Release Changes FAQ by Kao Megura

Version: 0.3 | Updated: 03/06/15 | Printable Version

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                    Final Fantasy VII Changes FAQ v0.3
                         for the Sony PlayStation

 Unpublished work Copyright 1997-2001 Chris MacDonald

 This document is protected by US Copyright Law, and the Berne Copyright
 Convention of 1976.  It is for private and personal use only--it cannot
 be reprinted in part or in whole, or reproduced in any way or in any
 form (written or otherwise).  It is a free document that cannot be used
 in any sort of commercial transaction, including selling it or giving
 it away as a gift.  This FAQ cannot be referenced, altered, or used by
 anybody (including webmasters, publishers, and magazine staff) without
 my express written permission.  This FAQ was created and is owned by
 me, Chris MacDonald <kmegura (at) yahoo (dot) com>.  It can be found
 exclusively at (  All copyrights and trademarks are
 acknowledged and respected that are not specifically mentioned herein.

 I expressly forbid the following publishers/publications from using this
 FAQ, namely: Ziff-Davis Video Game Group (publishers of Expert Gamer),
 Future Publishing, Ltd. (publishers of PlayStation Power, Official UK
 PlayStation Magazine, etc.), IDG Media, Game 13th Magazine, Brady Games,
 and Prima Games.  Remember, plagiarism is a crime and is punishable by

 The Final Fantasy series is (c) Square Soft and (c) Sony Entertainment
 of America.

NOTE:  Everything in this document is MY OPINION.  Therefore, there's
       no point in flaming me as I'm not saying that this document is
       the 'final word' on FF7 or that it is all 100% truth. :)  Also,
       this document is chock full of spoilers, both small and large,
       so don't read it if you haven't beaten the game yet.

table of contents

     1.1  Why a 'Changes' FAQ?
     1.2  So this covers rumors and secrets, too?

     2.1  How many releases of Final Fantasy VII were/are there?
     2.2  In what formats is it available?

     3.1  What changes were made to each release?
     3.2  Why make these changes?
     3.3  What about the Japanese to English translation?

     4.1  How was this game created?
     4.2  Anything that wasn't implemented into the final version?
     ...  Was anything that was incomplete added to later releases?

     5.1  Any rumors concerning Final Fantasy VII?
     5.2  Are they true or false?
     ...  Is there any basis for these rumors anyhow?

     6.1  What resources did you use when writing this FAQ?

     7.1  Special Thanks
     7.2  Author's Note


1 . 1    Why a 'Changes' FAQ?

Well, partially because none of the Final Fantasy 7 releases are exactly
alike.  The other reason is that there is a lot of misinformation
spreading around the 'Net about this game and I want to make a guide that
is (hopefully) accurate and correct.

However, this FAQ is more about changes, it's also about rumors,
disabled and unused stuff, the creation of the game, and other aspects
of Final Fantasy VII.  This FAQ focuses on all the information that
you wouldn't hear about elsewhere.

1 . 2    So this covers secrets and rumors, too?

Yes!  I've taken the time to research and address all of the rumors
surrounding FF7, and have tried to uncover secrets and little-known
information about the game itself.  In no way is this a single-topic
FAQ; it covers a broad range of topics that I'd like to expand upon as
time goes on.  If you can help at all, please contact me at:
<>, as I'd love to hear from you.  My only request is
that your information be PROVABLE, otherwise, I can't add it to the


2 . 1    How many releases of Final Fantasy VII were/are there?

As of this writing, there are three versions of Final Fantasy VII, the
Japanese version sold in Japan (released on January 31st, 1996), and the
American version, sold in the US (released on September 3rd, 1997,
although the official release date was September 7th, 1997).  This
'English-text' version will not be available in Europe and other
countries for some time.

The third version is the Japanese re-release of Final Fantasy 7 called
'Final Fantasy International'.  It's simply the American version with
rewritten Japanese text.  However, there have been some additions to the
game; you can use your old Japanese FF7 save files on this new game
(wonder what it would do to my save file with the disabled materia, heh!)
It also comes packaged with the original FF7 'Perfect Guide' hintbook,
as well as a fourth CD.  This CD contains FF7 artwork, in-depth info. on
the game itself, unused art pices, and FMV movies.

Final Fantasy International was released in Japan on October 2, 1997.
It costs 6800 yen (around $60 US).

There is also a fourth version, planned for the home computer.  It will
presumably run under Windows '95.  Other than that, information about
this forthcoming release is vague, as the porting process has just begun
and it is unknown whether the game will be released in Japan, in America,
or both.  Square has stated that it will be available by next December
or later, but that seems a little unlikely given how little of the game
has been ported to the PC so far.

Finally, there are two Final Fantasy VII demos, short playable versions
of the beginning of the game.  They are:

 - Final Fantasy VII Sampler Disc.  Packaged along with Tobal No. 1
   A Japanese-only release.

 - Final Fantasy VII Sampler Disc.  Packaged along with Tobal No. 1
   The same demo disc as above, released in the US.  They are basically
   the same, however, the Japanese text was translated into English.

 - Final Fantasy VII Demo Disc.  Part of the Sony Underground club, and
   sold as a bonus to those who pre-ordered the US release of FF7.
   This disc still contained the same, playable version of FF7, but
   characters were replaced, the dialogue re-done, and new items,
   materia, and other things were added to the game, all taken from the
   full version of the US game, still unreleased at the time.

2 . 2    In what formats is it available?

Currently, Final Fantasy is only available for the Sony PlayStation.

  - To play the Japanese versions, you need a Japanese PlayStation, or
    an older American PlayStation (disk swap), or a 'modified' PSX
    (a chip is installed into the system).

  - To play the American version, you need an American PlayStation.
    I have no idea if Japanese PlayStations can use the 'disk swap'
    trick or be modified via a chip.

Alternately, if you own a Sony Yaroze PlayStation (a hobbyist kit),
then you can play either version of FF7, as the only protection a
Yaroze has is against non-Sony games.

As stated before, Square plans to release FF7 for (presumably) Windows
'95.  While it has been confirmed that they will release the game
eventually, futher details are unknown.


3 . 1    What changes were made to each release?

Changes listed in chronological order:

Japanese Final Fantasy VII Sampler Disc --
No changes, being the first version, after all :)

American Final Fantasy VII Sampler Disc --
All the Japanese text was translated into English.  Otherwise, this
disc was the same, at least in terms of the FF7 playable demo.

Japanese Final Fantasy VII (Complete Game) --
In terms of changes from the Japanese Sampler Disc, a lot of stuff
was redone, character portraits, the music, graphics, camera angles,
and so on.  In comparing the beginning of this game to the game on
the Sampler Disc, while they are for all practical purposes mostly
similar, in terms of acutal differences, they're like two completely
new games.

American Final Fantasy VII Demo Disc --
This demo disc is based mostly on the as-yet-unreleased US version.
The dialogue is the same, the portraits, graphics and music are the
same, and there are few differences between it and the US release.

