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SPOILERS General 'Will Aerith Live?' Thread (*Open Spoilers*)

KindOfBlue

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Blue
You are completely disregarding how Cloud is portrayed in Remake; the devs made sure that his characterisation wasn't actually dark. Cloud isn't dark, he's an introvert. If you look at how he is around Tifa, he sure doesn't look dark at all. The devs are making sure that we can point out who Cloud Strife is, it's not to make a darker version of AC!Cloud during the game - something he's never been and honestly in AC, he was badly mischaracterised, hence ACC that worked a LOT on his character.

Cloud is not a dark character. That would be Vincent.
A character being “dark” isn’t just describing their personality though. Cloud’s background is very dark and for as much as people dislike his characterization in AC, for me it makes perfect sense considering everything he’s been through up to that point.

Remake shows more dimensions of Cloud’s characterization by giving him a comparably more well-rounded personality but by no means are the dark elements of his character discarded. If anything, we get to see even more of how his trauma affects him.
 
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Eerie

Fire and Blood
Cloud's past is dark, so is Tifa's and Barret's and Aerith's and Vincent's; Red and Cid's are a tad better, but honestly Cloud's past being dark doesn't make him an outlier. The only darkest thing he went through was being tested on by Hojo during 4 years.

Real Cloud is a dork and would never come back from killing Aerith, full stop. Not only that but by having him do the deed, you make Sephiroth LESS menacing. He is a great enemy *because* he kills Aerith. You break the suspension bridge - why is the party still following him until Northern Crater?

Cloud killing Aerith makes it a *less good story* than OG. I know some of you insist that the OG is already better anyway, but Sephiroth killing Aerith is important, both to the plot and the characters. The OG was about surprising the player; this is not the same, not with a story that's been out for 25 years. The surprises are everywhere else, not in Aerith's death sorry.

Edit cause I forgot: Cloud from AC was badly mischaracterised because no one understood him. This is why they had to rework his character greatly in ACC so that fans could understand his motivations.
 

LNK

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Nate
Yet the devs point out that he's happy during CoT, and he becomes happier and happier. That's the point, he can be happy. I don't think he'd be able to think he deserves happiness if he killed Aerith

Ok, that's definitely true. I forgot that, thank you. It doesn't change my point that he didn't find happiness in the OG, though

You are completely disregarding how Cloud is portrayed in Remake; the devs made sure that his characterisation wasn't actually dark. Cloud isn't dark, he's an introvert.

I agree, but I think it's too early to judge how cloud is going to be. Sephiroth doesn't really start messing with him until they leave Midgar anyway.

He is a great enemy *because* he kills Aerith.

Yes, and no. It was jenova/him that killed her. If they switch it to Cloud/him doing it's still Sephiroth being the one who controlled it
 
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KindOfBlue

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Blue
Cloud's past is dark, so is Tifa's and Barret's and Aerith's and Vincent's; Red and Cid's are a tad better, but honestly Cloud's past being dark doesn't make him an outlier. The only darkest thing he went through was being tested on by Hojo during 4 years.

Real Cloud is a dork and would never come back from killing Aerith, full stop. Not only that but by having him do the deed, you make Sephiroth LESS menacing. He is a great enemy *because* he kills Aerith. You break the suspension bridge - why is the party still following him until Northern Crater?

Cloud killing Aerith makes it a *less good story* than OG. I know some of you insist that the OG is already better anyway, but Sephiroth killing Aerith is important, both to the plot and the characters. The OG was about surprising the player; this is not the same, not with a story that's been out for 25 years. The surprises are everywhere else, not in Aerith's death sorry.

Edit cause I forgot: Cloud from AC was badly mischaracterised because no one understood him. This is why they had to rework his character greatly in ACC so that fans could understand his motivations.
Well, for one, let’s not discount what Cloud went through and how it’s shaped him as a person. Our boy lost his mother and his village to his idol and carries the guilt of almost losing Tifa twice, Zack being gunned down by Shinra, and Aerith being killed by Sephiroth ON TOP OF being experimented on by Hojo and implanted with an alien that supresses his identity. Sure, he’s not the only one with a tragic backstory but damn. He may be a dork at heart, but that doesn’t take away from the very real anger, guilt, and trauma that plagues him.

