"Hey, that's Cloud's line! '…It's too dangerous, I can't get you involved…' Blah blah blah."
Aerith was born in February of 1985, to Professor Gast and the last living Cetra on Gaia, Ifalna. She is half Cetra, which means she's part of an ancient race that has close links with the planet-she's able to hear the planet's 'voices', has a more personal tie with nature, and is able to call upon the planet for help (in the game, she prays for the planet to activate Holy, a defense against Meteor, a summoning that has the capability to destroy Gaia.)
Aerith's childhood isn't what someone would call happy-when she was still a baby, her father was killed by ShinRa, the company he used to work for. She and her mother were taken captive, and held until she was seven. Her childhood was spent imprisoned by scientists who subjected Aerith and her mother to frequent experiments. The ultimate goal was to force them to lead ShinRa to the 'Promised Land'. This is a place of supreme happiness, and although it isn't technically a physical area, ShinRa is convinced that it is, and is determined to find it and try to find a way to use it to further their power.
When she was seven, she and her mother escaped, making as far as the slums before her mother collapsed on the train steps. At that moment, Elmyra Gainsborough was passing by, a routine walk as she waited for her husband to come home on leave from war. What she found was Ifalna, dying on the stairs to the platform, and a young Aerith at her mother's side. Ifalna entrusted her daughter to Elmyra, asking her to take care of Aerith and once Elmyra promised to do so Ifalna finally died. Elmyra and Aerith grew close, with Aerith showing signs of being a peculiar child, hearing voices and even telling Elmyra that her husband died before Elmyra was contacted by ShinRa. Aerith's ties to the planet and the Lifestream make it so she's able to be in contact with her mother even after her death.
So she spent her formative years in the slums of Midgar, under watch of the ShinRa, when she finds an abandoned church and decides to make it her own. People in Midgar would claim that plant life would never grow there, the Mako Reactors that surrounded the city draining any life from the ground. However, in the church Aerith manages to grow flowers, which is nothing short of a miracle considering the conditions they grew in. So she spends most of her time there, tending to her flowers. Her life stays relatively uneventful until Zack Fair, a boy who was part of an elite group of fighters for ShinRa, falls through her ceiling and lands on her flower bed.
From that point, her life starts to take a dramatic turnaround. With Zack, she experiences her first love, and with his encouragement begins to sell flowers in the slums to people. Making people's day's brighter makes her feel good, and she continues to be known as the 'Flower Girl' to the people she sells these flowers to, earning herself a reputation.
At some point, Zack eventually leaves on a mission and ends up never returning. Aerith has no idea what happens to him, writing him letters over the five years he is missing from her life. Even though their time together was short, she obviously cared about him very deeply. Enough to write him over eighty letters, all unanswered.
Once she's written Zack his last letter, she tries to move forward in her life. Time passes and she keeps a positive outlook on her life. Once again, there is a change when someone falls through the ceiling of her church, this time a blonde wearing the same uniform Zack wore, Cloud Strife. In a strange turn of events, she ends up asking Cloud to be her bodyguard, offering a date as payment (which mirrors what had happened with Zack when she first met him). After that, she finds herself caught up in something much larger than she originally thought-what at first was a vigilante group determined to destroy the Mako Reactors in the city, in order to cripple ShinRa, became a fight to save the planet with her new found comrades.
Finally leaving Midgar, she travels the world with her friends, and learns more about herself in the process. Along the way she grows closer to the people around her, and embraces her birthright as the last living Cetra when the group reaches the Temple of the Ancients. She is drawn to the Forgotten Capital, her Cetra blood telling her that she had a way to protect the planet.
Determined and knowing that she has to do this alone, Aerith leaves the group to embark on her trip solo, to the Forgotten Capital. Only she is capable of asking for the planet's assistance, in summoning Holy to protect the planet and all life on it.
Despite the fact most of her childhood was spent being held captive, Aerith takes a cheerful, upbeat look on life. Rarely is she seen without a smile, and she goes out of her way to be friendly to everyone she meets. Living in the slums of Midgar, under the plates of the city above, she is street smart. She isn't exactly naive, and does get a little irritated when someone thinks she can't take care of herself. She likes to tease, but is not cruel to people. Even though she has a 'rivalry' of sorts with Tifa Lockheart throughout the game when it comes to Cloud Strife, she still considers the girl her best friend, and doesn't let it affect their relationship.
