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Does Aerith Die In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Explained

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is out today. If you’re a big fan, you’re probably already playing it and aren’t looking at this article. If you’re a casual fan or onlooker who is mainly just interested in how it handles certain events of the original game, you’re probably wondering what happens to Aerith in the Remake retelling. Well, we’re here to give those who want to know that information a quick yes or no answer as to whether or not Aerith dies in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

Three Things We Learned From The Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Demo

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Buy Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Amazon | Best Buy | Target

Yes, Aerith still dies in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth…but it’s complicated. Despite Final Fantasy VII Remake asserting that the crew could defy fate by defeating the Whisper Harbingers working to keep the “canon” story in place, this specific event still happens in the Remake timeline. But where it gets messy is in how it acts as a center point for an elaborate multiverse play.

In broad strokes, Sephiroth, the big bad of Final Fantasy VII and its spinoffs, shows protagonist Cloud that multiple universes exist, including ones where Crisis Core protagonist Zack is still alive, rather than dying as he does in the original game. As he tries to pitch Cloud on being his multiversal partner in crime, these worlds start to collide, and Rebirth’s final boss fights all take place in an overlapping, shifting multiverse impact zone. As these worlds converge, the scene of Sephiroth aiming his blade toward Aerith’s back kicks things off. Whispers, the ghost-like entities that try to hold the original story together, try to stop Cloud from blocking Sephiroth’s fatal stabbing of Aerith. You QTE your way through striking back…but despite the sword never touching Aerith, she’s still shown collapsing into Cloud’s arms.

Where this gets messy is that Cloud starts perceiving multiple timelines at once. The scene rapidly shifts between versions where Aerith does and doesn’t die, signified by blood stains on her clothes, hands, and Sephiroth’s sword. It illustrates that Aerith’s death is not necessarily a “canon” event, and Cloud is perceiving several versions of this moment simultaneously.

After you get through all but the final boss fight, Aerith appears alongside Cloud in a two-on-one battle with Sephiroth in a bright void. Once the two defeat him and things calm down, we see the rest of the party mourning over Aerith’s body. But Cloud walks over to the same scene, everyone else disappears, and he wakes her up.

Square Enix / Banden

You might be asking, “Kenneth, what the fuck are you talking about?” Well, the best we can surmise is that Cloud has existed between worlds and thus can perceive Aerith in a timeline she didn’t die in. But when everything gets “back to normal,” Cloud is in the Remake timeline and is able to perceive Aerith in his mind like some Cyberpunk 2077 Johnny Silverhand shit. This is solidified because no one else can see her in the final scene, even as she walks around, basically watching her friends cry at her funeral.

So, what does this mean for the next game? She and Cloud part ways at the end, saying they will take care of things on their respective ends to stop Sephiroth’s plan to destroy the world. But the nature of her existence in Cloud’s head isn’t exactly clear right now. Rebirth’s final hours do a lot of abstract storytelling, and even what I’m telling you now is mostly interpretation based on what little it concretely says. The third game may completely recontextualize all of this. But for now, we can confidently say Aerith is dead at the end of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

Buy Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Amazon | Best Buy | Target

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