So I’m really not convinced him killing Aerith is something he absolutely cannot come back from because…says who? It’s completely up to the writers to decide if that’s something he can endure. It’s really not a stretch to just write in a moment where Aerith communicates to Cloud and assures him that he doesn’t have to blame himself for what happened. We pretty much got that in AC anyways. He can find peace with that if the writers want him to.

Also, I dunno how in the world Cloud killing Aerith makes Sephiroth less menacing when it is Sephiroth who’s controlling Cloud. A villain forces you to kill your friend and he’s less menacing? Not to mention we already saw him attempt this in the OG. Every time the “Cloud kills Aerith” idea gets brought up, the fact that it’s still Sephiroth in control seems to go over people’s heads for some reason.
 

billy22

Pro Adventurer
Every time the “Cloud kills Aerith” idea gets brought up, the fact that it’s still Sephiroth in control seems to go over people’s heads for some reason.
Imagery is more powerful and memorable. Less people would remember Seph "controlling" Cloud. Long term, more would remember the image of Cloud stabbing her than the fact the villain controlled him. It sticks in minds longer.

Case in point, in the OG I think the exact scene- shot for shot- of how Aerith dies has stuck in a lot of players heads over the years. But if you ask players who haven't played it in several years "What is the context behind how/why it happened?" I bet you many of those memories would be on the fuzzy side.

I am still confident it's not going to happen. As I have said, Remake is already a sanitized version of FF7. The last thing they're going to do is have their popular poster boy stab a cute innocent girl, "controlled" or not.
 

KindOfBlue

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Blue
Imagery is more powerful and memorable. Less people would remember Seph "controlling" Cloud. Long term, more would remember the image of Cloud stabbing her than the fact the villain controlled him. It sticks in minds longer.

Case in point, in the OG I think the exact scene- shot for shot- of how Aerith dies has stuck in a lot of players heads over the years. But if you ask players who haven't played it in several years "What is the context behind how/why it happened?" I bet you many of those memories would be on the fuzzy side.

I am still confident it's not going to happen. As I have said, Remake is already a sanitized version of FF7. The last thing they're going to do is have their popular poster boy stab a cute innocent girl, "controlled" or not.
Let’s face it, it would be FAR from the first time people misunderstood what happens in FF7. If people don’t remember or pay attention to the context behind the imagery, that’s on them. Of course the image is going to stick with people, it should. It’s a visual medium. I don’t actually think they’re going to do it, but I also say why the hell not.

I’ll admit it’s a bold move, but so was killing Aerith at the time it was done. My point is if the devs want to elicit as strong a reaction as they did in ‘97, it won’t be enough to just do it again but in HD because ultimately, it’s an extension of what they already did. Which is fine, like I said before, but it’s fundamentally not shaking anything up like the OG did (I’ll spare you my gripes with the nature of remakes as a whole).
 
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LNK

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AKA
Nate
I’ll admit it’s a bold move, but so was killing Aerith at the time it was done. My point is if the devs want to elicit as strong a reaction as they did in ‘97, it won’t be enough to just do it again but in HD because ultimately, it’s an extension of what they already did. Which is fine, like I said before, but it’s fundamentally not shaking anything up like the OG did (I’ll spare you my gripes with the nature of remakes as a whole).

This is all I'm saying too
 

cold_spirit

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Alex T
Surprisingly, despite voicing my opinion elsewhere, I’ve never thrown my hat into the ring in this thread specifically. Well, Remake is over 3 years old now, and Rebirth is due in 4 months. No better time than the present I guess.

I’ve been a believer that Aerith will live since May of 2019. In the leadup to E3 that year, Famitsu introduced the Whispers in their Remake coverage. The translation at the time called them the “Watchmen of Fate”. Screenshots showed them swarming around Aerith and Cloud. After thinking on it for a few hours, I turned to my brother and told him my theory. “We’ll defeat the Whispers and save Aerith”. His response: “That’s wild man”. He didn’t have much to say after that. Who would?

Well, Remake has come and gone, and I now have multiple story reasons to believe Aerith will live. Even some gameplay ones too.

The Whispers are heavily associated with Aerith throughout Remake. Consider this: the Whispers are introduced to Cloud (and by extension, the player) at the same time as Aerith. Characters begin seeing the Whispers after meeting Aerith. The Whispers most closely monitor Aerith. And finally, the memory of Aerith’s body being laid to rest is the last “future memory” that Cloud receives before defeating Whisper Harbinger, the embodiment of fate.

It’s almost like the Whispers were invented rather specifically to prepare players for some twist. Hmm, what could it be?

