Characters of the Final Fantasy XIII series

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Promotional artwork featuring the main cast of the Final Fantasy XIII games. Top from left: Paddra Nsu-Yeul, Caius Ballad, Oerba Yun Fang, Oerba Dia Vanille, Noel Kreiss, Snow Villiers, Serah Farron, Mog, Sazh Katzroy, Lumina, Lightning and Hope Estheim.

Final Fantasy XIII, a role-playing game released by Square Enix in 2009, revolves around the struggles of a group of humans over a predestined fate. The game's two sequels, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, build on the first game's story and mythos. In video game publications and among the staff at Square Enix, the three games have come to be referred to as the "Lightning Saga",[1][2][3] and the core concepts they contain are drawn from the mythos of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries. The visuals of the original characters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura and Nao Ikeda, while many later characters were created by other designers, including Hideo Minaba, Yusuke Naora and Toshiyuki Itahana. Their original stories were created by Motomu Toriyama and written up by Daisuke Watanabe.

The series' central characters are Lightning, a former soldier and the core character in all three games; Serah Farron, Lightning's sister and the second game's main protagonist; Snow Villiers, an optimistic young man engaged to Serah; Hope Estheim, a young man who develops a strong bond with Lightning; Sazh Katzroy, a former airship pilot; Oerba Dia Vanille and Oerba Yun Fang, two women who inadvertently set the first game's events in motion. Three further characters appear in XIII-2: Noel Kreiss, a hunter who sets out to change his bleak future; Caius Ballad, a man from Noel's past who wishes to bring about a predestined apocalypse; and Paddra Nsu-Yeul, a seeress reincarnated through history. In Lightning Returns, two more are added: Lumina, a doppelganger of Serah; and Bhunivelze, the main deity of the Final Fantasy XIII universe.

The characters in the games have been the basis of several pieces of merchandise produced by Square Enix, such as statues, action figures, clothing, and jewelry. They have been subject to mostly positive reviews; most observers favorably compared the characters to those in the previous games and praised the voice acting, however some critics have stated that the plotline of the characters have been confusing when introduced. In XIII-2, the shift to new or secondary characters and the change in importance and story role of the previous game's main cast grated with some reviewers, while others applauded the new characters' development and interactions. In Lightning Returns, the characters' stories were often criticized for being underdeveloped, or simply included for the sake of ending their stories.

Creation and development[edit]

Promotional image showing the six original protagonists as they appear in Final Fantasy XIII. Lightning and Snow went through several redesigns across the three games.

The overarching theme of the games was the effects the deities of the core mythos on the human population, especially the fate that was forced upon the main characters.[4] Yuji Abe, a designer on Lightning Returns, defined it as "A battle with destiny", with the burden of destiny growing progressively heavier for the main characters over the course of the games.[5] The setting and story was written around and drawn from the official mythology for the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, which also includes Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy Type-0. For Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, Toriyama created a story focusing on the existing deities within the mythos and their influence on the world.[6][7] Different deities from the mythos were focused on in each installment, such as the goddess Etro in XIII-2.[8] One of the defining features of the cast is the game's central protagonist: Lightning. Toriyama wanted Lightning to be an exceptional female protagonist for the Final Fantasy series, with her having great strength and combat ability, as opposed to the gentler figures of Aerith from Final Fantasy VII or Yuna from Final Fantasy X.[9][10][11] Unlike those characters, Lightning's personality was conceived well before her outfit was designed or her voice actresses were cast.[12] How the character was portrayed and how her story and personality was evolved became one of the driving forces of the series.[13]

Most of Final Fantasy XIII's characters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura, who also served as the character designer for Final Fantasy VII, VIII and X.[14] The stories of the characters were created by Motomu Toriyama and Daisuke Watanabe. The main story concept was "characters at the mercy of a predetermined, unjust fate".[6] Nao Ikeda designed Snow, Jihl Nabaat and Gadot, Lebreau, and Maqui.[15] The cast, along with the world's characters, were intended to mimic the multi-ethnic feel of the United States as opposed to Asia or Europe.[16] During production of the first game, Toriyama wanted the cast to be a group that was originally combative with one-another, and designed the game's narrative with several key points which would bring them together: these included the scene between Sazh and Vanille in the city of Nautilus, and the reconciliation between Snow and Hope in the town of Palumpolum.[6] The characters went through several changes in the early stages of development, the two noted examples being Sazh's ethnic origin[17] and Fang's gender.[18]