American Final Fantasy VII (Complete Game) --
Compared to the Japanese Final Fantasy VII, there are a lot of
changes.  A brief listing includes:

- All text changed from Japanese to English.
- Item names changed from the American FF7 Demo Disc.
- Of the 6 disabled Materia in the Japanese release, five were
  altered slightly (not named, either), and the other one was made
  into a real Materia (Underwater).
- In the beta version, there were two new Key Items (Ruby Fragment
  and Emerald Fragment), similar to the mementos your recieved when
  you killed Shinryu or Omega in FF5j (in other words, no real use).
  These were removed and replaced with the Desert Rose and Earth
  Harp items, below.
- Three new Items were added (Guide Book, Desert Rose, Earth Harp)
- A new weapon was added: the Rising Sun (for Yuffie).  Technically,
  this isn't a new weapon, as it was in the Japanese version, but
  wasn't normally available in the game (for the life of me, I don't
  know why--but I'd bet anything it was an oversight.)
- One of the Weapon Monsters was turned into a boss (Diamond Weapon).
- Two optional Weapon Monsters were added to the game (Emerald and
  Ruby).  This also resulted in small scenario/changes being built
  around these two new bosses.
- A new FMV sequence was added showcasing the new Weapon monsters.
  This isn't a seperate sequence, but was added in along with the
  FMV seen when escaping from the Whirlwind Maze in Disc 2.
- The Submarine mini-game now plays much faster.
- There's a bit after this showing Cloud's arrival in Midgar, and his
  meeting with Tifa--this part wasn't in the Japanese FF7.
- Minor graphical changes were made, clearing up exisiting areas or
  simply adding more to the background to create a more detailed game.
  However, these changes were very small and the game is not that
  graphically different from the Japanese version.
- The number of letters available for naming your character was
  changed from 6 to 9 spaces.
- Apparently, one enemy, 'Test Zero' was removed.  This enemy was simply
  a battle-testing opponent (it looks like Dark Nation), that had no
  purpose in the game and was left in by mistake (or as a joke by the
  programmers, as it gives you lots of EXP, or so I'm told).
- Some of the spells have been altered.  For instance, Chocobuckle
  does damage according to the number of times you've run away from
  a battle, instead of that _multiplied_ by the skill users' EXP
- Mr. DeLucas notes that at least one area was made easier to access;
  the Chocobo Barn.  In the Japanese version, you appeared closer to
  the outside pen than you do in the US version.
- The difficulty was altered.*
- The ability of Sephiroth, "Supernova" was completely redone.  It
  is nothing like the Japanese version (a short clip of an explosion
  in outer space), and instead shows a comet-like blast of energy
  destroying several of the outer planets, then striking the sun
  and sending it into a supernova, which destroys most of the 
  inner planets and rises up behind Sephiroth and the good guys, 
  causing lots of damage.  It's also at least a minute and a half
  longer than the Japanese version.
- There is a star field that appears after the credits.  The credits
  themselves are now in English (but the Japanese logo was removed!
  It looked _so_ cool in the Japanese, especially with the kanji and
  little English translations!)

*  The exact statement from Mr. Hironobu Sakaguchi was "The enemy
   encounter rates have also been adjusted so that the story line and
   battles are more balanced.  Also at certain points you'll have
   bosses with weaknesses that are hard to work out, and we've added
   hint messages to aid the player."

   This may just be me, but from my personal experience with both games,
   this doesn't seem to be true.  The enemy encounter rate is just the
   same as it was in the Japanese version.  What Mr. Sakaguchi doesn't
   mention is that several of the enemies have been made easier, in
   terms of tactics they use against you (the Bloat Floats near the
   Corel Reactor for one thing), but this isn't a widespread change.
   Furthermore, in regards to his 'hint messages' statement, this
   doesn't seem to be true.  The only message I can think of is the
   one that Reno gives when you fight him at the support pillar in
   Sector 7 about breaking his Pyramid attack.

   However, the _gameplay_ has been made considerably easier.  For
   instance the 'Guardian of Time' puzzle in the Temple of Ancients
   requires no figuring out; you just move the hour hand as you wish
   in order to enter the various rooms.  But in the Japanese version,
   there were many options that would move the hands back or
   forward in different patterns, making the puzzle extremely tough.
   Another example would be climing Gaea's Cliff in Disc 2; in the
   US version, keeping your body temperature high is easy, but in the
   Japanese version, it would begin dropping immediately if you
   weren't pounding the Square button with all your might.

Final Fantasy International (Complete Game) --
- Includes all of the changes made to American Final Fantasy VII.
- The text was changed back into Japanese, but was rewritten in the
  same way that the American text was altered for clarity.
- The game save files of the Japanese FF7 can be used with this
  version of the game.
- Not having to do with the game itself, but an extra CD and hintbook
  were included.  The hintbook was for the original FF7 Japanese
  release, and the extra CD has bonus info. and nothing that can be
  used in the actual game (directly).

3 . 2    Why make these changes?

The changes made during the Demo Discs are not of noteworthy importance.
The need to translate the game is obvious, while other changes, like
graphic additions and so forth, simply reflect Square putting finishing
touches on their game.  In a similar vein, the American Demo Disc (the
one offered by the Sony Underground) has more things in it and a more
'complete' game primarily to entice people into buying it who perhaps
already own the by then outdated FF7 Sampler Disc.  The only change of
any interest are the Item, Key Item, and Materia names in the FF7 Demo
Disc--all of these (and more, like the Menu screen) could be read if you
searched through the CD's memory (they were not available normally).
Those names were changed in the final version because only so many
characters can be alloted for an item name, and some of these (like
Marlboro Tentacles), not only went over the limit of spaces, but were
misspelled (in this case, Square'd probably get sued as well!)  In case
you're wondering, the final name was 'M-Tentacles'.

The changes made between the Japanese release of FF7 and the American
release of FF7 are another story entirely.  Many of these are last
minute changes made as a result of beta testing (apparently, people
were more familar with the name 'Aeris', so while her name was 'Aerith'
in the US _beta_ copy, the final version was changed to Aeris), while
others were not actually changes but additions, things that Square
wanted to add to the game to improve it (although whether the additions
were planned but never added to the Japanese version is unknown.  This
seems probable, though, since [for example] the Underwater materia was
in the Japanese version of this game).  To me, the changes between the
battle difficulty (still very easy and relatively unchanged), and the
gameplay difficulty (made much easier) doesn't seem to make any sense;
why make a simple game even less of a challenge?

As for Final Fantasy International, well, Square obviously didn't want
to leave it's home consumers in the dust, and since just about everyone
already owned FF7, they had to add the extra stuff (CD and hintbook) to
make it appealing to everyone, in addition to the changes made from the
American version.

3 . 3    What about the Japanese to English translation?

This is a very interesting subject.  Previously, many people were
concerned over the translations of RPGs.  Both Sony and Square simply
said that the game would be translated to the best of their abilities
(I don't have the actual quote), and most people left it at that.
However, the translation is _terrible_.

Most noticeable are the simple spelling mistakes and grammatical
errors, such as "Touph Ring".  However, what's really noticeable are
the badly mangled conversations, some of which seem to make no sense
whatsoever, even when you consider the context they are in.  For
instance, here's a sequence with Cloud and Aeris chatting outside the
Honeybee Inn:

Cloud:  "...Hmm.  That's how you'll fool them."
Aeris:  ".........Hmmmmmmm.  So that's how you fooled them."

Sounds bad as is right?  Well, the conversation isn't even in context
with the game.  Cloud hasn't fooled anyone; he was just given a
Member's Card which he could use to enter the brothel, and while you
could say that he tricked the guard into letting him in, it's not that
big a thing to pull off in the first place.

