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FF7 Rebirth Ending Explained: How It Sets up a Climactic Third Game

An uncertain future.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Sephiroth
Square Enix
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth tackles the middle section of the original 1997 game, bringing its world to life like never before. While the structure of the story stays largely the same, Rebirth adds a ton of new details and characters. The game is back loads its second half with story, as the final few hours cram in a ton of new ideas and shocking twists. It’s a lot to take in, so let’s break down Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s wild ending, step by step.

Warning: This article will have extensive spoilers for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

Zack and the Multiverse

There’s a duality shown in Rebirth’s ending, as Biggs is unable to defy his fate but Zack can.

Square Enix

After the events of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, throughout Rebirth we see Zack Fair in what appears to be an alternate reality. In this version of reality, a giant gash sits in the sky above, and everyone in Midgar believes the world is coming to an end.

In the final sequence of Rebirth, we learn that it’s not just one alternate reality, but a multiverse of different realities that have been created. In a colorful sequence, Sephiroth takes Cloud through this multiverse, explaining “when the boundaries of fate are breached, new worlds are born.”

This means that when Cloud and the party defeated the Arbiter of Fate at the end of Remake, that event spawned this multiverse of worlds, essentially setting off a chain reaction. The idea of changing fate is central to the story of Rebirth, but the ending makes it clear that defying your fate is something incredibly hard to do.

Near the end, Zack is forced to make a painful choice — saving Cloud or saving Biggs. This choice creates another branch in reality, evidenced by Stamp (Shinra’s dog mascot) having a different appearance in each world. This means there are three main timelines we see in Rebirth: the original with Cloud and the party, the one where Zack chooses to save Cloud, and the one where Zack chooses to save Biggs.

The story then shows that Biggs himself can’t outrun his fate, as he’s gunned down by Shinra soldiers. However, Zack is able to escape that fate and decides to flee from Shinra instead of fighting. The theme here is that fate is incredibly difficult to change, but it can be done.

Sephiroth’s Master Plan

Sephiroth still wants to become a god, but this time rule over all of existence.

Square Enix

Sephiroth willingly chooses to show Cloud everything about the multiverse, telling him that realities often collide and overlap. This is how Zack can fight alongside Cloud in the final battle, as their realities have overlapped.

In the original Final Fantasy 7, Sephiroth wanted to take over the planet and use it to sail through the cosmos as a god. His plan is still essentially the same in Rebirth, just on an astronomically greater scale. Sephiroth wants to reunite all realities and rule over all of infinity as an undefeatable god. He quite literally wants to control space and time.

He calls this reuniting of realities a “Homecoming,” and although we don’t know exactly how yet, Cloud himself seems to be vital to this plan. To this end, however, Sephiroth has been endeavoring to “destroy” these different worlds, which is why that giant gash in the sky appeared in Zack’s reality. As worlds perish they return to the planet, being absorbed back into the multiversal Lifestream.

The key mystery now is the Black Materia, and why Sephiroth still wants to obtain it. In the original game, Sephiroth summoned Meteor to obliterate all life on Gaia, turning it into an empty vessel that he could control. Presumably, he still wants to summon Meteor, but perhaps on a greater scale, wanting to wipe out the multiverse in one fell swoop.

The Fate of Aerith

Aerith’s ultimate fate remains unchanged.

Square Enix

Yes, Aerith’s ultimate fate in Rebirth is the same as the original game, as Sephiroth lands the final blow despite Cloud’s best efforts. However, there’s a lot more detail to the events this time around, along with some fascinating new developments.

Aerith is the greatest force fighting Sephiroth’s plan, as this entire time she’s known about the multiverse, and seemingly has known about her eventual fate. Of course, Aerith’s White Materia, given to her by her mother, is vitally important. In the original game, the White Materia is the counterpart of the Black Materia, allowing Aerith to speak directly to the planet to use the spell Holy, which summons the full power of the planet to stop Meteor.

However, throughout Rebirth, we see that all of Aerith’s interactions with The Whispers have drained her White Materia of its power. To counteract this, after Cloud and Aerith plummet to the depths of the Temple of Ancients, Aerith draws the two of them into another reality. It’s not exactly clear how she’s able to do this, but it likely has to do with her nature as a Cetra and being connected to the Lifestream, which we now know spans the multiverse.

In Zack’s reality, Cloud and Aerith go on a date, and she’s able to give Cloud the White Materia of the Aerith in that reality, letting him take it back to his reality. This means Cloud can give Aerith the White Materia in her final moments, setting her fate back on the track it’s supposed to be on.

In the final scene of Rebirth, we see that Cloud is still able to see and hear Aerith, or at least her spirit. If you want to dive even further into Aerith’s final moments and what her role could be in the next game, we have a full explanation of it in another article.

Battle With Wutai

Rufus Shinra has become a much bigger part of the story heading into the next game.

Square Enix

Outside of Zack Fair, Rufus Shinra is the character with the most expanded story in Rebirth. Throughout the game we see extra little scenes with Rufus, hinting that his plans might be different from the original Final Fantasy 7. A scene between him and Hojo at the Temple of Ancients, suggests Rufus might even have some knowledge, or at least an inclination, of the multiverse.

One final scene with Rufus, however, drops a bombshell. We learn that Shinra’s president has also been posing as Viceroy Saruf, the de facto leader of Wutai. Of course, Wutai has started fighting Shinra, which means Rufus himself has manufactured this conflict. We don’t know the ultimate reason for this, or what Rufus’ endgame might be, but it’s clear he’s pulling the strings behind both countries

However, there’s another wrinkle to this as Rufus tells Glenn, the figure that’s been hounding him throughout Rebirth, that he knows the conflict is just to distract him from Sephiroth. In this moment Glenn is revealed to be a puppet of Sephiroth, and the the villain tells Rufus his plan has already been set in motion. This suggests Rufus is being used in Sephiroth’s plan, just like Cloud.

Rufus’ role in Rebirth is another area we’ve expanded on in another article, and you can see more here.

Cloud’s Reunion and The Future

Something isn’t quite right with Cloud at the end of Rebirth.

Square Enix

Rebirth ends with the party regrouping in a field before flying off in Cid’s Tiny Bronco plane, in search of Sephiroth on the Northern continent. It seems like events are still following the flow of the original Final Fantasy 7, but the final scene raises some huge questions.

As stated before, Cloud can still see and hear Aerith, while the rest of the party can’t. It’s clear that this version of Cloud doesn’t feel responsible for Aerith’s untimely demise, and recognizes that she has her own battle to fight within the Lifestream. This likely means Aerith will have a larger role to play in the third game, but something’s not quite right with Cloud himself.

We see that Cloud still has possession of the Black Materia, and after he finds it in his pocket he seems to be wracked with pain. Cloud inserts the Black Materia into his Buster Sword, leaving no trace behind for anyone else to know he has it. This likely means Sephiroth is still exerting his influence over Cloud, and again it seems like Cloud is meant to play a vital role in the villain’s final plan.

The other detail is that Cloud can now see a giant rift in the sky. Again, he’s the only one who can see it. This could have two meanings, the first of which is that the original universe is now on the brink of destruction. The other is that Cloud might now be able to transcend the bounds between realities, just like Aerith and Sephiroth can. It means that Cloud will likely be the most important character heading into the third game, which still doesn’t have a release date or name.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is available on PS5.

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