From a gameplay perspective: If Aerith dies at the Forgotten Capital, players won’t have the opportunity to form a party with her, Vincent, and Cid. The latter two characters have been confirmed to be AI controlled party members in Rebirth. I have a hard time believing the creators would make that cut. Combat in the Remake Project isn’t just a flashy afterthought. It’s also used to show the depth of the character’s relationships. Those relationships are what make Final Fantasy VII great. Pulling Aerith from the party before Vincent and Cid properly join it severely impacts their bonds. In my eyes, it’s too great of an omission to make.

So that’s the short of it. The way I see it, the writing has been on the wall for years now, all one has to do is read it out loud. It’s fine to be critical of Square Enix’s execution of it all, even I find the Whispers’s appearance to be silly at times, but when Rebith’s credits roll, you can’t say it was unexpected. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” kind of thing. Need I bring up Remake’s Chapter 18? We’ve had ample time to reflect and set our expectations accordingly.

Honestly speaking, what does death even mean anymore in Final Fantasy VII? In Advent Children, Aerith is dead, but she still has more lines than most party members. The same can be said about Zack. What “stakes” or “integrity” is there left to protect in preserving Aerith’s death? With this writing, death is more akin to being banished to the Shadow Realm than it is about genuine loss.

Finally, and I’ve for sure said this before, from a thematic standpoint Aerith living is actually better for the story of the Remake Project at this point. People hate to hear it, but it’s true! The “defying fate” aspect of the first part has to amount to something. If it’s just a red herring, then congratulations all, Square Enix just undercut one of the greatest stories of all time with superficial suspense. It’s better to lean into it now. And you know what? The courage to do so should be admired.
 
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ForceStealer

Double Growth
And you know what? The courage to do so should be admired.
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Golden Ear

Pro Adventurer
AKA
M. Prod
In reply to what Cold Spirit was saying:


Especially since recent interviews where we now know the game will conclude at the Forgotten Capital as well as the kinds of things they've been saying about a "big surprise" I think the chances of her surviving throughout the game are very high. I think another possibility on defeating fate is to make you believe she will live and then take her away from you, which could be a legit reason as long as there are still consequences to defeating fate such as this seemingly parallel world in which Zack is alive in. As it stand right now, I think that she will probably end up living the Forgotten Capital.

For me I don't necessarily feel disappointed or angry about this being true. I feel a mixture of excitement, interest, hype, concern and worry all at the same time 😅. I'm mostly just curious and interested to see what happens which supersedes my reluctance to let go of the way I initial felt the story should be told. Although, it really is starting to seem that whatever the devs consider "the crux" of the story to have a much broader and looser definition than probably a lot of fans. I think they may be really re-organizing events and the way things happen quite a bit.

I now have so many questions in terms of how the trajectory of the story will either change or be re-arranged if she is going to survive the Forgotten Capital.

First off, if she survives I don't think that will be the only crazy big thing that happens at the end of Rebirth. Something bad has to go down to really fit this middle of the trilogy/Empire style ending, they can't have two games in a row with hopeful endings. If you look at the box cover art both Cloud and Zack are equally prominent on it, couple this with continuous dev comments saying how much of a key character and key role Zack has in Rebirth you have to realize that most likely Zack will viscerally and confrontationally come into events at the end of this game. If you ask me, I think they are going to do something where there is a big confrontation and we'll be wondering what exactly happened to Cloud, maybe they make it seem like he dies or is fully recruited by Sephiroth. That's just my guess.

Secondly, what exactly is going on with the Reunion? There are so many references towards its existence in the Rebirth trailers, especially since all the Clones are congregating towards its destination. There is all ready so much setup between the false events of Nibelheim between Cloud and Tifa in Remake and Rebirth that I believe Chekhov's gun has to carry through so that these narrative beats will still happen, but in which way will they happen?

Thirdly, how are the weapons ( as well as the calling of Meteor) going to be introduced to all of this? When will they awaken? At the same time, they have all ready awakened in Zack's "World" as noted by the description of the game from its display as I understand. I don't believe they have awakened yet in our Main "World" as they show up right at the apocalypse and Zack's "World" is where that seems to be immediately happening. There is also talk about "World's merging" so it's entirely possible that they don't get "awakened" in our Main and instead the ones from Zack's apocalypse get merged with our own in some way.

