Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth ending and Aerith’s fate explained

While Square Enix stated that the ending of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth would take place at the end of Forgotten Capital, the developers have wanted to keep Aerith’s fate a secret until the game is released to ensure that players are not spoiled.

However, the ending of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is complicated and full of ambiguity that may have left you confused after so much time playing.

We’re here to try to make sense of the ending and answer the obvious questions. Please note that much of this weirdness is still up for interpretation and spoilers follow.

In this page:

To view this content, please enable targeting cookies. Manage cookie settings

What happens to Aerith in the original Final Fantasy 7?

In the original Final Fantasy 7, Aerith is killed by Sephiroth halfway through. After finding the Black Materia in the Temple of the Ancients, the group travels to the Ancient Forest in search of Aerith. There they find the Forgotten Capital where Aerith, as the last of the Ancients, is inside praying with the White Matter to summon Holy, which is the only magic capable of stopping Meteor.

Meteor is summoned by Sephiroth using the Black Matter to cause a wound on the planet from which he can absorb the Lifestream and all of its Mako energy. Sephiroth then descends from the ceiling and stabs Aerith with his sword to stop his prayers; she falls to the ground and the White Matter from her bounces into the surrounding water. It is unclear (at this time) if Aerith’s prayers were successful.

Image credit: Square Enix.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth ending explained: Does Aerith die?

Maybe. The game still follows the events of the original, with Sephiroth aiming for divinity using the Black Materia and Aerith being the only person who can stop him from using the White Materia. The group arrives at the Forgotten Capital in search of Aerith, where they find her praying at the same altar. However, even though Cloud tries to prevent him, Sephiroth still descends on her and kills her.

However, it is not that simple. We also see Aerith wake up afterwards: “Cloud, it’s okay,” she says. The scene changes through multiple versions of events: some show blood, others do not. It seems that Aerith has accepted her fate. Or maybe she’s not really dead and she still exists in another world.

The final battle against Sephiroth takes place across multiple overlapping worlds in a strange, blurry convergence. It is as if all the permutations of the world depend on this event. Zack joins Cloud in battle in a void between worlds. Later, Aerith joins Cloud in battle against Sephiroth.

Afterwards, the group mourns Aerith’s death. However, she remains apparently alive and visible to Cloud.

Yes, this is a story about multiple worlds and timelines and to explain it, let’s go back to the ending of the previous game Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Cloud hugs dying Aerith with Sephiroth's back in the background from Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Image credit: Square Enix/Eurogamer

Are there multiple worlds?

At the end of Remake, Cloud and the group fight the Whispers, the strange, ghostly heralds of destiny. By doing so, they free themselves from fate and can chart their own destiny. This takes on a double meaning, as if the developers themselves were explaining that the plot of the rest of the trilogy will not strictly follow that of the original. It gives them room to change things. And it leaves Aerith’s fate open.

However, by doing this, a multiverse has been created. As Sephiroth explains in the final chapter of Rebirth: “When the limits of destiny are crossed, new worlds are born.” Sephiroth’s goal is to allow a reunion – or homecoming – of worlds and rule the infinite. This takes his ambition beyond that of the original game: he not only wants to rule one world, but all of them.

Throughout Rebirth, we witness playable scenes as Zack, a character who is dead in the original game. At the beginning of Rebirth, the group seemingly failed in their mission and we play as Zack looking to save Aerith. This is an alternate world with a series of alternate events, one that is doomed to failure. We return to Zack and this world periodically throughout the game, which reaches a climax in the final chapter of the game in which multiple versions of events are perceived.

Image credit: Square Enix.

As such, the story is divided into multiple worlds and timelines, with certain characters seemingly able to travel through worlds and perceive events that others cannot. It’s messy.

However, one way to make sense of the multiple worlds is to look at the Shinra dogs. In Remake, Shinra’s pet is a helmeted beagle, but throughout Rebirth the dog’s breed changes depending on the world. Something to keep an eye on.

Why are Cloud and Aerith dating?

At the beginning of the final chapter, Cloud and Aerith awaken from their slumber in an alternate world. The main goal of moving to this world is for Aerith to give Cloud her White Matter. In the main world, the one for most of the game, Aerith’s White Matter has faded and lost power thanks to Whispers in Remake. As such, Cloud travels to this alternate world so that Aerith can give him a different White Materia as a replacement to give to the other Aerith in the main world. This can then be used to summon Holy and prevent Meteor.

Image credit: Square Enix.

While in this alternate world, the pair embark on one last date in the slums of Midgar. This particular world is doomed, as indicated by a cut in the sky. “It’s not that we have much [time] “He’s gone,” Aerith says. It is unclear whether this is Aerith attempting to see the real Cloud as suggested by her date in the Golden Saucer, or a recreation of her time with Zack (prior to the original game, the pair were in a relationship as detailed in the prequel Crisis). core).

