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The True* Aeris Story

This was posted on the FF Discussion Group by Lansing, a temp worker for Square who did some of the translations. It lays to rest* the rumors of Aerith's ressurection: Oh no. They did it. I wouldn't have known, because I had access to the full set of FF7 info... but they did. I guess this means that I should have actually played through things to see if anything had changed, instead of getting tired of the game after translation purposes. I think everyone is gonna kill me for my insolence, because I really should have played through the game more fully before I said anything to make sure it was still possible.

Throughout the past few weeks, I, myself, have been wondering why people were having such a hard time reviving Aeris, because according to everything I saw through the scenario translation process, it could be done fairly easily. Here's the Aeris revival process, in full.

First off, throughout the game, you must make the logical choice of things to say to Aeris to indicate that you like her. You must never hurt her in any way by choice. What happens in scenarios, however, cannot be avoided (Aeris' beating by Cloud, for instance). Also, with the sick man. There is no medicine, but you could have Aeris tend to him and make him feel better, by learning about her heritage and returning to Midgar in the first CD. By doing this, the "GENERAL" as people call him, would trust you, and request you go buy his dying friend something from the store. A simple quest. After doing so, the GENERAL would tell you thanks, and that if there was anything else you need ever, to ask him for help. You then see a scene with his friend dying. A sad scene. :(

Now, continue through the game as normal, and after Aeris dies, go on to the second CD. Once here, return to Midgar with the key from CD1, and the GENERAL will ask you where the nice girl (Aeris) is. You explain that she has died, by Sephiros, and that there is no hope in reviving her. There would be a chance, but only if you could go deep under the waters of the floating castle (where Aeris died). The GENERAL would tell you that he thinks he may be able to help, and to come back later. After this meeting, you were to go on to Aeris' church, where there would be a long scene with her spirit. If you had been nice to her, she would express a desire to return to help you. After doing this, return to the GENERAL, who would provide you with a Yellow materia that allowed the entire group to travel through water. With this, you could return to the floating palace, go up to Mr. Fish, and once you touched him, you would be transported under water, to a cavern, where, at the end, lay Aeris' orb/life essence. With this orb, Bugen Hagen could complete the ress process, and you could move on to a happier life with a neater ending.

Well, the FMVs were all completed on time, but a lot of coding was not. They then delayed the games release by a month (Dec -> Jan). However, it seemed that even by late December, the coding STILL wasn't finished, so Square told production to wrap it up quickly. In order to get the game out on time, SqJP sacrificed what could have been a miraculously better game than FF7... The main coding that was not finished dealt with manipulating the transparent polygon of Aeris' spirit in the church. Since they were forced to wrap production up to meet the many-delayed deadline, they had to stop with the Aeris process unfinished. So, to keep things from ever happening, they simply removed the one item that allowed any hint of the process to take place... The Key to Midgar, from the first CD. This completely stopped the ability to ressurect Aeris. HOWEVER, they left out the removal of one thing, and that was the split- second of seeing the ghost of Aeris once you return to the church. Unforunately, this, along with the insanely big size of the ending MOV, are the only hints to Aeris' existence that we have. Other than the original FF7 scriptline, from which all the above information came.

I ran across this info while talking to John H. (another temp like me) trying to get some US script from him for our channel's page. Also, Seph wanted it. I asked him if it would be alright for me to release the script info in an altered form, and to release info on gameplay, such as Aeris' death/ress. Then he told me the deadline story, and I almost had a heartattack. He said that the process can still be done to its completion, sans a couple of scenes, with the Game Shark, but until someone develops a MOV player that handles multiple sector files, the true ending will not be seen.

Oh, and about the ending... There were supposed to be scenes with the hidden characters, but things got cut short, so they weren't added, and the end of the ending was terrible, without even the typical "THE END" in the stars.

This is part of an email sent to me from James Smith:
First of all, the game is 'unfinished'. You may have heard rumors of this, but I can swear they are true*. The major thing removed was a large scenario by which you can revive Aerith. In December, when the game development was being finished, Square got a bit lazy and as a result just pulled the whole revival process. In fact, the movie files and code for the revival all exist on the discs, but a small part where you could get the key to Midgar in disc 1 was removed, making the whole process impossible. Game Shark allows the parts with her alive again on disc 2 and 3 possible, but the two other endings are inaccessible.. (Yes, there are two endings, one in which Aerith commits suicide) Removing the revival also removed the possibility of getting another secret character, and imp, which I believe you had on your list as KanjiMaru (I've not seen anything much regarding the char, but that he had only 1 limit etc.) and strangely, I had heard nothing of 'Kanjimaru 2'. The chocobo part is another secret in the game. Interestingly, from what I've gathered this part may still be accessible, but I'm not yet sure. Basically it's a materia that lets you control your chocobos, which I've been told is not a very large deal anyway.
Mr. Smith's second message is:

