The death of Aerith from Final Fantasy VII is overrated

There were way better, more compelling deaths then Aerith of Final Fantasy VII.

Hailed as one of the greatest games of all time, Final Fantasy VII has a lot of great and memorable scenes. One of the most "iconic" scenes was the death of Aerith. Allow me to spoil that image for you forever and tell you why her death was overrated and completely avoidable.

Aerith's death story line

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

By this point in the game, the player knows that Sephiroth is looking for the black materia that can be used to summon Meteor. With Meteor summoned, he could cause a huge wound to the planet and inject himself into the Lifestream -- basically making him a god. When Cloud gets a hold of the black materia, Sephiroth uses the cells of Jenova inside of Cloud to force him to hand over the black materia.

Then Aerith goes to the Forgotten Capitol for the white materia that can summon Holy, the only counter to the summoned Meteor. While she is praying at an underground altar, Cloud and his friends find her. So does Sephiroth. Sephiroth tries to use the cells of Jenova again on Cloud to force him to kill Aerith. However, when Cloud resists Sephiroth, Sephiroth just kills Aerith himself.

Why her death is iconic

Aerith's death was the first major death of the game that players experienced, which is guaranteed to hit hard in a game as immersive as Final Fantasy VII. And it was most likely the first death for many players in general. Aerith dying finally compels Cloud to grow up and face Sephiroth. 


But what mainly separates her death from previous entries in Final Fantasy is the cinematic sequence. The use of the CGI back then was top form. The animation made the death seem more human.


Why it's overrated

She died, so what? GG. Aerith's death didn't have to happen. If just a few things had been done differently, it would be totally preventable. First off, everyone knew that Sephiroth was on a murderous rampage. Aerith really should have used the "buddy system" when she went to go pray. If she would have at least told Tifa or Barret where she was going, they maybe could have protected her. But instead, she ran off on her own trying to be a hero.

Secondly, Aerith wasn't the first character to die in the Final Fantasy franchise. She wasn't even the second, or the third. Unei died in Final Fantasy III, Tellah dies in Final fantasy IV, and even more heart-wrenching was the death of Gaulf Doe from Final Fantasy V.

Were it not for the animation, Aerith's death would have been less compelling. Losing her in Final Fantasy VII did not impact the dynamic of the gameplay, as any other character could equip materia and be a go-to-healer too, but with way better stats.

And it was unlike other entries in the Final Fantasy franchise, where the death of a character could be felt throughout the rest of the game. Final Fantasy VII had the likes of Vincent, Cid, and Red XIII that made the death of Aerith less resounding. It's as if it's no biggie that she's gone, since you have a vampire monster man and a talking red wolf to deal with in her place. All in all, Final Fantasy VII had more going on AFTER Arieth's loss. So no big deal after all.

What do you think? Was Aerith's death overrated? Or do you think all the fuss about it is justified? Let me know in the comments!

Published Mar. 21st 2016
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