Over the course of her time in the game, Aeris falls in love with the protagonist, Cloud, and it is strongly implied that he is attracted to her, causing a love triangle to grow between them and a third character, Tifa, also Aeris' best friend during the course of the game.
Aeris' "last of her kind" role eventually leads her to her death at the hands of antagonist Sephiroth, as she is the only one who could accomplish her goal, although is is heavily implied in short story "The Maiden" included in the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania, that she would have preferred to stay with Cloud rather than take this extra burden. Her death was unexpected, rued, and the subject of many false ressurection rumours. The game implies that after her death, it is Aeris who eventually plays the pivitol role in the Planet's salvation from beyond the grave. She appears to reprise this particular role in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a film sequel to the original game.
It is a common misconception that Aeris' Japanese name is "Aerith", when in fact the literal romanisation of her name would be "Earisu", pronounced "Aeris", and both "Aeris" and "Aerith" being valid English translations.
In battle, Aeris is best suited to a supportive role, with her low physical strength but high magic power; her limit breaks are also supportive in nature, which reflects her character.
Aeris also appears in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis, Final Fantasy Tactics and Square-Enix/Disney collaboration Kingdom Hearts.