- Jul 21, 2018
Aerith for Smash!
Who is this?
Aerith Gainsborough (also known in as Aeris Gainsborough early translations) is one of the main characters of 1997 JRPG Final Fantasy VII and a reoccurring character in the extended media. A kind-hearted flower seller, she joins the protagonist Cloud as a member of the organization AVALANCHE and seeks to change the world for the better...
...then a lot of spoilers happen! She's perhaps best known for the spoilers, one of which is actually referenced in Cloud's classic mode clear screen in Smash Ultimate...
Why her out of all of Final Fantasy?
Well, first off, she's an incredibly popular character from one of the most iconic games of all time, whose role has been expanded with the first part of the recent remake. Being a popular character currently relevant within general cultural zeitgeist can't hurt, right? Secondly, she represents a unique JRPG character type not currently in Smash Bros: the cleric. While characters like Tifa Lockhart (the game's bruiser), Barret Wallace (the game's tank), and Sephiroth (the game's main villain) all also have decent odds in their own right, I think the moveset potential of a magic-using staff-wielding cleric could bring some neat new mechanics to the Smash roster. Very few characters currently have healing properties in their moveset right now - Robin heals as he attacks via Nosferatu, Hero can heal as part of Command Selection, and Wii Fit Trainer can heal through Sun Salutation and Deep Breathing - so it'd be interesting to see how they balance someone who has that as a more present aspect of her moveset.
Characters from other FF games are entirely possible as well - in fact, we know Bartz Klauser from FFV, Terra Branford from FFVI, and FFIII's Onion Knight were considered prior to Cloud's inclusion in Smash 4 - however, the recent remake of FFVII makes me think they may be inclined to double-dip into FFVII.
Why give Final Fantasy a second rep?
In spite of having Cloud in the game, Final Fantasy is easily the most unrepresented franchise in terms of spirits and music. It has only two songs (direct rips from the original PS1 title) and two spirits (both of which are versions of Cloud using Smash art). While this could be seen as a bad sign for the chances of further representation, I prefer to think of it as a sign of future opportunities still being open!
In all seriousness, Square Enix is a company that enjoys having money. The fact that they allegedly wanted to re-sell Cloud as DLC reflects how he sold well as DLC in Sm4sh. I see no reason that they wouldn't be willing to sell another character to make more money, as callous as that sounds. There is plenty of FF music people would like to see in Smash still and, with a well-crafted character pack, I'm sure they could break the internet with hype all over again.
Midgar, the main location of the opening hours of Final Fantasy VII and the sole location of the remake, is already a stage in Smash Bros; however, there are plenty of other locations as options, such as Shinra Mansion or the Gold Saucer. Alternatively, they also could make a stage based on a more specific location within Midgar, taking from the remake's re-imaginings of places like Seven Heaven or Wall Market. These locations could also have other FFVII party members (or notable NPCs) in the background, as has been routine for DLC stages.