Materia is Final Fantasy VII Remake’s magical eight ball — at least, in terms of size. These iridescent orbs grant users the power to perform magic. Each appears first as a cue ball-sized crystal nestled in the palm of a hand; if a fire spell can’t kill enemies, maybe a knock on the head with one will. While Cloud and the rest of the game’s cast are constantly stuffing different materia into their equipment, the game never quite explains how each one seems to shrink to the size of a marble.
This is exactly the kind of silly non-issue that burrows into my brain — and has since 1997.
In large part, that’s because materia, weapons aside, has been especially baffling in the case of Aerith. The flower girl infamously keeps her prized possession, a special sort of materia, tucked away somewhere in her braid. Rather than function as the world’s largest Bumpit, Aerith’s is seamlessly part of her hairstyle. According to co-director Naoki Hamaguchi, that’s possible because materia changes size. “In their normal state, materia are palm-sized mako crystals, but they have an extremely useful structure that enables flexible changes in size like, for example, when setting them into a weapon,” Hamaguchi told The Verge.
In Aerith’s case, that extends to her hair. As for where or how, Hamaguchi simply replied that “the materia that Aerith has in her possession is hidden within her plaited hair, so it can’t be seen from outside.”
My money’s on it being stuffed into the knot in her bow. To this day, I cannot figure out why anyone would hide something so important in their hair, but to each their own. I still think materia would make a banging necklace.