Whenever I hear “Aerith’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VII, I recall how much I cried when she died by the hands of Sephiroth. I didn’t expect this when I first played the game in the 90s, but who did back then?
I had to take a break after she died; I was so emotionally overwhelmed that playing on didn’t seem possible. It was a few days later when I finally came back to the game.
That scene unleashed a flood of emotions, and Aerith’s story moved me deeply. I was angry and wanted revenge; I was sad as well as distraught. Aerith was the light in an otherwise dark world, the hope amidst despair; she held everything together.
When she first met Cloud while selling flowers in Midgar, I felt like she had known it was her destiny to join him, even if she was afraid at first. She had a gift that only she could share, which would aid the efforts of saving Gaia. Perhaps she’d known about her impending death from the very beginning.
Her death was so sudden, yet she was able to smile at Cloud one last time. Maybe it was her way of saying, “It’s going to be okay.” After all, she had successfully cast Holy and fulfilled her destiny.
I wondered how the team would go on after her death, especially Cloud, but I knew they wouldn’t let Aerith down by failing to fulfill their own destinies.
I eventually finished Final Fantasy VII, even though I’ve always had a hard time finishing games. The characters felt like real people to me, and I felt like I was an actual part of Avalanche. I had my own destiny to fulfill, and I wouldn’t let Aerith down.