Now, before we get into the meat of the topic, there's one thing for which we want to clear the air — yes, we know that Aeris was a translation error. Yes, we know that Aerith is the proper way to write and pronounce the name. No, we don't really care since we grew up pronouncing her name as Aeris and will continue to do so until the end of time. Now that that's out of the way, time to talk about the things that actually matter.
The story of Final Fantasy VII might never have been all that memorable had it not been for the inclusion of one of the happiest and chirpiest characters in video game history. Aeris was a breath of fresh air, being a happy-go-lucky character who actually managed to be quite endearing without being even remotely annoying. Of course, the reason why her inclusion is imprinted in the minds of Final Fantasy fans is due to the infamous scene where she is impaled by Sephiroth — a scene that definitely didn't sit well with the majority of fans who weren't expecting something so morbid in a Final Fantasy game of all places.
This sudden and premature departure meant that Aeris became somewhat of an afterthought in the minds of fans as the game went on, which is quite a major disservice to a character that had a ton of time and effort put into her creation. In fact, there are many things about Aeris' body that most fans have no clue about, and we're going to pick out 25 of the weirdest facts from the bunch.
29 Her Childhood Is Pretty Upsetting
It's pretty obvious to anyone who's played the games that Aeris didn't exactly have a stellar childhood. Being half-human (Gast Faremis) and half-Cetra (Ifalna) meant that she was an outcast with parents who were constantly on the run.
The family was torn apart quite prematurely.
Hojo tracked down Professor Gast and ended his life, securing both Ifalna and Aeris to be used as test subjects. While they managed to escape, Ifalna was critically wounded and passed away, leaving Aeris without her biological parents.
28 Her Body Was Experimented On Frequently By Hojo And Shinra
Being a half-Cetra and one of the few survivors of her kind, Aeris was in hot demand by Shinra, who wanted to understand how the Cetra functioned and whether Aeris' body would be able to increase their cash flow by further streamlining Mako extraction process.
Hojo spearheaded the experimentation on Aeris.
It has never been explicitly stated in the game that Aeris suffered any long-term damage from this experimentation. However, there are various subtle things that might make one think otherwise.
27 Her Scene With Red XIII Is The Worst Thing Ever...
Hoo boy, here we go. After all, there was no way that we could talk about the experiments that Aeris went through and not mention what might just be one of the most infamous scenes in video game history.
The scene involves Hojo trying to force Red XIII and Aeris together.
As children, most people who played the game didn't really know if the thing that was transpiring in front of them was appropriate. Well, with the awareness we have now, it's perfectly clear — no, it wasn't.
26 At One Point, She Was Afraid Of The Sky, Which Can Imply Several Things
It seems that Aeris lived a pretty secluded life, for the most part. Her natural curiosity about a number of things is already telling enough as is, but this doesn't even come close to some of the more indicative signs.
For example, there's a point in the game when Aeris is scared by the freakin' sky! We understand that the plates in Midgar might lead to a grim existence, but man — not being familiar with the concept of the sky just goes to show how much of a sheltered existence she actually lived.
25 She Hated Her Cetra Heritage
Speaking of Aeris' Cetra heritage, let's get one thing out in the open so that there are no confusions when we touch on this topic again — Aeris wasn't exactly a big fan of her Cetra half.
The major reason for this disdain was because of the pressure Aeris was under as the last remaining Cetra. She confessed to Cloud that being the last survivor of her race led to her feeling a crushing and oppressive sense of loneliness.
All this could've been avoided if Aeris was a normal human being.
24 The Fiasco Surrounding Her Name
We've already touched upon this topic for a bit in the intro, but this confusion definitely needs to be cleared out — especially if someone has no clue about the controversy in question... namely, the confusion regarding her name.
The translation work for Final Fantasy VII was so shoddy that the spelling of Aerith's name was mistakingly localized as Aeris. Later games in the universe rectified this, but it was too late — for fans, she would always be Aeris.
23 In Early Concept Artwork, Nomura Wrote Her Name Closer To A Straight Romanization As "Earith"
Hardcore fans of the series who stand by "Aerith" as the canon name actually have a fact in their favor that should definitely be discussed. Tetsuya Nomura was the Character Designer of Final Fantasy VII, which meant that he obviously contributed to Aeris' design in a major way.
Since the Cetra had a deep-rooted connection with the Planet, Nomura wished to make this allegory present in a subtle manner. Thus, he named the last surviving Cetra "Aerith," which is a romanization of "Earith."
22 Both Names Are Technically Correct
To be honest, it's kinda stupid that the debate surrounding Aeris' name even exists, to begin with. While the translation errors and hidden meanings are certainly there, the fact of the matter is that it doesn't really matter how one pronounces her name — both of these are correct.
We've already discussed why most people consider Aerith to be the canon pronunciation of the name, but it's not like Aeris was a name that was lost in translation. If anything, most people would interpret the Japanese name to be Aeris in English only, making it correct as well.
