Final Fantasy Director can’t help but tease Aerith twist

Final Fantasy Director can’t help but tease Aerith twist
Image via Square Enix

Written by 

Tom Chapman


29th Feb 2024 11:55

On January 31, 1997, gaming changed forever. Final Fantasy 7 was released on the PlayStation in Japan, and while Square Enix didn't know it at the time, it was releasing far more than the seventh instalment in the already sprawling Final Fantasy series.

Jump forward to 2020 and Square Enix took on the monumental task of remaking FF7 for modern audiences - deciding to split the fantasy epic into a three-part remake trilogy. With Final Fantasy Rebirth serving as the middle chapter, it's pitched as something of an Empire Strikes Back thanks to THAT big moment.

SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers for 1997's Final Fantasy 7 but not 2024's Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth ahead

Final Fantasy Director teases major Aerith twist

Aerith surrounded by lightning in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Click to enlarge
Image via Square Enix

After 27 years, we're pretty sure it's safe to spoil the twist that Aerith Gainsborough meets her maker in the original Final Fantasy 7. As Aerith prays inside a temple in the City of the Ancients, Sephiroth descends and impales her with his Masamune blade. Things have never been the same since. 

Players couldn't believe it, and many a school playground was gripped by urban legends of a secret quest where you could 'save' Aerith. Instead, her death has stuck as one of the most iconic video game moments of all time. We know things are different this time around, but would the team really undo 27 years of mourning?

Speaking to GQ, Final Fantasy 7 Director and Rebirth Producer Yoshinori Kitase has waded in on those theories that Aerith will be saved in Rebirth. Knowing the hype surrounding the game, we can't blame Kitase for making the most of marketing this legendary moment. 

While Kitase couldn't confirm or deny whether Aerith is saved from her grim fate, he explained why there have been some pretty major story shifts in the remakes: "If we just followed along with the original storyline, the game would have nostalgia but it wouldn’t have suspense."

Reiterating that we need to trust the process, Kitase also said, "I think people are really going to latch onto the idea that each of the characters in this world who know Aerith and interact with her have all got their own different takes on fate, destiny and whether they want to go along with it."

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth team know you won't be happy

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Sephiroth
Click to enlarge
Image via Square Enix | GGRecon

There has been plenty of speculation that Aerith's death will be given to another character, with the trailers teasing it could be Tifa who replaces her. Rebirth Director Naoki Hamaguchi knows that changing anything to do with Aerith's fate will likely split the fandom. 

"The minute you change anything at all, there's always going to be a negative reaction," explained Hamaguchi. "Where a remake like this lives or dies is how much respect towards the original comes through."

Thankfully, it sounds like we're in safe hands, as the team is just as protective over the series as we are. "The majority of the development team including myself played FF7 when we were young and it inspired many of us to become game creators in the first place," concluded Hamaguchi.

"I'm very confident that comes through in every decision and tweak we've made." As we celebrate Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Day and some of you race through the story to see what goes down at the Forgotten Capital, place your bets on whether Aerith makes it out of this one alive.

For more, be sure to check out our Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review.

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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