For XIII-2, Toriyama wanted a dark and serious tone to the world and story, in contrast to the jovial atmosphere of Final Fantasy X-2, and the story was scripted to play out as "pieces of drama" like a television series.[19][20] Its story and characters were focused around the concepts of mortality and, in Toriyama's words, the "wish for rebirth": the latter theme was directly inspired by the Great East Japan Earthquake.[21] Watanabe stayed as one of the game's writers, with writer and novelist Emi Nagashima, better known under her pen name of Jun Eishima, coming on as a story consultant.[22][23] Lightning's outfit for the game was designed by Isamu Kamikokuryo, who worked from a rough outline done by Nomura, who also designed the characters' facial features.[24] Two new character designers were brought in: Hideo Minaba, who contributed to new character outfits such as Hope and Alyssa's,[25][26] and Yusuke Naora, who designed outfits for Serah, Noel and Caius.[27] Lightning and Serah's designs were created to directly reflect the environments they start out from.[28] The character of Noel was added at a later stage in the original planning, since the original plan for Serah to travel alone with the moogle Mog seemed to clash too much with the game's serious nature.[29] For Lightning Returns, the developers decided to have Lightning as the sole protagonist so that players could get to know her better.[30] The story was created to bring closure for the characters of the series.[31] The core themes of the game were the "salvation of souls", and the "rebirth of Lightning", the latter being the main reason the game was not called XIII-3.[8] Norura returned to design Lightning and Snow's new looks[32] and Kamikokuryo returned to design new outfits for Lightning and help with the world design.[33] Two new designers brought in were Toshitaka Matsuda, an artist for Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings,[34] and Toshiyuki Itahana, who had worked on Final Fantasy IX and the Crystal Chronicles series. Both designed multiple battle costumes for Lightning, many of them inspired by the artwork of Yoshitaka Amano.[34][35] Itahana and Matsuda also respectively designed Lumina and Bhunivelze.[36][37][38] Watanabe returned as the main scenario writer, while also receiving ideas for scenes from Toriyama and other members of staff. His work on the script was slow, causing problems from the rest of the development team: in response to this, he worked hard to create an appropriate finale. During his work, he had a strong nostalgic feeling while writing the characters' lines.[39]

In order to lessen the delay between the local and international releases, the English voice acting for XIII was done while the game was in development.[40] Unfortunately, it had no infrastructure to support simultaneous development and localization.[41] The lack of deadlines, poor communication and synchronization between the various departments, and continuing changes to the script and to cutscenes led to a turbulent development. One of the most notable knock-on effects was that the game's script needed to be re-translated as the various cutscenes changed, and large parts of the dialogue had to be rerecorded, party because they lacked proper emotional drive at the right moments.[41] For XIII-2, a tool called Moomle, developed by English translator Tom Slattery and his Japanese counterpart Teruaki Sugawara from their experience with the first game, was used to make sure all parts of the localization process were synchronized.[41] For Lightning Returns the Japanese voice actors recorded their dialogue well after their characters' scenes had been created, as opposed to the normal procedure of recording lines before cutscene creation.[42] For the English version, the amount of dialogue translation and recording was so large that there was over two months' delay between the game's local and international releases.[43]

Eidolons (召喚獣 Shoukanjuu?, Summon Beasts), beings who aid the protagonists after being tamed in battle,[44] are the game's versions of summons. The ones featured in the games are series staples Odin, Shiva, Alexander, and Bahamut, and newcomers Hecatoncheir and Brynhildr.[45] Their summon sequences were designed to be flashy, but also mixed with gameplay: this approach was inspired by comments from players of previous titles who had not wanted to wait as long for the summons to take effect as in previous titles.[46] The Eidolons, which could transform into vehicle-like forms for their masters to ride, were built around the game's theme of "transformation".[47] They were also designed to represent aspects of the characters who summoned them.[48] They were to have been featured in XIII-2 as part of a DLC episode, but the idea was scrapped and the gameplay was folded into one of the title's minigames.[49] For Lightning Returns, although the Eidolons still exist, they were not available in gameplay and merely served as an element of the story.[43] Carried over from the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos are the fal'Cie, demigods who work to find a way of bringing their respective deities back into the world.[50][51] The fal'Cie can choose people to become l'Cie, servants given magical powers and a task to complete within a given time, called a Focus.[52] Those who succeed go into crystal stasis,[53] while those that fail become monsters called Cie'th.[54]

Playable characters[edit]

Lightning[edit]

Lightning (ライトニング Raitoningu?) is the key protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, serving as a primary protagonist in XIII, a supporting character of XIII-2 and the sole playable character of Lightning Returns. Born as Claire Farron, or Éclair Farron (エクレール・ファロン Ekurēru Faron?) in the original Japanese-language version, she lost her parents when she was 15 years old. Claire takes on her codename of Lightning to become a stronger person to help her younger sister Serah, only to cause tensions between them as a result. In the first game, she is a former Sanctum soldier who sets out to save her sister from the fal'Cie, then strives to save Cocoon from destruction. At the beginning of XIII-2, she is whisked away to Valhalla, capital of the Unseen World,[55] to act as the Goddess Etro's protector, sending messages to her allies and guiding Serah through time to put things right. She fails, causing the death of Etro and the release of chaos, a dark energy kept trapped by the goddess.[56] In Lightning Returns, Lightning ends up serving the god Bhunivelze as the savior for the inhabitants of Nova Chrysalia during its final days, fighting old friends and enemies alike to save their souls. She is voiced by Ali Hillis in English and by Maaya Sakamoto in Japanese.[57][58][59]

Serah Farron[edit]

Serah Farron (セラ・ファロン Sera Faron?) is an 18-year-old human from Cocoon. After their parents die years prior to the start of the game, Lightning, then still called Claire, raises Serah and sets out to become a protector for her, but her devotion to that goal causes tensions between them. Eventually, Serah becomes engaged to Snow days prior to the start of the game, and Lightning strongly objects to their relationship. Serah eventually reveals to Snow and Lightning that, while exploring the Pulse Vestage where the fal'Cie Anima was kept,[60] she has been made a Pulse l'Cie.[61] However, Lightning discovers too late that Serah is captured by Anima after disbelieving her sister.[62] Although given the Focus to become Ragnarok, she changes her Focus through her own will, then imparts her new mission, to save Cocoon, to Lightning and Snow before turning to crystal after being found.[63] The change of her Focus eventually inspires the other l'Cie to do the same.[64] After the party defeats Orphan at the end of the game, Serah, along with Dajh, resumes her life as a human. Serah reconciles with Lightning, who accepts her relationship with Snow afterwards.