This sort of thing is more or less prevalent throughout the game.  A
bad translation will come as no surprise to people who have had
previous experience with Square games, but many people assumed that
Sony would do a good job, this being such a popular game, and that
ended up not being the case.  What's really annoying is that many of
the names were changed apparently for no good reason (many names that
could have 'fit' in the game even when spelled in English were

 - 'Gold Needle' became 'Soft'
 - 'Twin Head' became 'Schizo'
 - 'Gravity' became 'Demi'
 - 'Heavy Shot' became 'Big Shot'
 - 'Pyro Holes' became 'Pale Horse'

and so on.  What's really interesting is that sometimes the translations
are completely botched:

 - When you open a chest inside Gaea's Cliff, you supposedly have just
   been given a 'Last Elixir'.  If you check your item menu, you'll
   find that you have an extra Megalixir, though.  This is because the
   item was called 'Rasutoerikusaa' (Last Elixir) in the Japanese FF7,
   and this apparently was translated directly but not 'Americanized'
   for the final release.

 - An even worse example would be trying to feed the white chocobo in
   Mideel.  Your character will ask it if it wants 'Samolen Greens'.
   No such item exists; however, if you choose to feed the chocobo,
   you'll use up one of your 'Mimett Greens'.  Not only is this item
   spelled 'Memett Greens' in the Battle Square prize offerings, but
   how you could translated 'Mimetto' (Japanese), to 'Samolen' (US)
   is a little beyond me.

Those of you who are interested can find a list of (my translations of)
the Japanese names in my 'FF7 Japanese FAQ Part 2: Extra Stuff You
Should Know' document, available at my homepage and elsewhere (look at
the bottom of this FAQ).

Here's what a little bird told me about the translation--this info. comes
from pretty high up, or so I'm told:

 - The translation was handed by Square Soft International, not Square
   or SCEA.  The translators consisted of people who were both fluent in
   English and Japanese.  It was not a set team, just various translators
   who were asked to work on parts of FF7 (not neccessarily at the same

 - About the misspellings: some of them were changes made for aesthetic
   reasons ('Ogre Nix' becoming 'Organics').  However, the other
   mistakes were actual typos.  Supposedly, FF7's 'localization' time
   was cut in order to get the game out on schedule.  It took so long
   to rewrite and translate the text (and to add in the new text for the
   added sequences and battles) that it had to be shipped before all the
   mistakes could be corrected.  However, all of these mistakes were
   noted, and WILL be corrected in the upcoming Windows 95 version.


4 . 1    How was this game created?

Work began on Final Fantasy VII in early 1996, developing from the plot
that had been created earlier.  FF7 was produced by many of the same
members who worked on previous FF games, with the notable exception of
Square artist Amano Yoshitaka, who's normal job of character designs
and publicity artwork was given to Nomura Tetsuya.  Mr. Amano was
instead asked to design the maps and world graphics for FF7.

In terms of internal game creation, it was quite rushed and subject
to change.  For instance, Tifa, who is one of the main characters of
FF7, had not yet been added to the game when the original story was
written.  And Sephiroth wasn't publicly revealed as being involved
in the FF7 storyline until much later.  The game itself was to be a
2-disc set, but at a very late date (Fall of '96, I believe) it was
expanded to three discs.  FF7's projected release meant that Square
had less time to make this game than they did previous FFs, and as
the American version of this game shows, they could have used the
extra time. :)

Most notable is that this game was not designed only by Japanese
people, but by many experienced American game desingers, too.  FF7 was
also the first game to have been fashioned using the equipment and
talent found at Square USA (formerly Square LA), a new division of
Square.  This is because Square USA also focuses on the use of computer
graphics in video games, and one need only look at the extensive FMV
and rendered backdrops in FF7 to see why it was worked on here in the
States as well as in Japan (keep in mind that Square USA is also a
game-making faction of Square, too--they're working on the upcoming
'Parasite Eve' game).  Much of FF7 was created using high-power
computers and other high-tech electronics, unlike the previous Final
Fantasy games.

Later, Square opened another branch in Honolulu, Hawaii.  While this
division of Square apparently had no involvement with the Japanese
version of FF7, it was here where Square programmers retooled the US

4 . 2    Is there anything that wasn't implemented in the final version?
. . .    Was anything that was incomplete added to later releases?

This is debatable.  In the final version of the Japanese game, there
are several things that seem to not really go anywhere/have any use:

 - The 'Underwater' and 'Booster' materias.
 - The entire submarine sequence and related events.
 - Yuffie's Rising Sun weapon (removed from the Japanese version; it's
   not a 'new' weapon in the US version in the same sense that the
   Underwater materia is not a 'new' materia).
 - The relationship between Cloud and Aerith / Tifa during Disc 1 (it
   obviously is for the date sequence near the end of the disc, but
   it's completely dropped after Aeris' death, with no mention of
   Aeris afterwards, either.

If you want my opinion, FF7 _is_ incomplete!  The only reason why it
gets so much notice is that there is a much bigger degree of
incompleteness, due to the rushed schedule and so on.  No, I'm not
referring to stuff that's not true (Aeris' revival), but the stuff
added to the US version.  Obviously, if the game _was_ complete, Square
would have had no desire to make additions to it for the US release.
However, with the re-release of FF7 in America and Japan, the game is
now obviously as complete as it's gonna get (look at Chrono Trigger
or Seiken Densetsu 3 for other examples of games that are perfectly
playable but were not fully developed the way the programmers wanted
them to be).

That being said, obviously, Square added everything that they felt
should have been added to the US version, including a general tightening
and clarifying of the storyline (which was very vague in the Japanese
version, from what I could read of it).

Last and least, there are obviously all of Square's ideas and plans that
were never even put into the game itself:

 - Multiple endings.  Yes, Square _did_ plan to have more than one
   ending!  But this was going to be for the hidden characters (Yuffie
   and Vincent).  Lack of space on the CDs and lack of money is why
   these scenes weren't completed.

 - Extra materia.  All of the disabled materia in FF7 have some use
   that's already in the game, with the exception of three materia:
   'Underwater Breath' who's use was made clear in the US version
   (to fight the Emerald Weapon), 'Booster', which was likely just
   an alternative to gaining AP on your weapons.  When it was
   decided that some weapons could change the AP rate, this materia
   was dropped.  This is just guesswork on my part, but it's the
   only use of the materia that seems credible.  There was also
   another materia in development apparently called "Prevent Floor
   Damage" (yes, we've all played games in which watching somewhere
   injures you).  Not only is the reason for this materia not being
   finished obvious (the rendered backdrops are confusing enough as
   is), but this materia is not even found in the game, it was
   canned so early on.

 - Extra summons.  Apparently the only one is "Golem" (like the
   Golem from FF5j), and it was removed because the designers thought
   the game would be too easy with it intact.  Enough said.  Also,
   like the "Prevent Floor Damage" materia, it's not even in the
   final version, but was presumable forgotten early on in the game's

 - Extra equipment.  According to Mr. Sato, there are at least two
   weapons that were removed--A sword for Cloud that had an AP
   multiple rate of 4, and Yuffie's Rising Sun.  Well, this sword
   for Cloud isn't in the disc (same as the Golem materia and so on),
   and Yuffie's Rising Sun was put into the US version.  It's not a
   new weapon, but existed (and was disabled) in the original
   Japanese version.