Really curious as to everyones thoughts on this discussion, everyone's here is so quiet. It really seems like everything we've been seeing and hearing is throwing everyone for a loop in terms of how all of this is going to be handled.
 
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Golden Ear

Pro Adventurer
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M. Prod
With the remake trilogy leading to AC, Aerith surviving makes no sense
Here's the quote from https://www.theguardian.com/games/2023/sep/21/the-makers-of-final-fantasy-vii-rebirth

For Nomura, it was clear that a simple 1-1 remake wouldn’t do the iconic tale justice. “There were a number of successful remade games out there – and looking at them and how they turned out, I realised that if we just made it a better looking version of the original game it probably … wouldn’t have become the scale of project that it is, and it probably wouldn’t have worked out. To get people interested and give players the motivation to play through it again, we needed to change Final Fantasy Seven and add in new elements …” – he pauses – “… to make [Remake] what it should be, rather than just sticking to the original.”

While the pair are tight-lipped on what story changes to expect from Rebirth – and the currently untitled third entry – Nomura reveals that Advent Children fans will be well catered for: “If you play right through to the end, it will link up [to Advent Children] so you don’t need to worry about that,” he says with a knowing smile.

_________


Two things:

1) This is translated, although I will give it the benefit of the doubt that it is as accurate as possible to what Nomura is saying

2) What he's saying is vague.

Nomura is answering that Advent Children fans will be "well catered for". He says playing right through to the end, it will "link up" to it.

"Link up" doesn't necessarily mean that when you play through till the end of the trilogy it will end in a way that leads to the events of AC. It can also mean that AC like events or subject matters will be a part of either the ending. Catering to a fan could mean just that fans of AC will be happy to see AC subject matter towards the end being "connected" or "a part of" because that could be a way in which they are "linked up".

I'm not saying your interpretation is necessarily wrong, just that there are more ways to interpret that which could be true.

Also, Aerith can potentially still die in part 3 rather than Rebirth. I'm very curious if that's what they choose to do and how that will effect the flow and trajectory of the story.

How does everyone else feel about that? Is that too far from how you personally feel the story should go? If she survives the Forgotten Capital the first time, would it feel contrived for her to traverse back there at some point in Part 3 so we can still have the iconic scene re-created? Or would there be a whole new way in which she dies? Would that be too far even if it links up to AC?
 
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LNK

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Nate
Yes, people can interpret "link up" to mean something different from my interpretation, but i believe SE has been pretty clear what they mean. The thought that the remake trilogy is a sequal, ONLY supported by an interpretation of the first game. It being a remake is supported by an interpretation of the first game, dev statements and supplemental matterial.

As for Aerith, my mistake. I thought the argument is Aerith is going to live even at the end of the trilogy. I'm not beholden to exactly when she dies. As long as it works within the story, I don't really care.
 
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Golden Ear

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M. Prod
I myself don't necessarily think of it as a sequel but more of a re-imagining in which they are including compilation elements into the story (in terms of AC stuff and what not). But I digress, the last thing I want to do is get into the semantics of that with anyone :monster:
 

LNK

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AKA
Nate
I myself don't necessarily think of it as a sequel but more of a re-imagining in which they are including compilation elements into the story (in terms of AC stuff and what not). But I digress, the last thing I want to do is get into the semantics of that with anyone :monster:
Aren't reimagining and remake inherently the same thing though? Cause what you're describing is the same thing I've said since the interview the devs had that talked about this. I think it was 2018 or something.

For me, the way I approach theorizing on the remake trilogy is dependent on what the game is classified as. It's hard to have a discussion about this stuff if we can't even come to an understanding on even that. I'm not specifically saying you, I just mean broadly speaking.
 

Golden Ear

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M. Prod
Yeah, that's all well and good. I think the only reason why I specifically go with Re-imagining is because there are so many different people who have different opinions on what constitutes as a Remake.

Someone may not see it as a Remake if they completely change the how, when, where and why on Aerith's death because that would be way to different for them that it's just not FF7 anymore, especially if it flips the trajectory of FF7 completely on it's head in terms of how the story beats play out. I'll just call it a Re-imagining so there is some kind of differentiation between how those people may see a Remake vs others. I'm just trying to avoid semantic arguments because just find them tiring, people are allowed to define it as they want.

At the moment, I'm much more interested in what people here on this board think is actually going to happen in the story lol! Everyone's like 🤐
Maybe people are afraid of saying something that turns out to be wrong. For me, I'm just curious. I'm more than happy to be wrong about my guesses as I'd like to be surprised.
 