In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Serah is the only one who remembers Lightning being on Gran Pulse after she is taken to Valhalla, with all the others believing she sacrificed herself to save Cocoon.[65] She eventually becomes a teacher in the village of New Bodhum, the town she and Snow help build on Gran Pulse,[66] before it is invaded by monsters three years after the fall of Cocoon.[67] Serah is aided by Noel Kreiss, who tells her of Lightning's fate and his own mission. After Serah accepts Noel's offer to be brought to Lightning, the two embark on a journey across time to find her sister. In the process, Serah encounters Caius Ballad, while learning from Paddra Nsu-Yeul that she possesses the same detrimental ability as her to see the future.[68] Despite learning that she would die herself if she continues seeing visions of the future, Serah resolves to change the future for everyone's sake.[69] However, after Caius's defeat and returning to Gran Pulse five hundred years in her future, Serah has another vision and dies moments before Gran Pulse is infected by Valhalla's chaos. Serah appears to Lightning in Valhalla as a spirit, telling her she knew that she could have died from her visions but still took the risk regardless. Serah promises Lightning that they will see each other again as long as Lightning promises to remember her.[70] In Lightning Returns, Serah's soul, which has been kept safe within Lightning, is removed and cast away by Bhunivelze.[71] Lumina acts as a shelter for Serah's soul, resulting in the two being similar in appearance.[72] Bhunivelze also creates a false version of Serah to keep Lightning in line.[73] This false Serah, who develops feelings for her 'sister' arrives when Lightning intends to become the protector of the new world and persuades her to accept her vulnerabilities and call for aid.[74] The real Serah reunites with Lightning and her allies, and travels with them to the new world.

Early in the development of XIII, Serah was meant to be a playable character, but was eventually delegated to a supporting character because of technical issues.[48] Tetsuya Nomura, in an interview, said that he designed Serah's hair so that her silhouette would mirror Lightning's.[18] For XIII-2, the developers decided to change Serah and Lightning's roles, with Serah becoming the game's main protagonist, while Lightning was the object of her quest.[75] Yusuke Naora was told to design Serah's new costume like the "plug suit" outfits from Neon Genesis Evangelion and was asked to give her a necklace for plot reasons.[76] Part of the challenge for the game was making Serah more active, but maintaining her femininity,[28] which is the reason she was given a bow as her weapon.[77] Another reason behind the design of her weapon was the fact that the developers wanted to give the characters means to attack both up close and at long range.[78] Aside from Naora's design, Yuko Oshima of AKB48 was asked to design two potential DLC outfits for Serah: a black combat outfit titled "Exposure and Defense" (later retitled "Style and Steel"),[79] and a second red-and-white outfit titled "Little Red Riding Hood", meant to be indicative of Serah's change into an adult.[80] After a popular vote, the former costume was chosen and released in April 2012.[79][81] Serah is voiced by Laura Bailey in English and by Minako Kotobuki in Japanese.[57][58][59]

Snow Villiers[edit]

Snow Villiers (スノウ・ヴィリアース Sunō Viriāsu?) is a 21-year-old human from Cocoon. Snow proposes to Serah Farron two days prior to the start of Final Fantasy XIII. During the Purge (a mass exodus of Cocoon citizens after the activation of the Pulse fal'Cie Anima),[82] Snow and his group NORA[83] engages in a battle with PSICOM, the security force of Cocoon. After becoming a l'Cie and finding Serah in crystal stasis, he despairs and is forced to tame his Eidolon, the Shiva Sisters. After meeting up with Cid Raines and Oerba Yun Fang, Snow pairs up with Hope while oblivious to the boy's grudge against him. Once Hope gets Snow alone, he unsuccessfully tries to murder him for his part in his mother's death and reconciles with him soon after. Snow then reconciles with Lightning and receives forgiveness from Hope's father.[84] He and the others then rescue Sazh and Vanille before eventually escaping to Gran Pulse, where Lightning and Snow resolve to see Serah together after destroying Orphan.[85] After Orphan's death, Snow and Lightning reunite with Serah, then start planning to set up a new town on Gran Pulse.[86]

In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Snow left a year prior to its events promising Serah to find Lightning for her. His search would eventually result with him traveling through time while seeing Lightning in a dream telling him to protect the crystal pillar holding Cocoon, seeing a vision of the world's fate, and becoming a l'Cie once more with the Focus of fighting beside Serah at the final battle.[87] Appearing on Cocoon three hundred years in his future, Snow attempts to destroy a monster threatening Cocoon's supporting pillar. Serah and Noel come to Snow's aid and help him defeat it by negating the anomaly causing its growth. With the threat gone, Snow entrusts Noel with Serah's care and dissolves from the moment in time while promising Serah that they will meet again.[88] Snow then travels to the Coliseum, a fighting arena separated from the flow of time,[89] and after Serah and Noel challenge him to combat and win, he is forced to remain due to being bound to the Coliseum by the Chaos.

