What is the name of FFVII’s planet?

The games, movies and prose entries in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII have thus far not revealed a proper name for the world in which its heroes, villains and other literary figures carry out their struggles. The only title ever used in reference to their planet is simply that: “the planet.”

Official English localizations of the original game for the Sony PlayStation and Windows PC on occasion write “Planet” with the first letter of the word capitalized. This arguably gives the impression that the planet’s name is simply “Planet” or “the Planet.” However, the word in this case is translated from the Japanese word “hoshi” (星), meaning “star” or “celestial body.” Usually used in reference to stars, it can technically mean any object in space, though ambiguity is typically avoided with reference to our Earth, sun and moon — or suns and moons unrelated to our Earth — by using more specific wording.

Furthermore, “hoshi” is not written out in Japanese katakana as ホシ, as would be expected were it intended to be a proper name. Granted, Hojo’s name is written in kanji as 宝条 both in-game and in other official materials, but he is a unique exception to an otherwise well-established rule, and said exception may have more to do with “Hojo” being an already existent Japanese surname.

The localization choice to capitalize the first letter in “Planet” was likely made as a way to emphasize which planet is being referred to rather than a deliberate attempt to give the impression that the planet’s name is “the Planet” — e.g. the proper name of our Earth’s moon in the real world is “the Moon” and our sun is “the Sun.”

In all post-original game Compilation material, the official English localization writes “planet” with a lower case p. Even so, it has remained popular among the English-speaking community to capitalize the first letter in reference to the specific planet on which FFVII takes place.

A popular theory among fans is that the world’s official name is “Gaia.” However, this name has so far only been reported in official English sources outside of the Compilation titles and, therefore, cannot be counted as FFVII canon.

History of the FFVII “Gaia” Theory

At the 2004 Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), the Square Enix booth gave away pamphlets promoting Advent Children. These referred to FFVII’s planet as “the world of Gaia.”

In light of the original game featuring a location to the utmost north known as “Gaea’s Cliff” (ガイアの絶壁 in Japanese; “Gaia” and “Gaea” both being valid romanizations of ガイア), the name had a precedent and seemed to fit. Fans caught on to this, expecting the stream of Compilation material to further validate this notion, and “Gaia” would subsequently find its way onto many FFVII forums, wikis and other fan sites.

Over the following years, however, additional references to the planet by this name would be few and far between. At present, the total count, including the aforementioned pamphlet, amounts only to four cases.

Here follows descriptions for the other three:


Square Enix’s North American webpage for Dirge of Cerberus includes a “Hangman” minigame in which the visitor may answer questions about the FFVII mythos. One question reads, “What is the world in which the story of FINAL FANTASY VII takes place?” to which the correct response is “Gaia.” The page and the minigame date back to 2006. (Click here for screenshot.)

NA Dirge of Cerberus Page


In August 2012, the official North American Square Enix website published a Series Biography article summarizing the basic release history and plot of each numbered Final Fantasy title. In FFVII’s entry from the article, its world is again dubbed “Gaia.”

In FINAL FANTASY VII Cloud Strife battles the supremely powerful Sephiroth in an effort prevent a massive meteor from colliding into the world of Gaia. – Source and screenshot


Final Fantasy: All the Bravest, released for iOS devices on January 17, 2013, includes the following description in its entry on the FFVII iteration of the enemy Ultima Weapon:

Thanks to Gaia’s gift of wings, this Weapon has the annoying habit of flying away. – Source


Researching Japanese Sources

An extensive search through the Japanese corner of the web by forum members Squall_of_SeeD and The_Kusabi_ yields not a single hit for “Gaia” in the context of FFVII other than with regard to the frozen area that must be scaled in order to reach the Northern Crater. Furthermore, both researchers have scoured the FFVII Ultimania Omega guidebook published in 2005 and have yet to find a single claim for the planet having a name. The Japanese word for “planet,” hoshi (星), is all that can be found.

Nothing in the official mythos links Gaea’s Cliff to any supposed name for the planet, and it is clear that the fan community in Japan does not acknowledge the name “Gaia” as an official name for FFVII’s world.

Most illuminating of all, on June 17, 2013, The_Kusabi_ provided a great service to his fellow FFVII fans in the form of a screenshot from the Japanese version of All the Bravest, revealing that the name “Gaia” does not appear in that edition. Click here for screenshot.

Here also are his translation of and commentary on the text in Ultima Weapon’s entry:

“With the pride of the greatest of the Weapon Series birthed by the Planet, it flies through the great skies on wings [given by the Planet].”

This is a very -rough- but direct translation of the text.
Note that 星 is used in the text as the name of the planet, whereas ガイア (Gaia) is not present at all.

Squall_of_SeeD has also provided an additional, cleaner translation:

“With the pride of being the strongest in the series of Weapons produced by the planet, it sails through the sky on its wings.”

We may never know with 100 percent certainty if the reference in the Advent Children pamphlets was simply the mistake of someone in Square’s marketing department or if it genuinely holds some connection to intentions by the original developers of FFVII. We can, however, safely consider it most likely that the name “Gaia” is little more than a mistake that has survived via the web since May 2004. This article was published on June 2013 and unfortunately the misconception of the planet having a name has continued well beyond that date.

It is not farfetched to think that the FFVII community itself helped keep the mistake alive by referring to it in fan-made guides and on wikis — which, in turn, may have been used by North American Square Enix staff for research in the writing of their web features and the localization of Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.

All facts and research considered, it is deemed very unlikely that FFVII’s planet has a canon name.

Article Author: Shademp
Editor: Squall_of_SeeD

Thanks to JBedford128, The_Kusabi_, Prince Lex and Squall_of_SeeD for contributing to this article.