 - Hidden characters.  Obviously, there's no need to be able to play
   with (Proto) Cloud as he's just like the normal Cloud, sans Limit
   Breaks.  And Sephiroth is the last enemy in the game, so obviously
   making him a playable character would be impossible--is Cloud gonna
   say, "Gee, Sephiroth, I know you're going to destroy our world, but
   why not help us fight the Shinra for a little while before then?"
   Besides, name another Square game where the last bad guy is your
   friend for a time, it's only ever been 'bad good guys' like Kain
   and Magus (Jacky).  Having the Chocobo as a team member wouldn't be
   very fun either, as it wouldn't be able to do anything but attack
   and use Chocobuckle :)  As for 'Boxer' (Baakusa), well, Square may
   have considered making a normal enemy playable, but they never
   implemented it into the game, so what's to complain about?

 - Elements that were never used.  Originally, there was to be an
   ability called 'Kakutou' (equivalent to the Blitz attacks in FF3),
   but this was disabled and never made usable in the final version
   of FF7.  Cloud was supposed to be able to swim underwater (in fact,
   your underwater adventures were not supposed to be limited to the
   'inner' ocean but the whole of the World Map), yet this was never
   added to the game.

In the end, Square added what the felt would needed to make FF7 a
complete game.  This includes adjusting the difficulty (not that I
could tell!), adding the Weapon monsters, and adding smaller events
and items like the Kalm Trader, the Rising Sun weapon, the Guidebook,
Underwater Materia, Earth Harp, and so on.


5 . 1    Any rumors concerning Final Fantasy VII?

Yes!  Far too many to count.  The most prevalent ones are:

 *  It was possible to revive Aeris after her death in Disc 1.
 *  ...and that Square added a quest allowing you to do so in the
    US release of this game.
 *  The game has multiple endings.
 *  (Proto) Cloud, Sephiroth, and the Chocobo are all playable
 *  There is a character named Boxer who you can meet and who will
    join your party.
 *  There are many extra materia in the game, and more Master Materia.
 *  Every character has an extra set of hidden limit breaks.
 *  You can breed a chocobo which can go underwater or into space.

And so on.  Many of these were created back when the Japanese game came
out, but more showed up when the American release was made available.

5 . 2    Are they true or false?
. . .    Is there any basis for these rumors anyhow?

All of these are basically false, but they all have a solid base, at
the least.  So while there is basis for these rumors, that doesn't
make them true.  Here's a detailed explanation:

 *  It was possible to revive Aeris after her death in Disc 1.

This is all thoroughly explained in a post by Ben Lansing, who claimed
to be a worker at Square USA during the creation of the Japanese game.
I had a really nice argument against his claim that I used to tell
people who believed him, but he recently admitted that the whole thing
was a joke (I'm still keeping my argument here, cuz' it sounds good).

In a nutshell:

 - The 'Underwater' materia that he said could be used to revive
   Aeris is purple, not yellow.  Furthermore, it has no effect in
   the Japanese game.
 - The 'Key to Sector 5' item isn't available in Disc 1, as he says,
   but even with it in your inventory, you could still not return to
   Midgar (the door doesn't open, plain and simple).
 - The ending of the game is composed of one multi-part file with
   three sections for the three corresponding parts of the game's
   one ending.  There are no 'extra' movie files in any of the CDs.
 - Mr. Lansing claimed that there was an extra area in the
   Forgotten Captial, but no such area has been found.
 - He also said that meeting Aeris' ghost in Midgar was a mistake
   made by the Square programmers, but that they covered it up by
   changing  the dialogue given to you by two children nearby.  Even
   assuming the rumor was true, none of the changes that Square
   supposedly made directly affect the main game, so this rumored
   alteration seems highly questionable.
 - A main character has died in just about every Final Fantasy game,
   so that's a good indicator that someone was meant to die in this
 - Finally, most of the unanswered questions in Lansing's explanation
   are put to rest in the American version: the scene with the dying
   man in Midgar, the use of the Underwater materia, etc.

Even if you decide that the rumor is true, there's no way to revive
Aeris in the final versions of either the Japanese or US versions of
the game, and sticking her back in your party with a GameShark has
shown that there are no other sequences with her/ways that she is
involved with your party, aside from 'general character' quotes.  That
doesn't mean that Square didn't originally _consider_ the idea of
having Aerith being brought back to life, but even if they did, it
was obviously discarded/decided against and never developed any
further than that (I believe that!  Really!)

 *  ...and that Square added a quest allowing you to do so in the
    US release of this game.

When people found out that there was an Underwater Materia in the game
and that new FMV had been added to the game, the general assumption
that was Mr. Lansing was right, as these fit in with his explanation.
However, the Underwater materia is used only in the fight against the
Emerald Weapon, and the new FMV sequence is simply a short clip showing
off the Weapons.

 *  The game has multiple endings.

The ending (which is the same in both the Japanese and English versions)
is surprisingly short and seemingly incomplete, plus it obscurely
refers to Aeris in the last few seconds.  Furthermore, Vincent and
Yuffie are nowhere to be seen in the ending sequences.  This led a lot
of people to believe that there must be other endings that were
complete/that had Vincent and Yuffie/or that corresponded to the Aeris
rumor.  Also, the ending move file is in fact divided into three sub
files, leading people to believe that there was not just one extra
ending, but maybe two or more.

In fact, the ending is three parts (escape from the final dungeon,
the halt of Meteo, the credits and Red 13 in the future), because the
ending movie has three major scenes.  Some people found fault with
what Nomura Tetsuya said in an interview with GameFan magazine:

 'Because to have included [Yuffie and Vincent], we would have to
 to make four different endings and we were constrained by the space
 on the CD, so we decided not to include them.'

The argument being that, in FF3, sequences would not be shown if you
didn't have a certain character, but they would be shown if you did,
so why not have short FMV clips with Vincent and Yuffie that would be
interjected into the ending?  However, what Mr. Nomura says is true;
as the entire FF7 game is on each disc (not including FMV), the added
FMV for Disc 3 would leave scant space for added FMV sequences.

 *  (Proto) Cloud, Sephiroth, and the Chocobo are all playable

Well, (Proto) Cloud and Sephiroth are playable during Cloud's
recounting of the Nibleheim mission in Disc 1, but even then, Sephiroth
is controlled by the computer.  And, there is a portrait for chocobos
just as their is for the characters in your group.  This having been
said, you can put Cloud and Seph in your party using a GameShark, but
the game will crash if they are involved/talk with anything (and since
a GameShark can only alter exisiting memory  and not 'create' something
new, if they were playable, a code that sticks them in your party would
work perfectly as well).  Even with the code, Seph is still computer-
controlled.  About the Chocobo: a GameShark code doesn't make it
playable either (there's not even any graphics or stats. for it), but
the portrait has a legitimate use anyway; it's used when you name a
caught chocobo in Disc 2.

 *  There is a character named Boxer who you can meet and who will
    join your party.

It goes like this: there is a hidden character named 'Baakusa' ('Boxer'
in Japanese), who was going to be put in the game, but wasn't at the
last moment (according to the rumor).  He would be a friendly version of
those Goblins you can fight at the Goblin and Round Islands.

