Feb. 23rd, 2016

wordmage: FF7 comet logo with FFVII written in black in the corner on a white background. (FF7)
So I operate FF7Central on Tumblr, and one thing done is profile pages of FF7 characters for their birthdays. I plan to do others eventually, and want to copy them all over here. First up, Aerith!

Image with two pictures of Aerith, saying "Happy birthday Aerith Gainsborough"

[Original Tumblr post X]

Aerith Gainsborough (also known as “Aeris” Gainsborough due to a translation error in the original FFVII) was born on February 7th, 1985 in Icicle Inn of the Northern Continent to Professor Gast Faremis and Ifalna, last of the Cetra race. Upon her mother’s death, Aerith was considered the last known Cetra.

Listed as 5′3 with blood type O, she is the following ages during the Compliation:
  • 15-22 in Crisis Core
  • 17 in Before Crisis
  • 22 in the original FFVII

Less than a month after her birth, Aerith was captured along with her mother by Professor Hojo and taken back to ShinRa where she would spend the first seven years of her life. In 1992 she fled with her mother under the plate but was orphaned when Ifalna died at the train station from wounds inflicted by ShinRa’s security during their escape.
 
Elymra Gainsborough, having been waiting at the station for her husband in hopes of his return from the Wutai war, took in the seven year old and raised her as her own daughter. While the Turks would eventually find her again and maintained surveillance during her entire life in Midgar, they did not force her to return to the company until 0007 during the original game canon.

Aerith is first met chronologically during Chapter 11 of Before Crisis, a full five years before her original appearance in the OG. She plays a significant part in Crisis Core, where her relationship originally alluded to with Zack is further fleshed out. During that time, Aerith receives her signature ribbon from Zack and together they set out to help her sell flowers as she is first seen in the OG. There is also a comment from Zack that she should wear pink the next time they meet, and when she is last seen in Crisis Core she is wearing what becomes her signature outfit.

During the OG, Aerith approaches life with enthusiasm and curiosity. President Shinra believed her able to lead the company to ‘the Promised Land’ but she is largely uneducated in her Cetra heritage. Nevertheless, history comes full circle and she ends up giving her life in an attempt to stop the Calamity of the Skies, Jenova, who had nearly wiped out the Cetra people over two thousand years before.

There have been questions from fandom of how necessary that may have been, as there was no indication in Aerith’s behavior that she believed it was necessary that she sacrifice herself to summon Holy and there would have been no reason for Sephiroth to kill her unless that would hinder her efforts.

In Advent Children Complete, Aerith is seen years after her death in visions by Cloud Strife, and creates the holy rain (presumed to be her Great Gospel limit break) that cures Geostigma and removes the last traces of Jenova’s presence. All members of AVALANCHE can be seen wearing a ribbon in her honor, and Marlene has a similar pink ribbon in her hair.

In the typical style of white mages, Aerith uses staves and rods as her weapons, and her limit breaks are centered on healing and buffing the party.
  • Level 1 defaults with Healing Wind and unlocks Seal Evil with 8 uses
  • Level 2 unlocks after killing 80 enemies with Breath of the Earth and unlocks Fury Brand after 6 uses
  • Level 3 unlocks after killing 80 enemies after L2 with Planet Protector and Pulse of Life after 5 uses
  • Level 4 is Great Gospel, suspected to be the source of the healing rain in ACC. The manual can be received as soon as you unlock the Tiny Bronco, but steps can be taken to get it as you get the buggy.

In addition to her appearances in FFVII Compilation games and the On the Way to a Smile novellas, Aerith appears in the following Final Fantasy games:
  • Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade
  • Final Fantasy All the Bravest
  • Final Fantasy Explorers
  • Final Fantasy Record Keeper
  • Final Fantasy Trading Card Game
  • Final Fantasy World Wide Words
  • Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
  • Triple Triad (Final Fantasy Portal App version only)

There have been references to Aerith in other games such as World of Warcraft and she also appears in the Kingdom Hearts series.
wordmage: FF7 comet logo with FFVII written in black in the corner on a white background. (FF7)

Short banner with two pictures of Cid Highwind saying "Happy birthday Cid Highwind"
[Original Tumblr post X]


Cid Highwind was born on February 22, 1975, in an unknown location and is originally met in Rocket Town. Depending on the source material, he is listed as 5′8 or 5′10 and was given blood type B.

