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Final Fantasy 7: Aerith Vs. Tifa - Who Would Win?

Which is more powerful: magic or brute strength? Finesse or force? These questions are now being raised with regard to two of Final Fantasy 7's most beloved characters, and if you're a fan, you might already have an opinion on the subject

Final Fantasy 7 is known for its memorable characters, including Aerith, the mystical yet unassuming flower girl; and Tifa, Cloud's childhood friend. Both are incredibly powerful, though their abilities and weaknesses seem to be the complete opposite of each other. Aerith excels in her use of magic, with little to no attack strength. Tifa, on the other hand, reigns supreme with her physical attacks, though is lacking in magical ability. 

Among the two characters there is something of a rivalry, particularly a romantic one. Fans are divided as to who is the better choice when it comes to who should win Cloud's affections; but romance isn't on the docket in this case. The more important question is: who would win in the ultimate battle between these two impressive forces? Aerith with her innate magical prowess, or Tifa and her formidable kickboxing moves? Let's break it down.

Don't underestimate Aerith -- you'll regret it

Aerith's main weapon is her stave, which is imbued with powerful magic. It is true that she's not so great with physical attacks. In fact, her basic attack in the original Final Fantasy 7 is nothing more than a mildly annoying bonk on the head. This was fortunately changed in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, when Aerith's basic attack switched to offensive spellcasting. Her magical abilities are far above those of her companions, and her ultimate weapon is Princess Guard, a magic staff with seven Materia slots and serious improvements to Aerith's physical and magic stats.

Aerith's Limit Breaks consist of mostly healing and buffing up the party. Pulse of Life, for example, fills HP and MP for the entire party as well as curing any negative status effects. But the most impressive Limit Break in Aerith's arsenal is Great Gospel, which not only mimics Pulse of LIfe's abilities, but also casts invincibility for a short time. So no matter how strong a physical or magical attack, Aerith suffers zero damage.

Aerith's personality is of a sweet, optimistic nature — but don't take that to mean she is weak, or naive. Aerith is the daughter of an Ancient, a race of powerful beings who essentially created the world. Ancients (also called Cetra) also have the ability to commune with the planet through a deep spiritual bond, one that is passed down through generations. However, there are only two known Cetra left — Sephiroth and Aerith. The magic of the Ancient race is so rare and potent that it caught the attention of Shinra, who plotted to have Aerith kidnapped in an attempt to breed her and create more of her kind.

Tifa's fists are her most powerful weapon

Tifa uses gloves and claws as her main weapons, and her strength stats are relatively high. This means her martial arts game is on point, and she can cause some serious damage to enemies in battle. She is the third strongest fighter in the game, just behind Barret and Cloud. Tifa's ultimate weapon, the Premium Heart, deals damage based on her Limit gauge, and can be a deadly tool when used correctly.

Tifa also has a number of powerful Limit Breaks, all of them showcasing her master martial arts moves. The strongest of these is Final Heaven, which can cause 2.5 times more damage than Tifa's normal physical attacks. The drawback is that the move has to be executed perfectly by pressing the correct button at just the right time, otherwise the chain is broken and Final Heaven will fail.

Fighting abilities aside, Tifa has a strength and courage that makes her a fantastic leader. She's a member of AVALANCHE, the militia environmentalist group determined to put a stop to Shinra's insidious activities. She went undercover to retrieve vital information from Corneo, one of the creepiest characters players encounter in the game. She also has the guts to go up against any foe, even going so far as to attack Sephiroth on her own (not the smartest idea, but brave nonetheless). Plus she runs her own bar, which any bartender or owner knows takes a lot of patience and practice.

So who would win in a fight between these two fierce females? Would Tifa's strength and expert fighting skills be futile against Aerith's remarkable magical abilities? Perhaps the strengths and weaknesses of these characters balance each other out and cancel out their abilities, but players may never know for certain.