Well, there _are_ two extra portraits in the game that are unused (they
spell out 'Now Printing' in Japanese kana, and the file name is 'kali'
or 'temporary').  Furthermore, in the Japanese version of FF7 (at
least), you could continually save and delete files, then check out the
little faces of the FF7 save file names in your PSX's memory, and there
would be a chance of you seeing a face of a character not in the game
who was supposedly the Boxer goblin.  This is true, but just because
there is a face doesn't mean that the character was playable, as there
are pictures of the Turks and other non-playable figures in the game.
Furthermore, there are no weapons or items in the game for Boxer to use.
Since there's no way to play with Boxer in any version of FF7 anyway,
this rumor is a little pointless, even if it is true.

 *  There are many extra materia in the game, and more Master Materia.

Again, this rumor is partially true.  In the Japanese game, there were
several disabled materia:

Housoku (Law)
A Command materia (yellow).  It has 2 levels.  It lets you use Coin
Toss and Throw (unmentioned in the description).

A Combination materia (blue).  It has 5 levels.  It also has no
description, and apparently has no effect in terms of gameplay, either.

SuichuuKokyuu (Underwater Breath/Respiration)
An Independant materia (purple).  It has 1 level.  It also has no
description, and apparently had no effect in terms of gameplay in the
Japanese version.  For the US release, this was made into the
'Underwater' materia that is used to nullify the time limit when
fighting the Emerald Weapon.

A Magic materia (green).  It has 3 levels, and lets you cast the
MBarrier spell at each level.

A Magic materia (green).  It has 4 levels, and lets you cast the
Reflect and Wall spells.

Rifuabu (no translation, but has something to do with 'reflect')
A Magic materia (green).  It has 3 levels, and lets you cast the Wall
spell after it reaches 2nd level.

In the case of the three Magic materia, they would affect your stats.
as so when equipped:  Strength -02, Magic +02, MaxHP -05%, Vitality -01,
Magic def +01, MaxMP +05%.

As you can see, none of these materia had any new functions.  The only
exception is the Booster materia, but whatever purpose it was supposed
to have (some have speculated that it was going to be a materia that
increased the amount of AP you got in a battle, like EXP Plus or Gil
Plus, but that it was removed when this function was instead assigned
to weapons) was deleted from the final version.

Note that these materia still exist in the US version (although the
SuichuuKokyuu materia is now a real, working materia [Underwater]).
However, they haven't been translated, as there was no need to since
they aren't actually in the game.  They also seem to be a little less
functional than before, but that could just be my GameShark ^_^;

In the story itself, there is Sephiroth's Black Materia that he uses to
cast Meteo, and Aeris' White Materia that is used to cast Holy, but
these materia aren't real, usable items (the Black Materia is an
unsusable Key Item).

 *  Every character has an extra set of hidden limit breaks.

This rumor has a good basis; there is enough space for every character
to have three limit breaks per level.  However, there aren't any extra
breaks (check for yourself if you have a GameShark), and those
characters who have less than 7 breaks (Vincent and Cait Sith), can't
get any more than what is normally available to them.

 *  You can breed a chocobo which can go underwater or into space.

Apparently, there was a picture floating around a while back which
depicted a chocobo walking around underwater.  When the Underwater
materia was discovered, people suggested that perhaps it was to be
used in conjuction with a chocobo to go underwater (and in fact, it
was originally said that chocobos would be able to travel beneath
the sea, to boot).  Also, with the submarine, there is only a small
area of the world's ocean that you can explore, further adding
credence to this rumor.  As it is, there are no extra types of
Chocobos that can be bred (again, this has been proven using a
GameShark), and none of the available ones can go under the ocean.
However, it does seem fair to say that this was originally going
to be implemented back when FF7 was still being created.

6 . 0    APPENDIX

6 . 2    What resources did you use when writing this FAQ?

Right off the bat, I'd like to say that NONE of these documents are
100% correct (maybe even my own document?)  So please don't take what's
written here as the truth since it will only mess you up in the long

In any case, I referred to these sources:

GameFan Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 7
  - Interview with Square members about the US release of FF7.

GameFan Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 5
  - Preview of the forthcoming Japanese release of FF7.

  - Various information.

A lot of this info. also comes from my own personal experience and use
of a GameShark and Comms Link.  I've used the GameShark and Comms Link
to see disabled/hidden info. in every currently available version of
Final Fantasy VII, save the Japanese Sampler Disc.

Documents used in the writing of this FAQ:

Here's a quick write-up I did of the differences between the American
FF7 Sampler Disc and the Japanese release of FF7 some time ago:
  Apparently the characters were to be more detailed in the 'walkabout'
  mode.  However, they still retained the same graphics as the 'battle'

  You may also notice that _all_ the sprites for the heroes are
  different than the ones in the final version!

  Aside from obvious changes like the names (Aeris instead of Aerith,
  Barret instead of Barett), the 'victory' portraits for Aerith and
  Barett are different.  And the Cloud portrait is actually the 'Young
  Cloud' one!

  Game wise, the camera will pan across the enemies at the start of the
  round, something it doesn't do in the final version.  In terms of
  spells, some (like Fire 2) 'expand' depending on the size of the
  enemy, which it doesn't do in the finished version.  (Barett's 'Demi'
  will kill the Deenglows, which doesn't work in the finished version,
  either).  The Ice spell was also different in appearance (Ice 2, to
  be exact).

  Also, using L1/R1 to move Cloud resulted in him turning it tight
  circles rather than a general turn.

  In terms of battles, you couldn't run away, the item screen had only
  six spaces, and if you used the 'Change' option, it was permanent
  (whereas in FF7, you had to change from the main menu for it to
  permanently affect future battles).  Also, the MP cost/amount of
  damage/etc. was completely changed for the demo version.

  Plus, the graphics were re-rendered in the final version and music was
  performed with different instruments.  The battle graphic was also
  different, and it didn't change during any part of the demo.

Here's Ben Lansing's "confession".  Note that this replaces his original
document as the following post has both his original rumor and his
comments in it.  Also, the info. by James Smith has been deleted, as
obviously Lansing was lying to him (real nice, aren't you Lansing.)

  I Have a Confession to Make

  by "Ben Lansing"

  "I am writing this to quench all rumors about Aeris and the
  completeness of Final Fantasy 7. Final Fantasy 7 was completed to the
  best of Square's ability and funding."

  Hmm ... you leave the internet community for a few months, and people
  are STILL dragging your old shit around. Okay folks, this is getting a
  bit absurd. Can't you all take a joke? Look. I have a confession to
  make, and if you stick with me and read this WHOLE post, you'll learn a
  lot more about this whole AERIS thing.

  A lot of you know me as Ben Lansing. Way back in March-April of 97,
  when FF7 had first came out, I bought it (an imported version), and
  loved the hell out of it. While rummaging around online one day, I
  stumbled across some madman raving about the scene with Bugen Hagen
  near the end of disc 2. The game being in Japanese and this guy being
  full-blooded American, this scene came across to him as something else:
  a failed ressurection attempt. He started posting to the FF7 Message
  Board about all of this, saying that perhaps Aeris could be revived
  ... and people started jumping in on it. All sorts of stories began
  flourshing about ways to bring her back, and I did a lot of research on
  this before I ever posted my first message on that board.

  I decided to see just how silly people could be. I had actually
  understood everything that had gone on during the game, so I knew lots
  of ways to trick people into believeing things. I already had a silly
  audience who believed nearly anything, so I took a great step when I
  came out with my Aeris Ressurection process, under the name of Ben
  Lansing, an alleged translator for Square. Without even reading this
  process, people should have known I was lying to start with. I claimed
  to be a temporary translator for Square.  Well, anyone with any common
  sense knows that Ted Woolsey and the Square team did NOT translte FF7
  ... SONY did it, all in Japan, and all within the parent company -
  NOBODY WAS HIRED FROM THE OUTSIDE! But ... being the gullible fish that
  I thought everyone was, they swallowed it whole without a second
  thought, and I became a near-idol on that message board. I decided to
  see just how far I could carry all of this.