In Lightning Returns, after being released from his imprisonment, Snow meets up with Noel and Hope before coming upon the city of Yusnaan and becomes its protector and patron.[90] Over the next five hundred years, he becomes jaded and depressed, brooding on Serah's death and being weighed down by guilt at his inability to stop the world decaying.[91] When Lightning meets up with him, his changed appearance and attitude makes her fear that he has gone insane.[92] When they next meet, Snow reveals his intention to absorb a massive cloud of Chaos at the center of Yusnaan's palace, transform into a Cie'th and have Lightning kill him as a punishment for his failure.[93] He performs this act and Lightning does battle him, but she manages to reverse the transformation and convince him to keep hoping and help guide Serah to the new world.[94]

Snow was designed by Nao Ikeda and Tetsuya Nomura. He was designed around a motif of ice,[15] with his bandanna inspired by an unused costume element from Kingdom Hearts coded.[95] Originally to have been called "Storm",[96] the development team nicknamed the character "Mr. 33 cm" in reference to his shoe size while his name was still a secret.[97] Nomura designed his darker look in Lightning Returns.[32] Snow's personality in XIII, which carried over to XIII-2, was created to be passionate, optimistic and impulsive, opposing and acting as a foil for Lightning's cold mannerisms.[98][99] He has also been described in interviews as the "tough guy" type, and not having a jealous side to him.[100][101] He was originally to have been a more negative delinquent athletic type, but this was changed to his "big brother" persona.[102] Concerning his stance in Lightning Returns, Kitase described Snow as "struggling with all his might to keep himself from falling apart from the sadness of losing Serah."[103] His darker portrayal was emulated by his weapon in the opening cinematic.[104] Watanabe enjoyed writing the character's story, as he was able to give Snow scenes where he appeared "cool", rather than taking on a "thankless" roles.[39] VideoGamer.com's Wesley Yin-Poole called his relationship with Lightning and Hope, and the way he coped with Serah's fate, one of the most interesting aspects of the original game.[105] Aside from his appearance in the XIII games, the character was featured in the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a subcharacter representing Final Fantasy XIII,[106] and his outfit from that game was featured as an optional character costume in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn along with Lightning's Guardian Corps uniform.[107] Snow is voiced by Troy Baker in English and by Daisuke Ono in Japanese.[57][58][59]

Hope Estheim[edit]

Hope Estheim (ホープ・エストハイム Hōpu Esutohaimu?) is a 14-year-old boy who is an exile at the start of Final Fantasy XIII. At the beginning of the game, Hope and his mother Nora, on vacation in the town of Bodhum, are selected for the Purge. Under Snow's leadership, Nora joins the resistance in the Hanging Edge, but falls to her death during the battle while trying to protect Hope and after saving Snow's life: this event angers Hope greatly. After he becomes a l'Cie, and being separated from the main party, Hope follows Lightning while plotting his assassination attempt on Snow.[108] Despite Lightning's objections, Hope tries to kill Snow once he gets him alone, but after coming to the realization that he had just been blaming Snow to cope with his mother's death, they settle their differences.[109] When Hope returns home to his father, Bartholomew, he tells him what happened to Nora and repairs their relationship. When on Gran Pulse, he tells the others to leave him, afraid they will get hurt because of him, but inadvertently summons his Eidolon Alexander. After the defeat of Orphan, Hope tells Lightning that Fang and Vanille had changed their fate by fulfilling their Focus of transforming into Ragnarok to save Cocoon rather than destroying it.[110]

In Final Fantasy XIII-2, a 24-year old Hope is leader of the scientific expedition group known as the Academy a decade after the events of Final Fantasy XIII. He helps Noel and Serah in their journey to find Lightning when they arrive in his time. Other than knowing that time travel is possible and wishing to undo events of the past, Hope is planning on reviving Cocoon with a different power source. Originally planning to create an artificial fal'Cie, he is dissuaded upon seeing a vision of Serah fighting his creation.[111] He and his assistant Alyssa Zaidelle then use a time capsule to go three hundred and eighty seven years into the future to oversee Hope's New Cocoon Project, a plan to build a man-made Cocoon in preparation for Cocoon's destined fall in the next century. When the old Cocoon does fall, Hope and Sazh manage to rescue Vanille and Fang from the crystal pillar before it crumbles.[112]

In Lightning Returns, Hope resides in a special base constructed within the new Cocoon called the Ark, communicating with Lightning via a wireless com-link.[113] Hope is returned to his 14-year-old image and stripped of his emotions by Bhunivelze, but retains his memories from the past two games.[114] He is instrumental in keeping the world going, for as Lightning completes quests and fulfills missions, he uses energy generated from those acts to prolong the world's life.[115] On the final day, Hope reveals that he acted as Bhunivelze's eyes and ears, and will now be disposed of.[116] Bhunivelze then uses Hope as an avatar, speaking with Lightning and capturing her allies.[117] During the final battle Lightning frees him from Bhunivelze's control, then Hope aids her in defeating Bhunivelze for good.[118]

At the 2009 TGS event, it was revealed that Hope's silver hair was meant for Lightning, but when her hair color was decided as pink, Hope received the silver hair coloring instead.[18] Hope's Academy uniform for XIII-2 was designed by Hideo Minaba.[25] While he was portrayed as sensitive and vulnerable in XIII, for XIII-2, the game's director wished to portray Hope as a more mature, authoritative person.[21] According to Toriyama, how Hope matured, as seen through Lightning's eyes, formed one of the main story themes for Lightning Returns.[119] He was originally going to have a third unique design for the game, but the team eventually decided to settle on his original teenage appearance.[39] In a later interview, he said that while the character was much liked by the team, he felt that Hope lacked the heroic image that could make him a leading character.[46] Watanabe later said that he felt Hope helped complete Lightning's character and enable her to grow as a person.[39] Hope is voiced by Vincent Martella in English and Yūki Kaji in Japanese.[57][58][59]