During this time we also witness other possibilities of fate as Zack decides whether to visit Hojo in Shinra to save Cloud or stop Biggs from blowing up another reactor, represented by rainbow light. “I chose this path,” he tells Biggs. “I wanted my life back.” Ironic words considering his death before the original game. “Fate has a twisted sense of humor,” he jokes. Isn’t that the truth?

Image credit: Square Enix.

After receiving the White Matter from Aerith, Cloud falls through the space between worlds and encounters Sephiroth, who explains more about the multiverse. “The planet encompasses a multitude of worlds, constantly developing,” he says. “Some die quickly… while others endure. However, even the most resilient worlds are doomed to disappear.”

Why are there white Whispers?

Throughout Remake, the group encounters black ghostly figures called Whispers, the heralds of destiny. It is these that are seemingly destroyed at the end of Remake as the group makes their way away from their predestined destiny.

However, in Rebirth the Whispers return. Not only that, the party also encounters white equivalents. So what is the difference?

Cloud claims that the Whispers are controlled by Sephiroth. Fate is seemingly in his hands as he seeks to control the multiverse and the characters within it.

However, this only applies to black Whispers. The White Whispers could be interpreted as being under Aerith’s control: they surround her when she joins the final battle, for example, and the two guys appear to fight each other at various points.

If the Whispers represent destiny, then the black and white variants seem to represent Sephiroth and Aerith’s destiny, or at least their attempts to control it. This could come to the fore in the next game when the two fight for control of destiny through the Whispers, a literal reinterpretation of their battle for the Lifestream set against the background of the original game.

Cloud raises his sword to team up with Aerith and the vast void for the final battle in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Image credit: Square Enix/Eurogamer

Why can Cloud see Aerith at the end?

In the final scene of the game, we see the party in mourning. The mood is somber as they fix up the Tiny Bronco before continuing their journey, with Cid humming the Final Fantasy theme song. However, Aerith wanders among them, although she is only visible to Cloud.

One interpretation is that Aerith, through death, has become one with the planet and its Lifestream. We see this happen after the final boss when her spirit disappears surrounded by White Whispers. As such, she is now an apparition capable of communicating with Cloud across worlds.

Cloud and Aerith stand back to back in a white void with ghostly whispers around them in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Image credit: Square Enix/Eurogamer

Another interpretation is that Aerith’s death did not occur on all worlds in the multiverse and that is why she can communicate with Cloud from another world. The flash of rainbow light, used as a motif for branching timelines, suggests that Aerith’s death is just another branching path.

Either way, it seems that Aerith somehow continues to live in some spiritual form and appears to Cloud as a guide.

So why can Cloud see her and the others can’t? Notably, Cloud is the only character in the group who travels across worlds. Perhaps, through Aerith, this has given him the power to see multiple versions of events.

In the original game, in a later section, Cloud falls into the lifestream and is left in a catatonic state due to poisoning by Mako. Does the remake trilogy offer a reinterpretation of this, with Cloud giving him new power to see through worlds and therefore through Sephiroth’s reunion plans?

This is all completely open to interpretation and probably won’t be resolved until the trilogy concludes with the next game. It’s clear that this is intentional on Square Enix’s part: Aerith’s death is such a shocking yet iconic moment from the original that the developers are clearly interested in keeping us all guessing for as long as possible.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth final scene showing Cloud looking at Aerith who is looking out over a green valley with a lake.
Image credit: Square Enix/Eurogamer

What questions remain ahead of the final game in the Final Fantasy 7 remake trilogy?

During that final scene, Cloud still has the Black Materia, which he places on his sword. The Black Materia is used to summon Meteor, but this has not happened yet in Rebirth, at least not in the world of the final scene. Does this mean he still has to hand it over to Sephiroth in order to summon Meteor? Is Sephiroth planning to destroy the multiverse with the Black Matter?

Cloud tells the group not to look at the sky, mirroring Aerith’s words to him on the date. Except there’s no cut in the sky. This also parallels the ending of Remake, where the dialogue was recently changed, where Aerith comments on her dislike of the sky. The sky is certainly an important motif throughout the trilogy: covered in Midgar and later indicative of the fate of the world. If a cut in the sky implies that the world is ending, does this mean that the worlds are now overlapping if Cloud can see what the other characters cannot?

Image credit: Square Enix.

Cloud vows to stop Sephiroth while Aerith says she will pray to stop Meteor, literally mirroring the plot of the original game. However, the final words read: “No promises await at the end of the journey.” Will the couple keep their promises or will the story diverge once again? Is Square Enix just keeping us guessing?

Zack jokes in his final scene that the worlds could come together again. In fact, the theme of the reunion will be key for the third game. Will Sephiroth reunite the worlds? Will Zack and Aerith reunite? Could they meet now in death or in the space between worlds?

Categories: Guides

Leave a Comment