Final Fantasy VII Remake has been an incredible success for Square Enix. The game has been acclaimed by critics and gamers alike. The company announced that it shipped 3.5-million units in the first three days of release. With worldwide acclaim and commercial success, it’s the perfect time for Square Enix to go all The Last Jedi on fans by screwing with their expectations.
Similar to how The Last Jedi is a modern take on Star Wars (1977), Final Fantasy VII Remake is a modern take on a beloved old game (1997). Even though “Remake” is in the title, it’s more of a reboot than anything else. That reminds me, if you haven’t finished the game yet, there will be light spoilers below. Please activate your spoiler-ward materia before you continue reading.
Aerith’s Death Was a Huge Event
For many Western RPG fans of a certain age, Aerith’s death in the original Final Fantasy VII was a defining moment. For many, it was the first videogame death that made gamers feel real emotion. In many ways, it reminded me of Jean Grey’s death in “The Dark Phoenix Saga.” Similar to what Jean’s death did for comics, Aerith’s death changed people’s expectations and perceptions of the storytelling power of games.
Now imagine taking such a monumental moment…and negating it. An “Aerith lives” scenario would make some old-school FFVII fans livid. Some fans would see it as director Tetsuya Nomura desecrating one of the most cherished events in videogame history. With Final Fantasy VII Remake, “Aerith lives” is a real possibility.
How Square Enix Can Pull a Last Jedi
If you’ve finished Final Fantasy VII Remake then you know that the events of future chapters probably won’t be the exact same as the original plot. Stealing one of The Flash’s limit breaks, the villain Sephiroth has stuck his dick in the timeline in order to prevent his fate in the original game.
Sephiroth’s timeline manipulation is why many people consider Final Fantasy VII Remake to be more of a reboot. There are several events in the game that make it clear that the “remake” is a divergent or alternate timeline. While Sephiroth is clearly aware of this, it’s strongly hinted that Aerith knows about the timeline shenanigans as well. Both died in the original game and maybe their fates will be different this time around.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was big on “letting go of the past” and “forgetting everything you know.” While many acknowledge that it was one of the best Star Wars movies from a technical standpoint, many longtime fans hated it, mainly because it changed the expectations and characterizations they’ve known for decades.
Many fans are already pre-hating future FFVII games where Aerith lives. They want her to die in order to preserve the story and gravitas they’ve known for decades. I totally get it. Many Star Wars fans hated grumpy old Luke Skywalker because that wasn’t the character they knew and loved. Should “Aerith lives” become an actual thing, the backlash would be massive.
I Don’t Really Want an Aerith Lives Game, But….
Personally, I hope that Aerith has a gloriously sad death in future Final Fantasy VII Remake chapters. However, there’s a part of me that wants her to live, just so I can read all the Internet vitriol. Should “Aerith lives” come to pass, I’m sure there are many gamers that will make sound and rational arguments on why it was a poor narrative choice. I’m also sure that there are many more that will idiotically rage, because reasons.
Although Aerith lives isn’t part of the Final Fantasy VII Remake story that I’m hoping for, I have no doubt that the denizens of the Internet will provide plenty of unintentional entertainment with their phony rage over a videogame character having a different story. Reading and watching them will be fun.
How about you guys and gals? How would you feel about future Final Fantasy VII Remake games where Aerith lives?