Sazh Katzroy[edit]

Sazh Katzroy (サッズ・カッツロイ Sazzu Kattsuroi?) is a 40-year-old human former airship pilot. His son, Dajh, is taken by the Sanctum in the aftermath of him becoming a Cocoon l'Cie three days earlier when Sazh bought him a chocobo chick.[120] Along with Lightning, he derails the train carrying the Cocoon exiles at the start of Final Fantasy XIII. After the party splits up following Anima's defeat, Sazh goes with Vanille as he tells her about his son. However, Jihl Nabaat reveals Vanille's part in his son becoming a l'Cie, causing him to summon the Eidolon Brynhildr. Unable to kill Vanille, Sazh unsuccessfully attempts suicide. Sazh and Vanille are then captured by Nabaat. Before Lightning's party rescues Sazh and Vanille, he reconciles with her for her role in Dajh's fate.[121] After traveling to Pulse, Sazh eventually forgives Fang for what happened to Dajh. After Vanille and Fang transform to Ragnarok and prevent Cocoon from colliding with Pulse, Sazh is reunited with Dajh.

After these events, Sazh leaves to help the civilians of Cocoon,[122] then decides to move onto Gran Pulse. At some point during the events of XIII-2, Sazh is sucked through a rip in time, is separated from Dajh and ends up in Serendipity, a palace in the Void Beyond.[123] While there, he meets Chocolina and learns of the fate facing the world from Serendipity's owner. Reuniting with Dajh and deciding to fight no matter what the future holds, they go through a time gate and help Serah and Noel in their battle against Caius.[124] Sazh then helps Hope save Fang and Vanille from the crystal pillar before Cocoon falls. In Lightning Returns, Sazh has set up his home in the Wildlands. After Dajh's soul is lost and his body falls into a coma, Sazh becomes tormented by his seeming failure to protect his son.[125][126] Lightning helps retrieve the fragments of Dajh's soul, lifting Sazh's burden.

In the May 2009 edition of Official PlayStation Magazine, Yoshinori Kitase said that Sazh was intended to be an Eddie Murphy-style comic-relief character as well as a sympathetic character.[127] Toriyama was initially worried about the unconventional afro hairstyle. Due to the character having the largest amount of dialogue in the game, an experienced voice actor was chosen for him.[128] His early look was, as revealed in the a special Ultimania guide released during 25th anniversary celebrations for the series, very different from his final design, with him being white with long brown hair, and wielding a shoulder-cannon rather than machine pistols. He was also named "Baz".[17] He is voiced by Reno Wilson in English and by Masashi Ebara in Japanese.[57][58][59]

Oerba Dia Vanille[edit]

Oerba Dia Vanille (ヲルバ=ダイア・ヴァニラ Woruba-Daia Vanira?) is a 19-year-old l'Cie from the village of Oerba on Gran Pulse[129] and the narrator of Final Fantasy XIII. Thirteen days before the start of the game, she and Oerba Yun Fang wake from crystal stasis in the Pulse Vestige holding the fal'Cie Anima, initiating events that would lead to the Sanctum's Purge. When she is with the Purgees of Cocoon along with Nora and Hope Estheim during their exile, she is rescued by Snow Villiers' group, NORA. However, after Nora dies, she encourages Hope to follow Snow to confront him, and she sees them become l'Cie. After the party splits up, Vanille, along with Sazh, resolve to run away from their fate. However, both she and Sazh are captured by Jihl Nabaat. After Lightning and the party rescue the two, Vanille reunites with Fang. On Gran Pulse, Fang regains her memory and remembers it was she who became Ragnarok, a monster designed to bring down Cocoon[130] during a conflict between the two worlds called the War of Transgression.[131] When Vanille enters a state of emotional distress, she summons and defeats the Eidolon Hecatoncheir. After the defeat of Orphan, she and Fang transform into Ragnarok and form a crystal pillar to prevent Cocoon colliding with Pulse.

After this event, Vanille remains with Fang in crystal stasis within the pillar: from there, the two end up seeing everything that is going on, remaining unaffected by the changes in the timeline.[132] In Final Fantasy XIII-2, though still held in the pillar, Vanille and Fang appear to help Serah escape from the endless dream in the Void Beyond that Caius placed her in.[133] At the end of the game, they are rescued from the collapsing pillar.[112] In Lightning Returns, Vanille has awoken from crystal stasis with Fang, gaining the ability to hear the voices of the dead. She is dubbed a saint and lives in the city of Luxerion in the protective care of the Order, a religious organization devoted to the deity Bhunivelze.[134] Because of her ability, Vanille is key to a ritual to destroy the dead that will kill her in the process: not knowing the truth about the ritual, she decides to go through with it to atone for her past actions.[135] On the final day, Lightning and Fang persuade Vanille to use her power to free the dead and enable them to be reborn.[136]

In Final Fantasy XIII, Vanille was originally going to be the main character, but after the game was shown off with Lightning in the central role, the decision was scrapped.[48] In an interview with Siliconera, Vanille's English voice actor stated that she found it relatively easy connecting with the character because of the similarities in their basic personalities.[137] Vanille is voiced by Georgia van Cuylenburg in English, and by Yukari Fukui in Japanese.[57][58][59]

Oerba Yun Fang[edit]