One thing she manages to be is perceptive. Aerith is good at reading people, and can see when soeone is troubled even when they don't say a word. She's also forward-not necessarily aggressive, but she is bolder than one would initially think. She has a stubborn streak a mile wide, and is very determined.
Aerith isn't a very strong physical attacker, and as such finds herself a bit of a damsel in distress. The fact that she's the last living Cetra does make her a little bit more of a target than normal. Regardless, she still maintains she can take care of herself, which doesn't make her any less appreciative when someone does save her.
One thing about Aerith-she is an enigma to others. Rarely does she talk about herself, or when she does talk about her past it's not for long. Any information her friends find out about her are from third parties-her adopted mother is the one to tell them about her childhood and her race. She never complains about her life, or her situation-and one of the times she does open up enough to show a little bit of what goes on inside, is in Cosmo Canyon with Cloud. She tells him she feels alone, because she is the last Cetra alive.
When it comes to her heritage, at first she doesn't want to accept it. She tells Zack once that being normal is the greatest happiness. From this, it’s easy to tell that she isn't pleased about being the last of her kind, since it’s something that makes her unusual. The fact that she is relentlessly pursued her whole life, that she hears things that others do not, seems to take its toll on her at one point and she wishes for an average life. Eventually she does accept her heritage as the last living Cetra.
In the end, she is optimistic and friendly, even willing to help out those she doesn't know (in the case of Tifa, who was kidnapped by Don Corneo before Aerith met her, and still she wanted to go help the girl). There are times that she makes the effort to cheer the party up, and the only people that could be considered her enemies are those who wish to harm the planet.
On Gaia she is a healer-her natural abilities are based around status effects on enemies, curing status effects of party members, making the party members invincible for a time, and healing.
List of Abilities:
Healing Wind; Cures entire party for half of maximum HP.
Seal Evil; Casts Paralyze and Silence on all targets.
Breath of the Earth; Cures all negative Status Effects.
Fury Brand; Fills the two ally Limit Break bars to maximum.
Planet Protector; Gives all party members temporary invincibility.
Pulse of Life; Fully restores HP and MP and cures all negative status effects.
Great Gospel; Completely restores the HP and MP of the party, and makes the party temporarily invincible to all physical and magical attacks.
None. She's working on her Bending in order to get something back.
Tifa Lockheart is who she considers her best friend. They grew close while traveling, and that type of bond is one she will never forget. There's a lot she admires about Tifa, and she's happy that she was able to find her in Nautilus.
Yuffie Kisaragi is another close friend of Aerith's. Yuffie is the resident baby sister of their group, and she's extremely fond of her. She's also glad she can have a partner in crime if she gets up to any shenanigans.
Alexandra Roivas: Met during a point Aerith believed she was a Circle mage from Fereldan.
Alice: Spoke briefly about gardening, she seems nice.
Alistair: Aerith is pretty sure Alistair thinks she's crazy. If he doesn't he should - she met him and asked about the Chantry, then the next time she spoke to him it was about how she was at Ostagar.
Connor: Sweetly awkward kid.
Dana Tan: Spoke with her at length about their worlds, comparing a bit. Seems like a sweet girl, someone she would be friends with.
Demyx: In the few times she's encountered him, he's been very nice. She likes him.
Drift: The first one who contacted her when she woke! She really likes Drift, even if he is angstbot.
Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez: Gave him a poke because of the smiley face in his stomach - also the fact there was a hole in his stomach. He was nice enough, but she's not sure what to make of him.
Israfel Oleski: Had a nice sit down and chat with her. Israfel is a little mysterious, but Aerith's not going to push her for details. She gets a sense the woman isn't exactly what she appears to be. (This might also be because the lady looks young but really isn't).
Wing: He was so very helpful when Aerith first arrived, and she'll never forget that. He seems very wise.
Zevran Arainai: Another who might think she's insane, because of the whole AU Canon storm that happened. Regardless, he's been nice and she does enjoy talking to him.