fuck Aeris Gainsborough.
Come at me, weaboos, come on, really, I dare you.
Seriously, why do gamers always immediately hop on the FFVII bandwagon when it comes to video game deaths? I won't deny that FFVII is a really great game, I honestly just did not feel that stab to the heart that so many others felt seeing her die.
Hey now, that doesn't mean I'm not a sensitive person. I've seen The Lion King over 200 times (albeit more than 180 of those were before age 5) and cried every time Mufasa dies (I've just started to harden up during that scene, but don't be surprised seeing me shed a tear or two watching that scene). That's some serious sensitive guy cred. I just don't find Aeris's death that moving of a moment. Yes, it was Sephiroth's blow to Cloud, and yes, you could never get Aeris back after she was killed, but why does that make it so much worse?
The main reason I'm writing this is because IGN placed Aeris's death as their #1 moment in video gaming history. I find this trying; why a party member in front of the main character? They had Crono's death (Chrono Trigger for those reading this who are incredibly daft) listed as #37. I was way more attached to Crono with my brief time spent on Chrono Trigger than to Aeris in my time with FFVII. Is Aeris so much worse because she's a love interest? Does the thought that Cloud and Aeris will never be together due to Sephiroth's blow make it so much worse? If it does, then put down the controller and go read a Nicholas Sparks novel. Turn in your man card. I'll buy you a copy My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 1 on Blu-ray.
Know who's death was much worse on me?
Nathan Hale, of the Resistance: Fall of Man franchise.
This man had been through hell and back. He destroyed the Angels, saved Britain from a total occupation by the Chimera, destroyed the flagship of the Chimeran fleet in America, and killed Daedalus, the twisted product of Dr. Malikov's quest to stop the Chimera. And what happened to him? His immunity to the Chimera virus consumed him. He was quickly turning into what Daedalus had become, and after delivering his final lines of insanity, is SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER shot in the head by Joe Capelli, his only surviving SRPA squad mate.
This fucking shocked me. The entire game was leading up to killing Daedalus, the monster who was responsible for the battle strategies to take the United States and who killed half your squad, and he won. Daedalus won. He really fucking did in the end.
Joe Capelli is a character. Joe hates Hale, and is the only member of your squad that openly abuses him for being half Chimera. Hale's descent into becoming one of the enemy is truly heart wrenching to look at, his face becoming gaunt and pale, his eyes shining a brighter and brighter shade of gold. But Joe is who makes you feel like a monster. His abusive nature is what drives Hale to succeed against the Chimera, to prove to SRPA and his squadmates that he was just as human and sane as they are, but all that is cut short. Daedalus had to swoop in and fuck everything for Hale. He was left with Joe, who survives bitterly. Your final mission into Mexico to kill Daedalus and take an eye for an eye is emotionally straining for Hale and Joe, as their camaraderie is solidified in their victory. The hostility behind them, they fly from the falling flagship in a stolen Chimeran fighter and crash into the shores of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Joe gets out of the fighter, and watches Hale standing on the shores looking out at the flagship.
The next minute was as gut wrenching to watch as Rocky.
I will often cite Resistance 2 as my favorite shooter of all time, and this is the moment that makes it.
But that's not the only terrible video game death I can cite, oh no sir. Other deaths more moving than Aeris Gainsborough's include:
1) Anyone from Heavy Rain
2) John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)
3) Galuf Doe (Final Fantasy 5)
Those stick out. And HOLY SHIT? THERE"S A BETTER DEATH IN A FINAL FANTASY THAN AERIS'S?
Yes. Galuf was your mentor, your guide, and the one man you put your faith in to help you. And he gets stolen away from you. Yes, he too is never usable again in your party, and he too will never speak to his granddaughter or Bartz again (save the endgame). So why is his death more important than Aeris's?
Aeris Gainsborough was a cliche. The moment I laid eyes on her I KNEW in my heart that she was going to fucking bite it. She's the cliched member of the party placed there literally just to cause moments, the one placed there just as a love interest, and the one placed there just to die. Cliches aren't fun in a video game, and I have always hated Aeris, then and now, for being who she is. I could go on for hours about this, but I won't, because I have shit to do, and I don't feel like raving about weaboo trash anymore.
tl;dr - Aeris Gainsborough's death is a moment completely inflated out of proportion.
PS: Let the record show I never liked FFVI, and anyone who bitches me out for not including a FFVI death can suck it.