Oerba Yun Fang (ヲルバ=ユン・ファング Woruba-Yun Fangu?) is a 21-year old l'Cie from Oerba on Gran Pulse who wakes from crystal stasis thirteen days prior to the start of Final Fantasy XIII along with Oerba Dia Vanille: this event perpetuates the branding of Serah Farron by the fal'Cie Anima, which in turn starts off the events of Final Fantasy XIII.[138] After she escapes from Anima's Vestage with Vanille, Fang begins serving as Cid Raines's subordinate in the Cavalry. She eventually meets Snow and becomes his partner as part of Cid's plan to overthrow the Sanctum. She later befriends Lightning. After rescuing Sazh and Vanille on board the Palamecia, she and Vanille reunite. Later, after being told about their focus and resolving to fulfill it even if she has to fight her friends, Fang has to fight and tame the Eidolon Bahamut. On Gran Pulse, despite Vanille's protests, Fang reveals that she was responsible for scarring Cocoon's shell centuries earlier and bringing deadly recriminations on the population of Gran Pulse.[139]

When they face Orphan, despite the party's pleas for Fang to not transform into Ragnarok, Fang eventually transforms into an incomplete version and fights the fal'Cie alone, but gets tortured as a result of her failure, only to be saved by Lightning's group. After Orphan's destruction, Fang and Vanille complete their Focus by becoming Ragnarok to save Cocoon from crashing into Gran Pulse. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Fang and Vanille appear to help Serah escape from the endless dream in the Void Beyond that Caius placed her in,[133] and at the end they are rescued from Cocoon's pillar when it finally collapse.[112] By the events of Lightning Returns, after awakening and seeing Vanille being used by the Order, Fang has taken up residence in the Dead Dunes and becomes the leader of a bandit group bent on thwarting the Order from obtaining a relic within the desert.[140] She attempts to destroy the relic so Vanille can be saved from being killed by the ritual.[138] Fang appears on the final day, helping Lightning dissuade Vanille from going through with the ritual and helps her guide the souls of the dead to the new world.

Fang was originally scripted to be a male character during the early stages of Final Fantasy XIII's development, but early in the writing stage, was rewritten as a female character.[18] Along with this, the sex appeal that was originally going to be part of Lightning's look was transferred to Fang to give Lightning a more hard-edged persona.[141] Fang is voiced by Rachel Robinson in English, and Mabuki Andou in Japanese.[57][58][59]

Noel Kreiss[edit]

Noel Kreiss (ノエル・クライス Noeru Kuraisu?) is the 18-year-old male protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII-2. One of the last remaining humans in a devastated future, Noel is a friend and student of Caius Ballad before the two grew apart due to the latter's wish to destroy time.[142] After the incarnation of Yeul in his time dies, Noel sets out to find Valhalla, intending to change Yeul's fate.[143] On the point of death, he is brought to Valhalla, where he sees Lightning and Caius in battle. Lightning gives Noel the task of finding Serah and bringing to her to Valhalla. Traveling to Serah's time, Noel sets out with her to find Lightning, repair the timeline and change his future at any cost, even erasing himself from existence.[144] Upon meeting Snow, Noel develops a hatred of him because of the former's impulsive attitude. Eventually, Noel gains respect for Snow.[145] As they travel, his memories are restored, and he tries to dissuade Serah from continuing, as her visions of the future would soon kill her.[146] When she decides to go on, he comes too after seeing an image of him and the Yeul of his time meeting again. Though he and Serah finally defeat Caius in Valhalla, Noel is forced into a situation that ends with Caius's death.[147] Soon after returning, to 500 AF, forced to watch Serah die, Noel realizes too late that his actions have triggered the apocalypse Caius wished for.

By the events of Lightning Returns, forced to protect the people as the "Shadow Hunter" after the Order of Salvation take over Luxerion, Noel becomes obsessed with a fabricated prophecy that if he kills Bhunivelze's savior, he will bring about a new world where he can live in peace with Yeul.[148] Ultimately, he has become burdened by guilt because of his actions in causing the world to fall into its current state.[149] Noel's belief in the prophecy is reinforced when Lightning appears as the savior. They briefly ally to rout an extremist sect of the Children of Etro, who have been killing women who resemble Lightning.[150] They later fight at Noel's hideout. Lightning provokes Noel into fully expressing his rage and engaging him in battle. After the battle, Noel destroys the oracle drive playing the fabricated prophecy, finally freeing himself from his guilt. After Bhunivelze's defeat, Noel offers his life to give Yeul a chance to live in the new world, and Caius allows the final incarnation of Yeul to go with him.[151]

Noel was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, who did the face, and Yusuke Naora, who designed the rest of the body and clothes. When designing his clothes, Naora took into account he was a hunter, while his swords were based on a Final Fantasy III illustration by Yoshitaka Amano.[76] Noel's weapon, which changes from two swords into a javelin, was designed so that the character could have both short and long-range attacks.[78] In an interview, Toriyama said that Noel was intended to be a grave young man burdened by a heavy responsibility, but also, because of his upbringing on Gran Pulse, with a naivety about the world Serah and Lightning are used to, and certainly about Cocoon.[152] Yoshinori Kitase, in an interview with Impress Watch, described Noel as one of the Final Fantasy series' few "orthodox" protagonists.[100] Noel is voiced by Jason Marsden in English and by Daisuke Kishio in Japanese.[58][59]

NORA[edit]