LNK

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AKA
Nate
Yeah, that's all well and good. I think the only reason why I specifically go with Re-imagining is because there are so many different people who have different opinions on what constitutes as a Remake.

But people can also have different opinions on what constitutes a re-imagining. Either way, both terms fit with the remake trilogy. Even the devs have used both terms to describe it.


Someone may not see it as a Remake if they completely change the how, when, where and why on Aerith's death because that would be way to different for them that it's just not FF7 anymore, especially if it flips the trajectory of FF7 completely on it's head in terms of how the story beats play out. I'll just call it a Re-imagining so there is some kind of differentiation between how those people may see a Remake vs others. I'm just trying to avoid semantic arguments because just find them tiring, people are allowed to define it as they want.

And that's fine for those people. If they don't want to consider it a remake/re-imagining, cool. But, that is what it is per SE and the creators of it.


At the moment, I'm much more interested in what people here on this board think is actually going to happen in the story lol! Everyone's like 🤐
Maybe people are afraid of saying something that turns out to be wrong. For me, I'm just curious. I'm more than happy to be wrong about my guesses as I'd like to be surprised.

I get it. At least in here, it seems as if most people have already said what they think is going to happen. At this point, we just gotta play the game to see
 

keith0301

Rookie Adventurer
Hello everyone. I've thought long and hard about all of this...and every time I find something plausible as to how or why things could change...I remind myself of one simple story beat....

"Promise me you won't fall in love with me."

Aerith knows she is going to die. She is trying to spare Cloud pain.

I've heard people argue that this line is because Cloud has Zack's memories.

"Even if you think you do...it isn't real."

But I say this to that --- it would significantly reduce the weight and meaning behind the warning. The disappointment Cloud would/will feel when he learns that he has some of Zack's memories...?? That is what she is protecting him from? Really? I don't buy it for a second. Because, first of all...just because Cloud might be a guided by those memories...it does not deny his feelings. He could have genuine feelings for Aerith also. And so what, are we supposed to believe that Aerith would deny him? And even if she would - is she just trying to put him in the friend zone to not hurt his feelngs?

The only explanation that makes narrative sense and that evokes the emotions that we expect between these 2 is that she is warning him because she knows she will meet her end.

I do think the dev's will continue to elude us on the way to her fate...but I can't possibly see her surviving. Her characters essence can be described in one word - sacrifice. She nurtures and cares for everything outside of herself. The flower gardens in the church/slums amidst the chaos. The caring for children in the slums. Her healing powers. As we know, she is the last remaining ancient with a duty to the planet. She must call holy. And she suspects/knows she will meet her end in order to save the planet.

Imagine for a moment that they keep her alive....it completely and utterly ruins her purpose for the narrative. The lessons. Her essence would be destroyed.

Its that simple guys....I have thought of as many possibilities as I could for how they could go a different direction. None of them make sense...and this singular line that Aerith delivers to Cloud "Promise me you won't fall in love with me" is to protect him from the immense sadness/loss that will persist into Advent Children. Its not to prevent his feelings from being hurt because they won't end up together....
 

keith0301

Rookie Adventurer
Another thought I have...could it be that the main stories go in this order?

CC
FF7
AC
FF7R 1-3

I see everyone discussing that "XYZ have to happen in order to lead to AC" ....but isn't the Sephiroth in FF7R a POST-AC Sephiroth? Isn't that the reason he is here? Navigating through time/worlds or whatever he is doing, because he knows he will lose in FF7 and AC?

If this is the case, then anything is possible in terms of plot. But I would still strongly contend that Aerith dying is an absolute must.
 

LNK

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Nate
Another thought I have...could it be that the main stories go in this order?

CC
FF7
AC
FF7R 1-3

I see everyone discussing that "XYZ have to happen in order to lead to AC" ....but isn't the Sephiroth in FF7R a POST-AC Sephiroth? Isn't that the reason he is here? Navigating through time/worlds or whatever he is doing, because he knows he will lose in FF7 and AC?

If this is the case, then anything is possible in terms of plot. But I would still strongly contend that Aerith dying is an absolute must.
Without dev statements and supplemental material, I'd agree that's def a possible order.

At this point though, they've constantly said the trilogy slots in at the same place as ff7. Both are canonically connected to the compilation, while not connecting to each other.
 
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