Known distinctly for his foul mouth, temper and rough personality, Cid is just as matter of fact with his compassion and shows his own brand of caring. His weapon of choice is a spear, but guns found in his engineering room indicate he also uses them. While he’s seen smoking regularly in the Compilation, in Kingdom Hearts he’s seen with a toothpick instead, presumably due to the younger target audience.

Cid’s ages through the Compilation are as follows:

  • 26 in Before Crisis
  • 32 in the original FFVII
  • 34 in Advent Children
  • 35 in Dirge of Cerberus

While unseen in Crisis Core, he would be 25 at the game start and is employed by ShinRa as a pilot and aerospace engineer. It likely isn’t a stretch to literally call him a rocket scientist.

Cid is mentioned in Crisis Core as an airship pilot and is a part of the Space Program, headed on the ShinRa Board of Directors by Palmer. He’s first chronologically seen in Before Crisis when the original AVALANCHE attacks the Shinra No. 26 rocket before it can be launched, stealing an oxygen tank. Cid insists they continue, and when the President and then-Vice President Rufus agree AVALANCHE kidnaps him.

Upon being rescued, Cid resumes the launch, leading into the countdown. Unfortunately, his assistant Shera is doing a safety check and Cid forces the launch to be aborted so she won’t die in the blast. He is determined to continue to take care of the ship, but ShinRa eventually cuts the space program, allegedly due to funding. The rocket becomes a tourist attraction and Cid grows bitter at having his lifelong dream of going into space crushed.

When met in the OG, Cid is extremely bitter and his temper all the worse for the four years since the aborted launch. Shera is living with him and has devoted herself to doing whatever she can to make up for her part in it, but he’s terrible to her anyway. He joins the second AVALANCHE nearly by accident, grabbing onto his plane, the Tiny Bronco, when they attempt to steal it and staying on with them.

Despite a plethora of insults and generally abrasive behavior, Cid likes the idea of fighting against ShinRa and eventually comes to believe in AVALANCHE’s cause. At one point, when Cloud is out of commission, he is voted a temporary leader, likely due to his background as a captain.

During Meteorfall, Cid finally achieves his dream of going to space with AVALANCHE in an ironic attempt to stop ShinRa from launching it with a Huge Materia. He makes it to space with the party and Shera, and finds out that she was right in her original fears four years ago and he apologizes to her as they return back to the Planet. He uses his airship, the Highwind, to ferry the party throughout the game and uses it at the end to get them out of the Northern Crater, where they watch Holy destroy Meteor.

In On the Way to a Smile, Case of Barret, Cid and Shera are working on a new airship that Cid eventually agrees to use helping people with Geostigma get medical attention. He appears in Advent Children bringing the rest of the team to Edge to battle Bahamut SIN, arriving in time to save Denzel and Tifa from some of the Remnant’s shadow creepers. He keeps the team ready to help Cloud with Kadaj if necessary, but they don’t end up landing, only meeting him later at Aerith’s church.

During Dirge of Cerberus, Cid is a leader of an airship division supported by the WRO and is involved in the battle of Midgar against Omega and Deepground’s forces. It’s heavily implied he and Vincent are close friends and used to have a few drinks now and then.

Cid is styled after the Dragoon class, and uses spears, often striking multiple times and multiple enemies. All of his limit breaks use his physical strength stat to determine their power, and his final limit is the strongest of anyone’s limit break, including Omnislash

  • Level 1 begins with Boost Jump and unlocks Dynamite with 7 uses, the only limit to reference his constant smoking by having him light the dynamite on a cigarette
  • Level 2 unlocks Hyper Jump after killing 60 enemies, and Dragon by 6 uses
  • Level 3 unlocks Dragon Dive after killing 76 enemies post-Dragon limit and Big Brawl after 5 uses
  • Level 4, Highwind, is able to be unlocked once Cid knows all six other limits and has the Highwind Manual, found in the sunken Gelinka’s cargo hold and has the potential to be the most powerful of any limit break in the OG

In addition to his Compilation appearances, Cid also appears in:

  • Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade
  • Final Fantasy Artniks
  • Final Fantasy Record Keeper
  • Final Fantasy Trading Card Game
  • Final Fantasy VII G-Bike
  • Pictologica Final Fantasy
  • Triple Triad (version available via the Final Fantasy Portal App)

Cid is also in several Kingdom Hearts games.

While not the precise same or even related character, there is always a character named Cid in each Final Fantasy game.


Cid’s birthday, February 22nd, will be celebrated yearly on FF7Central.

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