Aeris and the Highwind

aeris-and-the-highwindDo you remember this scene? I do…

I remember buying this game when I was about 15 years old, by then, it was an old game, FFX had just come out and that’s what we were excited to play, but I wanted to make this purchase at that moment. I knew it was a moment that was gonna go by, and I’d regret it had I not done so, but I did.

I remember opening it, seeing the three CDs, leafing through the booklet, and seeing this image.

I had already played through a great deal of the game, and so I was very familiar with the story, setting, characters, gameplay, I even knew what became of Aeris, cause my idiot friend decided to spoil it for me the first time he showed it to. I have to say this, cause I’m ashamed of it, but it’s true.

I didn’t feel anything for Aeris… not at first…

I played the game on my own for a long time after that, and it was only when I made the journey myself that I realized what an adventure it truly was, it actually started my lifelong affair with RPGs, a love that exists to this very days, but I digress…

FFVII was a tremendous experience, and I’m not gonna spill anymore words on that subject. I couldn’t do the game justice by reviewing it when so many people have done so already, but I always remembered this scene. It never left me, and to this day, I don’t know why.

Don’t know why…

I guess it was because she never did see it. This never happened in the game.

Perhaps my memory fails me, but by the time you meet Cid, she’s long gone. Pretty sure she dies in Disk 1.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s what I remember.

I always got the impression that Cloud loved her, and that he didn’t know what he truly felt for Tifa, and that also made me sad. At the time, I was not aware of the whole “childhood friend” trope at the time, so, in my innocent naive mind, I thought this was unfair.

Unfair… boy, I was in for a world of hurt…

When I saw Advent Children later on, I was convinced of the same thing.

Cloud loved Aeris, but more importantly, he blamed himself for her death. While all the action sequences were great, and seeing our heroes again was quite the treat, in my opinion, the best part of the movie, of the story, was seeing that journey, seeing him grow, and forgive himself for that.

Aeris didn’t hold him responsible, and the fact that he was finally convinced of that is what let him continue his journey. I know that the movie wasn’t that popular, but it did close the book on Cloud quite well, and Aeris was again, a big part of that.

I know a lot of people were convinced for a good while that it was possible to bring her back, in some way, shape or form. I was…, eventually, I was convinced of why they did it, and what it did for the story and to this day, I think it’s genius…

They got us to feel for a fictional character, and while that’s not necessarily new in fiction, (some of the best fiction ever written does exactly this…) doing so in a videogame was virtually unheard of at the time, especially a game where the characters didn’t talk. You were still able to make a long, lasting bond with these characters. You got to know them and losing them hurt in a new way you weren’t expecting

I wish she had seen it though, to this day, I do…

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