21 Aeris Could've Been Sephiroth's Lover
Now here's a fact that will surprise most people.
Aeris is known for being Cloud's picture-perfect love interest... that is, until she is ruthlessly run through by Sephiroth's Masamune.
However, according to previous plans, this story was meant to play out in a completely different manner. For starters, instead of being Sephiroth's victim, Aeris was actually supposed to be Sephiroth's lover.
Oh, and that's not it either...
20 She Was Supposed To Be Sephiroth's Sister
If the thought of Aeris being Sephiroth's sister was weird enough as is, chances are that you aren't even remotely prepared for the fact that she was even supposed to be the antagonist's lover at one point.
One can only wonder how this would've panned out. Chances are that Aeris would've stayed as Sephiroth's lover until the latter went insane after learning the truth about his existence.
Of course, this is all just speculation.
19 Similar To Sephiroth, She Can Manifest Her Body In The Living World
Since we're talking about Aeris' connection to Sephiroth, it might be time that we talk about something that has actually manifested in the game itself, instead of being pure speculation.
Since Aeris was technically immersed in the Lifestream in a similar manner to Sephiroth — sans the fact that the latter was very much alive — she ended up with the common power of forming her image in the physical realm.
18 The Infamous Ghost Of Aeris In The Sector 5 Church
Perhaps the eeriest example of the case mentioned above that showcases the power of Aeris lies in a glitch that might not even be an intentional part of the game... but nevertheless, it's still pretty spooky and worth a mention.
After Aeris' untimely demise, the party will find an opportunity to traverse Midgar once more. If they decide to visit the church in Sector 5 where Cloud meets Aeris for the first time, a model of Aeris will actually tend to the flowers for a fleeting moment before disappearing.
17 She Helped Various Souls Pass Peacefully Into The Lifestream
Aeris was a kind-hearted individual — pretty much everyone who's played the game can attest to this fact. So, it's only fitting that she would show her generosity even after her demise in the afterlife.
Being a half-Cetra, Aeris was able to connect with the Lifestream efficiently. This allowed her to form a connection with the spirits that were passing into the afterlife and provide them with a peaceful journey.
This wasn't the only thing she did either...
16 Her Spirit Was Able To Protect Tifa's Mind In The Lifestream
There are many fans that still believe to this day that Aeris and Tifa were meant to be mortal enemies from the get-go. However, the intention was anything but — both women had mutual respect for each other.
This can be seen at the moment when Tifa and Cloud fall into the Lifestream and piece the latter's memory back. By all accounts, Tifa should've also gone insane. However, Aeris' presence shielded Tifa's mind from the Lifestream's debilitating effects.
15 Aeris' And Zack's Voice Actors Are Married In Real Life
Talk about a match made in heaven.
Before her tryst with Cloud, Aeris formed a deep connection with another Shinra employee — Zack, SOLDIER First Class. The relationship they had was something special, and their chemistry in Crisis Core was sparkling.
This might be because of the fact that the voice actors who played the roles of Zack and Aeris are actually married in real life. Yes, really!
This is kinda misleading though, since...
14 Aeris And Zack Were Never Really Official
As mentioned before, the bond between Zack and Aeris was definitely special in more ways than one. However, regardless of how deep this bond went, the thing that must be kept in mind is that both parties never really initiated anything from a romantic perspective.
While the possibility was certainly there, it must be said that Zack didn't exactly do much to indicate any interest apart from forming a meaningful friendship. Things might've been different in another situation, but the tragic fate that befell Zack eliminated any hopes for a romance with Aeris.
13 The Story Of Aeris' Pink Ribbon
There's a reason why Aeris is wearing pink garments in Final Fantasy VII, while her distinctive appearance is absent from Crisis Core. This change stems from a simple pink ribbon — Zack bought it for her during their first date, commenting that Aeris looked better in pink.
After her demise, Aeris' pink ribbon was worn by Tifa in Advent Children, as a remembrance of sorts. It's amazing how beautiful a story can be crafted with nothing more than just a simple piece of fabric.
12 There’s A Monster Reminiscent Of Aeris In FFV
It seems that the character concept of Aeris was already in the works, well before Final Fantasy VII even came to be. A monster that holds somewhat of a resemblance to Aeris can be seen in Final Fantasy V, which is pretty impressive, to say the least.
This enemy is the Lemure, and her sprite definitely holds some vague similarities with Aeris' appearance. In fact, the party can actually steal the Ribbon accessory from this enemy. The relevance of this cloth is something we've already discussed before.
11 The Significance Of Her Precious White Materia Orb
While it's true that Aeris' ribbon was quite sentimental, it also held a practical purpose as well. The ribbon essentially served as a way to hold a piece of Materia. But this wasn't just any Materia — it was a White Materia that had the capability to cast Holy.