In response to your question , we met about three months or so ago only, (online). Because of his relation to Square, he could not reveal the method to get Aerith back, that is until he left Square at the end of March. Well, the end of March came, and he left Square. Before he did, he was talking with a friend about getting some scripts and the full method in perfect steps for all the secrets, when his friend told him about the whole removal of it. I think it was in your FAQ the bit about seeing the ghost of Aerith in the church. Ever noticed how fast the ghost dissapears? It doesn't fade, and it's not even there for long. It was at this point that an Video sequence was supposed to start. But Square just deleted the key, and several parts hinting at her death, but they did forget the ghost. Yes, the game will freeze in parts of the second disc, but you have noticed that she does in fact have dialog. But there is no real point in the discussing the matter. It's impossible in the Japanese version, because even with the Gameshark it cannot be viewed in it's entirety. And having discussed it with Lansing, it will not be fixed for American release anyway. (Or, it is not scheduled to, which is unlikely to change) If you'd like to know more about it, I can basically tell you pretty much everything you want. The other two endings you recieved if:

1. You revive Aerith and were nice to her through decisions throughout the game.

2. You revive Aerith and were mean to here through decisions throughout the game.

Come to think of it, why isn't Bakuusa's portrait displayed with those others? Hmm, that too is a question I need to get some help on. BTW, Lansing said that another thing that was 'forgotten' was a portrait of Bakuusa on the save game files. The portrait is supposed to appear randomly of a 1 in 30 chance, so clearing a slot and saving/deleting should find it pretty easily. I'll try to find out more so as to clear the confusion. <KM's note - 'Bakuusa' is the name of the imp/kappa, I believe, that was mentioned in the first message.>

Here's some more info. from Mr. Smith:

Hi, it's been a while since I've talked to you, and I've gained a little information on the whole revival process. I hope you will put it in your next FAQ, as it clears a few things up and makes me look less like I'm just 'spreading rumors' :)

Lansing left the web permanently. I tried to contact him, but he is gone. For those who believe that Aerith was never meant to be revived, I do pass along this: Lansing insisted that the second and third endings were on the disc. Yet, by using PSXVideo you can plainly see that only three ending files (The 'trip' to last boss, the ending, and Red XIII segment.) So in at least one place there is no validity to his statements. Yet I could be wrong here too. And what of the 'Chocobo control' materia? This is not so clear either-- I truthfully don't have much knowledge past what anyone else knows--that it's a rumor without basis. Additionally, the secret endings, as Lansing said, were that Aerith and Tifa argue over Cloud, Aerith attempts suicide, when in the mad rush Cloud accidentally kills her. How much does this sound like a Square ending? I'm really not so sure. I do however believe strongly that Aerith was intended to be revived, and that Kappa/Bakuusa was indeed supposed to be there. Does it not make sense? But I think perhaps there is true proof that she was intended to be revived. Why the so sudden dissapearance in the Church? Why does she have dialog at points after her death, but in contrast, why does she only have dialog in certain spots? I think we will truly never know-- Square will never tell. Yet I believe that in early pictures a 'breathing underwater' materia was in fact shown, though you as a reader can verify this just as much as any other rumor. Laid to rest, I don't think we'll find much more than we now know. <KM's note - the 'Chocobo control' materia was supposedly an item that you could use to make a chocobo join your party that you could control in battle sequences.>

*=We are sorry to report that this section of the FAQ, written by, or contributed in any way to Mr. Lansing is all false. There was another FAQ on the internet that held a vitial confession from whoever was suppossedly "Mr. Lansing", saying that he was only joking, and that he was surprised anyone fell for it anyways. No one is certain what his true identity is, and whether he exists or not. In fact, it seems that some may be true, some of his information false. We can now never truelly tell the truth from the lies very easily. There was no translation procceses down up by Squaresoft temps at all. 90% of it was being translated via computers, and there was absolutely no hired temps for this job in the first place. We are still searching for that FAQ and confession, and will put it up here when we find it. If you have any information regarding Mr. Lansing, his confession, or anything to do with the revival of Aeris, please send us an E-Mail.
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