  Several people on the message board started rebuking what I said,
  claiming me to be a liar and even catching me in a few little fibs.
  However, I also had a strong support, backed by a few guys you may
  remember as Fish, Mooncalf, Smear, Casper71, Zakna, and so on. We
  strongly opposed anyone who claimed we were liars. They do not know to
  this day that it was all a hoax. Some of them even made up little lies
  themselves in defense of me. I thought that was a bit overboard, but
  people will be people. We went off and founded a channel on DALNet:
  #Aeris. You people may remember it, and some of you may even visit from
  time to time. We had contacts with Crow (Miranda's Cafe) who helped us
  advertise and such.

  Well, as more people came to know about us, more people started
  doubting me. I went as far as to give over ownership of the channel to
  Fish and Zakna, while having my name removed from the #aeris home
  page. Things were looking bad, so I made one final post to the message
  board and vanished from the net. Here it is, with comments I have to
  make about why I said certain things:


  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.

  Okay ... this paragraph was just a little introduction saying that the
  ressurection process was originally in the game, and while translating
  things, I saw it and so confirmed it without playing the game. Sounded
  credible, didn't it? Obviously it did ... read on ...

  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.

  More babbling ... then I go on to describe the Aeris revival process IN
  FULL ... heehee

  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).

  I added this cause it sounded believeable too, as there were several
  key decision points in conversation that seemed to have no effect on
  the story, when in fact they really do: their real purpose is to
  dictate who is going to date Cloud in the Gold Saucer ... read on...

  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. :(

  There's a problem here ... you don't find out about Aeris's heritage
  till Disc 2. Another dead giveaway that this was a hoax had people been
  listening carefully ... Coupled with the fact that there IS no Midgar
  Key in disc 1 ... geez ... Oh yeah ... why did you guys call this man
  the GENERAL? I never figured that out ... but I just took the name and
  ran with it ... hell, it worked, didn't it? :)

  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.

  Gee ... people still believed me after hearing THIS? BUGEN HAGEN WAS
  commands ... I'll admit that there was an Underwater orb in the
  Japanese version, but it was removed from the executable code and
  cannot be gotten. It was later added in the US version. Geez ... what
  gullible people ... But wait ... there's more ...

  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

  Er ... manipulating a transparent polygon isn't that hard at all ...
  no more so than a regular one ... Look at cloud's Ultima Weapon ...
  geez ... probably several other transparent things too in the game
  ... and besides ... the blip of Aeris in the church is NOT\
  transparent to start with. This is yet another blatant lie that nobody
  ever bothered to reckognize...

  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

  Wow ... interesting ... the only reason Aeris appears in the church is
  Cloud's memory ... any moron should be able to figure that out.

  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.

  Heh ... multiple sector MOV files. Right. And pink monkeys fly out of
  my butt. Get real, people. You all need to take intelligence tests or
  something. Oh ... and that John H. guy was fake ... yet someone
  claimed to KNOW HIM!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


  Okay ... That was my "closure" note to the world, shortly before I
  vanished from the net. Too many people doubted me and I didn't want to
  be caught, so I just vanished from the net for a while, letting things
  cool down.

  Here recently, with the advent of the US release, I was in full swing
  back on the net, roaming around, when I ran across people STILL
  DRAGGING MY OLD, ROTTEN SHIT AROUND! It was hilarious. After 6 months,
  there were STILL people believing that shit and starting fights over
  it!!! I had had my name in several top magazines (Gamepro, EGM, PSX,
  and a few others) with interviews with Square employees. The magazine
  would ask them about Aeris and some guy named Lansing, and each square
  employee denied all of it. And people still believed ME!

  I am writing this to quench all rumors about Aeris and the completeness
  of Final Fantasy 7. As Hironobu Sakaguchi said in an interview with one
  of the above-mentioned magazines : "Final Fantasy 7 was completed to
  the best of our ability and funding."

  If any of you question who I am, why not drop by #squareff7 on DALNet
  one day and let me know you don't believe that I am Ben LAnsing. I
  will do whatever it takes to prove it ... Zakna is still around
  sometimes in #aeris also ... and he knows my nick - Dariakus. Yes, I'm
  Dariakus. One of the leading ops on the #squareff7 channel on DALNet
  and also the head coordinator and HTMLer of the upcoming Web Guide for

  Oh well. If you guys still want to sling my shit around, that's cool
  and all, but you will be doing it KNOWING that you are an idiot, cause


  Ben Lansing / Dariakus

And here's Yukiyoshi Ike Sato's take on FF7's incompleteness:

  Is Final Fantasy VII Incomplete?

  by Yukiyoshi Ike Sato

  Is Final Fantasy VII Incompete? This rumor has started out with a
  stupid petition. Yes I am talking about the "Aerith Resurrection
  Petition". Someone who supposedly named himself a former Square
  employee said that the game was incomplete because they have taken out
  the event where Aerith resurrects in the story. Due to time constraints
  and unfinished programming codes, he accused Square of taking out the
  necessary materias, items and events to prevent her resurrection. I
  believe only one part of what he said is true.  Indeed, Square was in a
  rush to finish the programming codes of the game. They did not finish
  the coding by December 1996, which was the originally slated release
  date. So they moved it a month further to Janraury 1997. At this point
  in time, it is said that Square recruited all CG artists and engineers
  outside their company all over the Tokyo district to help complete the
  entire coding. That is why you will notice a lot of CG artists and
  engineers who are creditted as outside contractors in the closing
  credits of the game.

  So what about those characters, materias, weapons and items that can be
  found using Game Shark or Pro Action Replay codes? Well, let me explain
  a few of them.

    * The "Breathe Underwater" and the "Prevent Floor Damage" materia was
      cancelled in the development stages. The battle/materia development
      staff of FFVII thought it be wierd to have a dungeon with that
      graphics to have a floor that induces damage while walking. Also,
      Cloud could have been able to swim in the underwater areas without
      the submarine with the "Breathe Underwater" materia after all the
      underwater events were done. Think about it...its pointless because
      there were no more events left, unless the players wanted it for
      fun. This had nothing to do with the resurrection of Aerith either.
    * The summon monster "Golem" materia was deleted because of battle
      imbalances, instead, was changed into an enemy monster. Imagine
      summoning Golem just like FFVI? That makes the game too easy
      wouldn't it?
    * The 4x Materia Growth weapon of Cloud and "Rising Sun", Yuffie's 2x
      Growth Materia weapon, was also deleted because of battle
      imbalances. I fully understand their intention because the game was
      easy enough without them anyways.
    * The character Bakusa the boxer does exist...but doesn't have a
      name. It is actually refering to a goblin who appears as an enemy
      in the Goblin Islands. Probably the person gave the name Bakusa
      because the goblin did wear boxing gloves and "Goblin punch" was
      his unique attack =)

  Was Aerith suppose to resurrect? Did Square delete key items, events,
  and CG movies for a cover-up? I don't think so...because I have full
  proof of that.  The following has been taken from a book published by
  Aspect called "FinaF Fantasy VII Kaitai Shinsho", and here, the
  character designer and the story writer of FFVII, Nomura Tetsuya

  "Actually, we only had Aerith at the beginning, and Tifa did not exist.
  But on a Sunday evening, I phoned the director Mr. Kitase and suggested
  'Let's kill Aerith and put in Tifa' (laughs). So now we have two
  heroines, and we never had an event where one of them dies."

