The idea of a Promised Land was first discovered when Professor Gast, head scientist of the Shinra Company, interviewed the last known Cetra, Ifalna. She told him that when the Cetra die, they are taken to a Promised land, a place of extreme pleasure and happiness, becoming one with the Planet in the process. Shinra became very interested in this legend and later discovered that this Promised Land was supposed to be a haven for life. This further attracted their eyes, since such a place would contain a large amount of Mako, which the Planet's society thrived on. Thus, if Shinra could find the Promised Land, they could produce much more Mako than before.
Shinra later captured Ifalna and her newborn daughter Aerith from Gast and killed him, taking them to Midgar to perform various experiments on them and to attempt to discern the location of the Promised Land. Ifalna later died escaping Shinra several years later, but succeeded in getting Aerith to safety. Shinra attempted to convince Aerith to come with them many times as she grew up and make her aware of her heritage, but Aerith refused. By the start of Final Fantasy VII, the effects of Mako extraction on Midgar's surrounding land and the efforts of the terrorist group AVALANCHE had hastened Shinra's efforts to the extent they resorted to kidnapping Aerith instead of negotiating with her. However, Aerith revealed to Cloud and Tifa while imprisoned that she didn't know where the Promised Land was, and that she knew only what had been passed down about it being a land of eternal bliss.
Later, once Shinra had destroyed Sector 7 in Midgar to defeat the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE, plans to rebuild the Sector were scrapped. President Shinra now planned to dump the capital city, and build a new one in the Promised Land. This new city would be christened "Neo Midgar". Rufus Shinra and his men later chase the rogue SOLDIER Sephiroth to the Northern Crater. Due to the massive amounts of Mako around them, Rufus originally assumes the area to be the Promised Land. However, thanks to collapse of Shinra following the attack of the Diamond WEAPON, Neo Midgar is never constructed.
Sephiroth in turn also came to believe the Promised Land lay at the Northern Crater where large amounts of Lifestream gathered to heal the wound caused by Jenova centuries ago. Thus, as this was the place where the Lifestream was abundant and he could become one with it and ascend to Godhood, Sephiroth assumed the crater was the Promised Land. The fact that Jenova, whom he believed was an Ancient, had been found at the crater likely only strengthened his deduction.
The Cetra believed that the Promised Land was not really a real location at all. Rather, it was what the Cetra referred to as the Lifestream. The Lifestream was a sort of spirit river that traveled under the planets' crust, supplying plants and animals with life. The Cetra possessed a certain bond with this Lifestream, and could control and, to some extents, harness its powers.
It is also speculated that the Promised Land means something different to each person. Described as a land of happiness, this meant each person would inevitably have their own interpretation of where the Promised Land was. As told from Aerith's perspective in Hoshi wo Meguru Otome, Sephiroth's Promised Land was the Northern Crater because he could become a God there, while the Cetra who worshiped the Planet saw the Lifestream as the Promised Land. Thus, the Promised Land may not be an actual specific location, but a state of mind to find "eternal happiness" wherever possible.
|''The Promised Land''|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
A music piece in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is titled "The Promised Land", and is played during the film's opening narration, and near the end of the film when Aerith calls down healing rain, reinforcing the thought that the Promised Land is the Lifestream.
|Cloud Strife - Barret Wallace - Tifa Lockhart - Aeris Gainsborough - Red XIII - Cait Sith - Cid Highwind - Vincent Valentine - Yuffie Kisaragi|
|Temporary Playable Characters|
|Rufus Shinra - President Shinra - Professor Hojo - Tseng - Reno - Rude - Elena - Heidegger - Scarlet - Palmer - Reeve Tuesti - Gast Faremis - Lucrecia Crescent - Mayor Domino - Zack Fair|
|Elder Bugah - Bugenhagen - Big Bro - Biggs - Chole - Choco Billy - Chocobo Sage - Cloud's Mother - Mr. Coates - Dio - Don Corneo - Dyne - Eleanor - Elmyra Gainsborough - Ester - Godo Kisaragi - Elder Hargo - Deputy Mayor Hart - Mr. Holzoff - Ifalna - Jenova - Jessie - Joe - Johnny - Kalm Traveler - Marlene Wallace - Mukki - Myrna - Priscilla - Seto - Shera - Teioh - Wedge - Zangan|
|Locations on the Planet|
|Midgar - Sector 1 Reactor - Sector 8 - Sector 7 - 7th Heaven - Sector 5 - Sector 5 Reactor - Sector 5 Church - Sector 6 - Wall Market - Train Graveyard - Shinra Headquarters - Kalm - Chocobo Farm - Mythril Mines - Fort Condor - Junon - Junon Underwater Reactor|
|Costa del Sol - Mt. Corel - North Corel - Gold Saucer - Wonder Square - Battle Square - Corel Prison - Gongaga - Cosmo Canyon - Cave of the Gi - Nibelheim - Mt. Nibel - Rocket Town - Ancient Forest - Crystal Cave|
|Bone Village - Sleeping Forest - Forgotten Capital - Icicle Inn - Great Glacier - Gaea's Cliff - Whirlwind Maze - Northern Crater - Chocobo Sage's House|
|Cargo Ship - Wutai - Temple of the Ancients - Mideel - Cloud's Subconscious - Materia Caves - Goblin Island - Cactus Island - Round Island - Sunken Gelnika|
|Humans - Red XIII's Species - Cetra|
|AVALANCHE - Black Materia - Buster Sword - Chaos - Condor - Date Mechanics - Gi Tribe - Hardy-Daytona - Holy - Huge Materia - Jenova Project - Keystone - Leviathan Scales - Lifestream - Lunar Harp - Mako - Mako Reactors - Makonoid - Materia - Meteor - Nibelheim Incident - PHS - Promised Land - Shinra Electric Power Company - Siege of Fort Condor - Sister Ray - SOLDIER - Sephiroth Clones - Turks - Weapon - Wutai War - White Materia|
|Highwind - Buggy - Cargo Ship - Chocobo - Motorcycle - Submarine - Tiny Bronco - Shinra No. 26|
|Original Soundtrack - Reunion Tracks - Piano Collections
|Accessories - Armor - Demo - Enemies - Enemy Abilities - Items - Materia - Timeline - Walkthroughs - Wallpapers - Weapons|