NORA (ノラ Nora?) is a resistance group led by Snow Villiers and is an acronym for "No Obligation, Rules or Authority".[153] The team consists of Gadot (ガドー Gadō?), Snow's childhood friend; Lebreau (レブロ Reburo?), another friend who runs a local bar in Bodhum for gathering monetary resources; Maqui (マーキー Mākī?), a teenager who provides mechanical assistance; and Yuj (ユージュ Yūju?), a young man obsessed with fashion. Gadot and Lebreau join as guest characters when Snow is leading NORA to battle the PSICOM soldiers during the opening level. Eventually, they meet up with the party before they enter Orphan's cradle. The group reappears in Final Fantasy XIII-2, living in the town of New Bodhum and acting as its neighborhood watch.[66] Due to not traveling through time, the members of NORA are dead by the events of Lightning Returns.[154] In the supplementary novel Final Fantasy XIII Reminiscence: tracer of memories, it is revealed that all the members were reincarnated in the new world.[155]

Gadot, Lebreau, and Maqui were designed by Nao Ikeda, who based their clothing on the athletic clothing styles of basketball, beach volleyball, and snowboarding, respectively.[128] Gadot, Lebreau, Maqui and Yuj are respectively voiced by Zack Hanks, Anndi McAfee, Daniel Samonas and Jeff Fischer in English, and by Biichi Satō, Yū Asakawa, Makoto Naruse and Wataru Hatano in Japanese.[57]

Antagonists[edit]

Galenth Dysley[edit]

Galenth Dysley (ガレンス・ダイスリー Garensu Daisurī?) is the Primarch (ruler) of the Sanctum government in Cocoon and serves as the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XIII. His true form is Barthandelus (known as Baldanders (バルトアンデルス Barutoanderusu?) in the Japanese version), lord of the Cocoon fal'Cie[156] created by the fal'Cie deity Lindzei.[157] Dysley's ultimate goal is to use the l'Cie-forged beast Ragnarok to destroy Cocoon and summon the Maker, the creator of Pulse and Cocoon, back into their world. He even goes so far as to use anti-Pulse propaganda to instil fear in the citizens of Cocoon. The first attempt, the War of Transgression, fails through the intervention of Etro.[130] In the battle of Cocoon at the end of the game, Dysley manipulates Cid to cause a coup d'état in Cocoon. When confronted by the team in Orphan's Cradle, Dysley plays on their emotions with illusions of Serah and Dajh before being mortally wounded by the party, causing his body to be assimilated into Orphan. Dysley is voiced by S. Scott Bullock in English and Masaru Shinozuka in Japanese.[57]

Orphan[edit]

Orphan (オーファン Ōfan?) is a wheel-like, sun-elemental fal'Cie who serves as the chief power source of Cocoon, kept within Eden. Both Orphan and the Cocoon fal'Cie had been planning its demise in order to reunite with their creator in the aftermath of the resulting mass genocide of every human in Cocoon.[158] After Orphan assimilates the mortally wounded Dysley, it fights the party, and seemingly transforms the Cocoon-based members into Cie'th. It then proceeds to torture Fang and Vanille to invoke Ragnarok. However, Lightning and the others gain a new focus for a peaceful world and force Orphan into its true form before the party defeats it in the game's final battle. Orphan's shell is voiced by Julia Fletcher and S. Scott Bullock in English, and by Mie Sonozaki and Masaru Shinozuka in Japanese. Its true form is voiced by Michael Sinterniklaas in English and by Hiro Shimono in Japanese.[57]

Yaag Rosch[edit]

Yaag Rosch (ヤーグ・ロッシュ Yāgu Rosshu?) is a Lieutenant Colonel of the Sanctum who acts as a secondary antagonist in Final Fantasy XIII. He serves as the director of the government's military branches and pilots his personal fighter, the Proudclad. Despite questioning the Sanctum's motives, he follows their orders for the sake of Cocoon's people.[159] He first meets Lightning's party in Palumpolum, resulting in a fight that he loses. The party escapes with the help of the Cavalry. When the party escapes from the Palamecia, Rosch attempts to attack piloting the Proudclad, but fails as a result. Rosch again confronts Lightning's party in Eden, but he survives the fight and escapes. He and his troops go into Eden to defeat Orphan, only for his troops to be turned to Cie'th. He confronts the party once more while there, and loses once again. After the battle, Rosch reveals to the party that he knew the fal'Cie were in control the entire time, feeling their guidance and anti-Pulse propaganda was the best for Cocoon without realizing their true intentions.[160] Rosch orders the Sanctum troops to suspend l'Cie operations and allows the party to enter Orphan's Cradle to save Cocoon before sacrificing himself by using a grenade, unleashing an explosion which annihilates him and the monsters pursuing the party.[161] Rosch is voiced by Jon Curry in English and Hiroki Tōchi in Japanese.[57]

Jihl Nabaat[edit]

Jihl Nabaat (ジル・ナバート Jiru Nabāto?) is a minor antagonist in Final Fantasy XIII, a Lieutenant Colonel of the PSICOM branch who also serves as Galenth Dysley's subordinate, commanding the airship Palamecia. Days earlier, Nabaat takes Dajh from Sazh so the Sanctum can determine his Focus. Later, using Dajh to lead her to Sazh in the pleasure capital of Nautilus, Nabaat plays on Sazh's emotions by revealing Vanille's part in his son becoming a l'Cie with the intention of killing Vanille.[162] Nabaat's attempt fails, however, and she captures Vanille and Sazh. Nabaat enrages Sazh by her intent to use Dajh as a memorial before detaining them aboard the Palamecia.[163] Lightning's group later infiltrates the Palamecia and rescues Sazh and Vanille, much to Nabaat's dismay. When the party confronts Dysley, Nabaat prepares to fight them to cover Dysley's escape. Dysley states that Nabaat has outlived her usefulness, and kills her using his fal'Cie magic.[164] Though dead, Nabaat's spirit regains physical form during the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2 as a combatant in the Coliseum. Nabaat is voiced by Paula Tiso in English and Mie Sonozaki in Japanese.[57][58]