  The truth can sometimes be too based on this, Nomura
  Tetsuya had the intention of killing off Aerith in the story and
  completely denies the fact of Aerith's resurrection.

  Some minor things I would like to point out. The ending CG movie
  originally composed of more than one sequence. But this has nothing to
  do with Aerith's resurrection. Some of you may have read in a magazine
  that there was suppose to be an extra sequence where it will feature
  Yuffie and Vincent. Because Yuffie and Vincent are optional characters,
  there is a chance one of the two is missing in your gameplay. And if
  they add each of the three additonal sequences (with Yuffie alone,
  Vincent alone, and Yuffie and Vincent together) during the ending, it
  would cause the loading time to slow down, which would ruin the ending
  CG movie. That is why they deleted the sequence.  It's too bad we won't
  be able to see Yuffie or Vincent in any of the CG movies....*sniff*

  This is just my personal guess but, one FMV sequence seems to be
  missing (not deleted) is the part where Ultima Weapon dies and
  explodes creating a giant crater near Cosmo Canyon. In the Japanese
  version, it was quite obvious "something" was missing, because
  immediately after defeating Ultima Weapon, the screen turns black for a
  few seconds, and then shifts back to the field map with a giant crater
  near Cosmo Canyon. What caused appearance of the giant crater? It had
  to do something with Ultima Weapon based on deduction. I am guessing
  that the additional FMV sequence in the U.S. version may point out to
  this one.

  Also, there are several bugs in the Japanese version. For example,
  start a new game with Disc 2 inside the Playstation. Then switch it
  back to Disc 1 when it asks you to. The opening sequence changes from
  the usual Midgar close-up to the scene where Cloud buries Aerith...a
  phenomenal opening! =)  But this trick will not change anything in the
  gameplay and Aerith will not ressurect either. But you have to expect
  bugs in every game thats been released...this doesn't prove as evidence
  of FFVII being incomplete. Hopefully, Square will fix them in the U.S.

  In conclusion, the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VII is not
  incomplete. I think the only part I consider incomplete is the FMV
  sequence of Ultima Weapon, and nothing more. Aerith was never suppose
  to resurrect, and that is FINAL!!! No more arguments please!!! If the
  U.S. version will indeed include a resurrection of Aerith, I think that
  will completely destroy the game...inside and outside the story board.
  So if you think the Japanese version is really incomplete and the U.S.
  version is going to be better and complete, I think that's a pretty
  selfish thought. To me, the Japanese version is complete and the
  changes in the U.S. version is something like a patch file.

  Feel free to send your comments, suggestions, arguments, corrections,
  or addtional information to

Here's Andrew Vestal's take on the whole Aerith rumor:
                         Why Final Fantasy VII is Complete

  Many have written me, concerned:

  Aerith dies. You can't bring her back.

  You ask that I start a petition--after all, my first one worked! Square
  rushed the game, you say, and released it before it was finished.
  Originally, you could bring her back! Make Square give us the TRUE
  Final Fantasy VII!

  And I smile and politely go about my day's business. But, lately, I
  have received too many of these letters to ignore them, and I must I
  make my views known.

  Square is a video game publisher: they make games. Why? To make money.
  But, then, why are movies made? TV shows aired? Books published?
  Magazines written? Newspapers produced? For the same reason: to make
  money. Only a fool, however, would argue that no important movie or
  book had ever been made. Rightful works of art have appeared in each
  medium.  And Square has done more than any other video game publisher
  to move video games out of the realm of mere children's entertainment
  and into their rightful place alongside other media.

  Square delayed the release of Final Fantasy VII by a full month. They
  have also delayed the release of Final Fantasy Tactics, SaGa Frontier,
  Bushido Blade, and Tobal 2. Every Playstation game announced to date!
  Their profits for the year took a serious hit. Their stock value
  wavered. Yet the games were delayed because a substandard product
  would not be worthy of the Square name.

  But Square, sadly, can't delay games forever. Final Fantasy VI's
  ending was originally to have an Amano sketch for each character, but
  cartridge limitations demanded they be cut. Chrono Trigger's End of
  Time was to be majestic and crystalline. Characters such as Janus and
  Schala were, tragically, cut at the last moment. And who knows what
  other parts of Square's games never made the final cut? Square cannot
  always put everything they want into a game; eventually, they must say
  "the game is finished" and release it.

  Some still insist the game is unfinished. I should start a petition to
  demand the game be "fixed," they say. These people misunderstand the
  power of the petition.

  The Final Fantasy VII Translation Petition asked for fair and
  equitable treatment. It asked that the game not be censored or cut;
  that it remain in its original form; that Americans receive, finally, a
  Final Fantasy game the way it was written. The petition was succesful,
  and I am proud to have supported it, because it asked for justice.

  A petition to demand the insertion of Aerith's ressurection, however,
  would ask for preferencial treatment. It would selfishly demand more
  than others have already received. It would ask Square to retouch a
  finished product at gamers' whims. It would ask for these things out of
  greed, and I cannot support it.

  Square offers you the Venus de Milo, and you would send it back because
  it has no arms.

  There are rumors that an alternative, superior ending exists,
  unaccessible because of Aerith's permanent death. Those rumors are
  nothing but LIES. The ending you see is the ending Square originally
  intended: the largest movie file on the third disc. The ending, as
  well, is perfectly satisfactory; there's nothing "lackluster" about it.
  A "better" ending (with Aerith ressurected) is an impossibility. If she
  had been ressurected, then she would commit suicide before the end.
  This is true!  Cloud would try to stop her and fail, for her death is
  inevitable. Aerith knew her death was absolutely necessary. Do not
  presume to know more than she.

  And most importantly . . . Aerith should stay dead.

      A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and
      there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.
           - Steward Alsop

  Aerith's death is a tragedy. I truly do believe this. So was Tellah's.
  So was General Leo's. So was the death of every person who ever
  sacrificed themselves for a greater cause. But unlike deaths in
  previous Square games, Aerith's death carries long-lasting
  repercussions that echo long after her passing. For Aerith did not die
  senselessly. Aerith meant to die.

        Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.
             - Henry Van Dyke

  Aerith knew her actions would mean her end. But she faced death anyway,
  aware that only in death could she avert the coming disaster and save
  her world. She gave her life intentionally, purposefully, and with full
  knowledge of the consequences. No one ever, EVER forgets that; the
  tragedy of her loss is what keeps the small party together.

                   Do not go gentle into that good night
                   Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
                        - Dylan Thomas

  Even in death her presence is felt. Her memory guides and leads the
  party on its quest. Her spirit appears in silent reminder of her
  selfless act.  Aerith died. She died! And she died honorably.

                 Dear, beauteous death, the jewel of the just!
                      - Henry Vaughan

  If Prince Hamlet came back from the dead, would his indecision be
  meaningful? If King Lear recovered, would we learn from his folly? And
  if Aerith were disinterred mere hours after her death, would her
  sacrifice have any importance? Square should be honored that the death
  of a character brings about this outcry. It is touching testament to
  the games' power: the characters are truly loved. And grief is a
  natural reaction to the death of a loved one. As is denial. Now,
  Square fans must proceed to the next stage: acceptance.

      Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep.
      I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glint on snow.
      I am the sun on ripened grain. I am the soothing, gentle rain.
      When you awake in morning hush, I am the swift uplifting rush
      Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the stars that shine at
      night.  Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there. I did not
         - Anonymous

  Aerith Gainsborough gave her life so that the world might live. May she
  rest in peace.

                         . . . she smiled, in the end.
                              - Cloud Strife

Finally, here's some speculation about the 'disabled' Materia Orbs and
the Aerith rumor from Ian Kelley:

  11. Suichu Kokyu
  16. Booster
  ???? I have no clue whatsoever what the hell either of these Materia
  do.  My best guess is that they were materias thought up very early in
  the gamemaking process, and were scrapped very early on, since neither
  of them seems to have abilities that make any sense whatsoever. I was a
  little intrigued by the Suichu Kokyu one so I did a little
  investigation on that using my computer...I'll talk about it later.

  26. Housoku
  This is great! I cracked up when I saw this one. It's a joke materia
  put in by the programmers. "Housoku" means "Law" in the sense of what
  lawyers do. The skill given was "Zeninage" (Throw money) so I guess the
  programmers are trying to say you have to throw away your money if you
  want to hire a lawyer. Hehehe...^_^

  3F Mabarrier
  42 Reflek
  43 Refuab(???)
  These were all pretty interesting. It gives you insight onto how the
  programmers initially intended to make the Barrier type spells. The
  first teahces you "Mabarrier" 3 times...obviously not a finished
  Materia, like Booster. The description says it allows you to cast

  Reflek teaches you "Reflek" and "Wall," and Refuab (whatever the hell
  that's supposed to be) teaches you Wall.

  My best guess is this: When they first started programming the game,
  they wanted to have all of the spells on the "Barrier" Materia that is
  actually used on separate Materia. Then they decided to put Reflek and
  Wall together on one materia, then just gave up and put Barrier,
  Mabarrier, Reflek, and Wall all on one Materia, the one we see in the
  game itself. If you do a little searching I bet you will find a Materia
  with just "Barrier" on it, and maybe a Materia with Barrier + Mabarrier
  on it.

  Now for the stuff on the Suichu Kokyu Materia...
  This interested me, cause for a moment I actually thought that Square
  was being stupid enough at some point to actually be thinking about
  having Aerith be ressurectable. Therefore, I booted up my Disk Block
  Editor on my computer, and since I have Japanese system software on my
  computer, I converted the ASCII values of each of the blocks to
  Japanese fonts so I could read the dialogue. And this is what I found
  that is *really* interesting:

  It took me an hour, but I eventually found the section where
  Bugenhargen is in the place where Aerith died. Around that area, I
  found some lines of dialogue that I don't remember before.
  (I am paraphrasing this cause I don't remember the lines verbatim)

  1. "But at the floor of the ocean is impossible..."
  The middle of this sentence started at the beginning of a sector but
  the previous sector did not have the first part of the sentence...
  possibly this could be if that the Ascii values for a single character
  get split in half it turns the first part into garble, and it might
  have split the character in the sector before. Either that, or the
  beginning of the sentence is stored in another sector. Anyhow, this
  came just like 2 sectors before the sentence where they talked about
  whatever the hell it was you needed at the bottom of the ocean.

  2. "[The] White Materia is necessary", literally.
  This was about 10 sectors or so after the first line I don't remember.
  Since this could mean anything, it might have been there before and I
  just don't remember.

  <KM's note - He actually says something like this in the game, I think,
  although mind you that I don't know much Japanese.>

  Anyhow, after seeing this, I have some possible theories for the
  purpose of the Suichu Kokyu Materia. There's not a hell of a lot of
  evidence, but my guess is that either:
  1) The materia is needed to leave the submarine to get the key or
  whatever the hell it was underwater that you needed to get. Either
  that, or the programmers initially intended for you to go underwater
  some way other than the sub to get that key.
  2) The materia is needed to get at the White Materia that dropped into
  the Water right after Aerith gets killed.

  I think the first theory makes more sense, since I found no dialogue
  evidence towards a search or subquest for the White Materia, but it
  does seem awfully strange that during that FMV sequence they show us in
  minute detail whatis happening to the White Materia, when you would
  think that they would be focusing on Aerith, who is in the process of
  dying. ^_^ My best bet though is that that Materia would be needed to
  let you get out of the sub, either to retrieve the key or whatever, or
  enter the sunken plane.  It does make sense...after all, the monsters
  in the sunken plane are stronger than most of the monsters in the last
  dungeon, yet you get access to that place towards the beginning of Disk
  2. If there was supposed to be some key to getting in there that you
  could only get *after* getting the sub, it might make sense, and the
  Suichu Kokyu Materia would be a prime contender IMO for that key, if
  such a situation really were to exist. Of course, this is all just
  conjecture. It is really interesting though, and I plan to do more
  research...including finding the exact address values of any fishy
  dialogue I see. It's cool, with those earlier Barrier Materias, you can
  see how the programmers planned the game mechanics to go one way, then
  changed their minds. It's a waste of space though to leave stuff like
  that in; they should have just deleted it.

  And oh yeah, one other thing...a search for the ascii values of
  the word "Fukkatsu" (Revive, bring back to life, etc.) turned up
  nothing that had anything to do with Aerith...I guess the rumor about
  her ressurection being possible in any way, shape, or form was just
  some guy jumping to conclusions. Oh well, I guess it's more dramatic
  anyway to have her die and stay dead anyway. And it wouldn't make sense
  to have Square revive a dead character in one of their games, that's
  not like them anyway. The closest they came to that was in Chrono
  Trigger, but that was less a revival and more of a "jump in time + grab
  him before he gets killed" kind of thing.

(All the information below is from PSX Power <> except
where mentioned)

 - 'The overall difficulty setting during battle sequences will be

 - 'The interface with the Materia exchange will be improved, allowing
    gamers more choices during gameplay.'

 - 'Additional "Weapon" monsters have been added.'

 - 'A few select scenes have been augmented to clarify the storyline.'

 - You will now have 10 spaces to enter a character's name instead of
   six (this info comes from the UnOfficial Squaresoft Homepage).

7 . 0    AFTERWORD

7 . 1    Special Thanks

I'd like to thank the following people for their contributions:

Ian Kelley              <>

Andrew Vestal           <>

Ignacio Lucas           <>

Tomo1657                <>

Yukiyoshi Ike Sato      <>

'a little bird'         <???>

7 . 2    Author's Note

Well, that was an interesting ride, wasn't it?  Maybe this will stop the
rampant rumors (right)!

I _have_ a Final Fantasy 7 American/English FAQ!  It's not this one!
Go to if you want it!

My FF7 Japanese FAQ is split into two parts: Complete Walkthrough and
Extra Stuff You Should Know.  See how it says 'Japanese' in the title?
That means that you shouldn't use it along with your US copy of FF7!
Don't bother sending me corrections for it as I won't be updating it
any time soon (c'mon folks, it's practically a Meg in size now--it's
done, don't you think?)

Finally, this Changes FAQ will in no way help you with gameplay, so
if you need help playing this game, please refer to one of my FAQs.

 Unpublished work Copyright 1997-2001 Chris MacDonald