Secrets & Mysteries | Ghost in the Church

A polygon of Aeris is apparently visible in the Midgar church after Disc 1. If you have a sharp eye, you may be able to gain a glimpse of Aeris whenever you enter the church. While it was originally reported there was only one version of the ghost, we now have two: one of Aeris standing in the church's aisle, and the other with Aeris tending the flowers. Both 'ghosts' are shown below.

Aeris' ghost
Version 1 (PSX)

Aeris' ghost - version 2
Version 2 (PC)

Are these 'ghosts' just glitches, or were they deliberately added by Square?

Kind associate nofaith investigated the intricates of FFVII PC by accessing the Debug Room. Inside the Debug Room, he discovered a few peculiar options, displayed below.

Debug Room

If 'After Aeris's Death' is selected, the game will teleport Cloud to the Midgar Church, where you will see a polygon of Aeris tending the flowers. Should you try to leave the church, the polygon will stutter before vanishing permanently. What we can conclude from this? The 'ghost' of Aeris was deliberately added by Square.

This brings us to our next question. Why are there two versions of the 'ghost'? That, we do not know. It could be possible the PSX and PC versions of FFVII contain different ghosts. However, I have received reports from PSX owners they've seen Aeris tending the flowers, so this theory is flawed.

The only other theory is the 'ghost' appears in a position corresponding to how well you treated Aeris. If you treat her well, she may appear adjacent to the flower bed. If she is treated normally, perhaps she will only appear in the aisle. And if you treat her with contempt, perhaps she doesn't appear at all.

In conclusion, Aeris' ghost is not a glitch. It's purpose though, is unknown. Was it simply added to pull the emotional strings of the player, or did Square had something else planned? Whatever it is, the ghost is definitely no accident.

My thanks goes out to nofaith for this discovery.

UPDATE (Dec. 5, 2004): Richard claims that the "ghost" is visible on disk one, contrary to popular belief. Here's what he had to say:

After Aeris is taken from your party by Tseng during the Pillar collapse, if you return to the church before the inflitration of the Shinra building, you will quickly find the flash of Aeris' ghost. This is strange, because she hasn't been murdered yet, and is being held in a prison cell inside the Shinra building. I reentered several times, and she continually appears.

This is certainly news to me. Has anyone else ever noticed this phenomenon?

UPDATE (Jan. 8, 2005): Since this last update, duhbe li wrote in to confirm that Aeris' "ghost" can be seen before her death. Finally wanting to check out this phenomenon for myself, I fired up a saved game-- from right after Aeris' kidnapping by Tseng. I found that I could indeed see the "ghost", and in the same manner as it appears after Aeris' death! So it seems that the "ghost" is merely just a glitch after all...


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