The contrast between Holy and Meteor is formed time and time again in Final Fantasy VII, and Aeris actually managed to cast the spell before meeting a premature end at the hands of Sephiroth.
10 She's Actually Quite Insensitive, Betraying Her Body Language
It would be a disservice to call Aeris air-headed — after all, there are times when she showcases her own brand of intelligence in a number of ways. However, some people aren't well-versed in the science of emotions, and Aeris falls under this bracket.
There are several moments when the Emotional Quotient of Aeris is shown to be criminally low. One such instance is in the Gold Saucer, when Barret is troubled by an incident that involves his friend. For some reason, Aeris is unable to understand that her friend is upset, maintaining a frustratingly oblivious attitude.
9 She Sports A Strong Level Of Forgiveness
However, don't think that Aeris is completely blind from an emotional perspective. If anything, it must be said that her chirpy attitude actually contributes to a loving nature that is equal parts understanding and forgiving.
Regardless of the problems that Cloud or any other members of the party might drop in her way, Aeris always keeps a smile on her face as she instantly forgives the guilty party.
8 She Claims That She Can Hear The Wind
Remember when we were talking about the long-term effects of the experiments that Aeris had to bear as a kid? Well, one of the side effects that she could be experiencing was madness — as seen in the fact that, according to her, she could hear the freakin' wind!
Of course, that is just one of the many conclusions that one might derive from this throwaway statement. For all we know, her Cetra background might also allow her to share a deeper connection with the Planet.
7 Aeris Can Actually Hit Pretty Hard In Midgar If You Steal The Right Weapon
It's understandable that a healer might not exactly seem to be the best option to dish out physical damage. However, you might be surprised — there's actually a way to steal a powerful weapon for Aeris that turns her into the best physical threat in your party.
This weapon can be stolen from an Eligor — an enemy that can be encountered in the Train Graveyard. By stealing the Striking Staff from these monsters, Aeris can dish out a ton of damage in the early section of the game.
6 The Hidden Counter For The Gold Saucer Date
The Gold Saucer date is a memorable event in Final Fantasy VII that encapsulates a rather hilarious yet touching moment between Cloud and his muse. Most people generally take Aeris on this date, and there's a reason why.
You see, there's a hidden counter in the game that calculates Cloud's affinity towards various characters in the party. Aeris gets a head start in this regard, with 50 points. To put it into context, Tifa starts at 30, Yuffie starts at 10, and Barret sports a nice fat 0.
5 There's Evidence That Aeris Was Supposed To Pass Away Later On In The Northern Crater
This is a major fan theory that has been making the rounds ever since Final Fantasy VII came on the PlayStation. The game has been dissected heavily, to the point where any secrets have been uncovered.
One such secret is a hidden area in the Northern Crater that plays Aeris' theme when accessed through Debug Mode. In fact, the game crashes if you have Aeris in your party as well, which makes the inclusion of this area all the more suspicious.
The general consensus was that Aeris was originally supposed to pass away in this area.
4 She Has Unique Lines That Were Programmed To Show Even After Her End
Of course, it might seem stupid to surmise that Aeris wasn't supposed to pass away early on in the game, but this hidden area isn't the only piece that affirms this theory. There's also another fishy element that warrants a closer look — namely, the unique dialogues that Aeris has in areas after her demise.
These dialogues trigger even though Aeris isn't supposed to be there in the story, to begin with. This serves as another indication of the last-minute decision when it came to Aeris' demise.
3 Barret Was Originally Chosen For The Emotional Scene
There's a reason why the infamous scene with Aeris is considered to be one of the most widespread spoilers in gaming history.
The emotional weight of this scene is second to none.
This is majorly because a potential love interest falls at the hand of the antagonist, that too in front of Cloud's eyes no less.
Apparently, the original plan was for Barret to take the fall instead of Aeris. This decision was wisely altered, and we received one of the most memorable sights in gaming.
2 She Couldn't Be Revived By A Phoenix Down, Displaying Mortality In The Final Fantasy Universe
Permanent KOs are not really a major aspect of the Final Fantasy Universe. Most mortal wounds can be taken care of with relative ease through the use of a Phoenix Down.
However, Aeris was an exception to this golden rule.
There was no option to use any restorative item to revive Aeris. A similar instance was seen in Final Fantasy V, where Galuf sacrifices himself to damage Golbez.
All these moments show that the characters of our favorite series aren't as sturdy as one might think.
1 She Can Stay Alive With The Help Of Freakin' SaGa Frontier
But hey, if you want to destroy the emotional aspect of the game altogether and use an exploit to get Aeris back in your party, then — by all means — read on.
All you need is a copy of SaGa Frontier.
Basically, during this infamous scene, you need to switch out the Final Fantasy VII disc with that of SaGa Frontier. By doing so, the collision data of the water on the world map will stop working, and you can shift Aeris to your reserves.
It's really that simple.