole in the wall to Sector 6.
Sector 6 comprises a screen that the player must navigate through and one afterwards. Along the way, the party may encounter Hell House or Whole Eaters. Whole Eaters are negligible, and can be defeated with a Magic spell linked to an All Materia on Cloud, and a few physical attacks. Hell Houses can be a threat due to its damage and high HP, and is best defeated either using magic spells or just by running from the fights.
To navigate through Sector 6, first run through a wooden ramp up to an elevated area, then across a metal bridge. Next, use the metal ramp down to the lower area and through a tunnel, then turn left and go around up to a beam that leads up to an elevated area. After this, simply head up north, down the next wooden ramp, and up again to a playground.
Upon reaching the playground, Aeris will ask what Cloud wants to do next. "Take her home." will lead to no change, while selecting "Go on to to Sector 7" will improve Cloud's points with Aeris by +1. Following this, a scene will commence, after which Cloud will see Tifa on a cart leading to Wall Market. This leads in directly to the next chapter, "To Corneo Hall".