Fans may have noticed something off about Aerith Gainsborough in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. The flower girl seems to know more than she should, especially compared to her knowledge in the original Final Fantasy 7. The developers have confirmed these suspicions by highlighting certain scenes where Aerith’s enigmatic behavior is most prevalent.
[Warning: Spoilers for Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake Below]
When first playing through the game, many fans of the original FF7 may have overlooked Aerith’s subtle behavior changes because for the most part, FF7 Remake’s story followed the same beats as its predecessor. It was easier for hopeful fans to turn a blind eye to these nuances as much of the game appeared to be going in the direction many thought it should. Aerith’s unforthcoming words, or lack thereof, may have even been more noticeable by newcomers who had no preconceived notions of what would or should happen. Yet upon revisiting many scenes in Final Fantasy 7, it becomes more and more clear that Aerith is hiding something – though what and why is still a bit of a mystery.
Thanks to a very diligent Twitter user – aitaikimochi – the western world has a better idea of what is happening in FF7 Remake. A Japanese-only FF7 Remake Ultimania provides supplemental facts for the game, and aitaikimochi has translated most of it into English. One section titled “A New Mystery Is Born” is followed by the tagline “What does Aerith know?” and follows up with examples of her knowing more than she should.
When Aerith meets Cloud for the second time, in the church in the Sector 5 slums, the Ultimania states that, “Before Cloud even said his name, Aerith knew that he was an Ex-SOILDER as well as a jack of all trades.” Many originally dismissed this as Cloud’s Mako-green eyes or uniform could have given him away, but here the developers highlight the fact that she shouldn’t have known these details yet.
They also confirm that Aerith in FF7 Remake “knew where Marlene was before Tifa told her.” Although Marlene’s name was mentioned in front of Aerith during the Train Graveyard scene, she shouldn’t have known Marlene was at Seventh Heaven yet. In the original FF7, Tifa tells Aerith Marlene’s name and where she is prior to Aerith going to look for her. In FF7 Remake, Tifa tells Aerith about her bar and Aerith immediately cuts her off, already knowing she needs to get Marlene to safety.
Additionally, during the optional dream scene at Aerith’s house after she’s been taken by Shinra, she tells Cloud how incredibly grateful she is to have met him, and that she’ll always cherish what he’s given her, despite only meeting him two days prior at most. This is one of many clues involving Aerith’s awareness that’s sprinkled throughout Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
The Ultimania translation directly says, “For some strange reason, Aerith knows about things even though she shouldn’t yet,” and explains that when she touches Marlene or Red XIII, they suddenly display a “very surprised expression. There must be something about Aerith that happens when she comes in contact with others.” In the beginning, Cloud can see the Whispers after Aerith touches him, too. Many have speculated that this is post-original FF7 Aerith who has already spent time in the Lifestream – which is made of the memories and emotions of all who’ve lived on the planet – and this gives a pretty solid answer as to how she received this knowledge.
Yet as secretive and informed as Aerith is, it seems she doesn’t know the entirety of what’s going on. This could be because of the Whispers, which Aerith talks about when the party is in her childhood room in the Shinra building in FF7 Remake. Here she says, “Every time the Whispers touch me, I lose…a part of myself,” which could be bits of memories. While this doesn’t fully explain Aerith’s motives or how the two games are tying each other together, it hints at the bold direction Final Fantasy 7 Remake is going.