Caius Ballad[edit]

Caius Ballad (カイアス・バラッド Kaiasu Baraddo?) appears in Final Fantasy XIII-2 as the main antagonist. Hailing from the distant past prior to the War of Transgression, Caius is a former Pulse l'Cie who became the Guardian of the seeress Paddra Nsu-Yeul. At some point, to protect the seeress and her city from an invading army, Caius transforms himself into a Bahamut Eidolon, thus killing himself to save her.[165] Etro, touched by his sacrifice, gives him her own heart, the Heart of Chaos, so he could become Yeul's eternal guardian[166] and eventually as the living repository for his visions.[167] However, this gift soon turns into a curse, as seeing Yuel die repeatedly makes him hateful towards Etro, attempting to condition Noel to be his killer before deciding to enter Valhalla and kill the goddess personally. As Serah and Noel encounter the past versions of him during their journey, Caius uses his knowledge of the timeline to create the various paradoxes they deal with while he battles Lightning in Valhalla. After barely managing to defeat her, Caius enters a final battle with Noel and Serah. Eventually, after being defeated in his Eidolon form and with Noel still refusing to kill him, Caius manages to force Noel's blade through himself, destroying Etro's heart. Though he seems to die, he is later seen in the game's secret ending, seated on Etro's throne and saying that he and Yeul can begin their lives in the "new world".[168]

In Lightning Returns, it is revealed that the contradicting desires of Yeul's incarnations have brought Caius back, with his body and soul becoming one with chaos and thus being beyond salvation.[169] Lightning engages in a fight in the remains of Valhalla before learning of Caius's condition, along with his intention to stay in Nova Chrystalia to serve as custodian of the new Unseen Realm to guide the dead.[170] Caius is seen after Bhunivelze's defeat, where he explains that the Yeuls intend to become the new goddess of the dead.[171] As a final act before the new Unseen Realm is completely formed, Caius allows the final incarnation of Yeul to depart with Noel for the new world.[151]

Caius Ballad was designed by Yusuke Naora, with the final design being selected from several ones offered.[27] Watanabe called Caius a "unique" villain for the series, due to his almost-noble goal of saving Yeul from her perpetual curse of early death and reincarnation, as opposed to many other Final Fantasy villains who sought destruction.[172] His role in XIII-2 earned the character the title of "Best Villain" in Game Informer's 2012 RPG of the Year awards.[173] Caius is voiced by Liam O'Brien in the English version and Hiroshi Shirokuma in the Japanese version.[58][59]

Adam[edit]

Proto fal'Cie Adam (デミ・ファルシ=アダム Demi Farushi Adamu?, Demi fal'Cie Adam) is a minor antagonist in Final Fantasy XIII-2. It is a man-made fal'Cie created to re-levitate Cocoon.[174] However, utilising a crossroads between time periods, Adam is able to use the AI that helped design it to kill the humans and seize control of the city of Academia.[175] When Noel and Serah fight Adam, it uses the crossroads to continually rebuild itself after each defeat:[176] finally, Serah uses the crossroads to send a warning to Hope, who halts the project in his time and erases Adam from existence.[177]

Bhunivelze[edit]

Bhunivelze (ブーニベルゼ Buniberuzei?) is the key deity of the Final Fantasy XIII universe and the main antagonist of Lightning Returns. He plays a key role in the world's history, being the creator of the world's main deities and the indirect creator of both humanity and the fal'Cie. It is he who makes Lightning the savior, a figure who must save the souls of Nova Chrysalia in preparation for the birth of a new world.[178] His wish is to purge humanity of their memories, leaving them free of all burdens and knowing only happiness in the new world.[179] While having the Order of Salvation carry out his plans for humanity, he makes Hope his host and conditions Lightning to become the replacement for Etro.[180] Lightning chooses to rebel and thwarts the Order's mission, Bhunivelze decides to wipe out humanity himself by destroying his new world and become the collective soul of a new human race.[181] Lightning fights him, wounding him and freeing Hope from his control before uniting with the souls of humanity to defeat him. After his defeat, Lightning states that even if he survived, humanity would defeat him once again.[182] The character is voiced by Daniel Riordan in English and Yūki Kaji in Japanese.[59]

Other characters[edit]

Dajh Katzroy[edit]

Dajh Katzroy (ドッジ・カッツロイ Dojji Kattsuroi?) is the 6-year old son of Sazh Katzroy. Four days prior to the start of Final Fantasy XIII, Sazh visits a store to get a baby chocobo for his son. After Dajh becomes a l'Cie, Jihl Nabaat captures him and uses him to sense the energy of "Pulse" to track down other l'Cie. After finding his father, he turns to crystal, having completed his Focus.[183] Dajh, along with Serah, returns to normal after the defeat of Orphan and is reunited with Sazh. In XIII-2, Dajh is separated from his father when they are sucked into the Void Beyond, a limbo between time periods.[184] After Sazh reunites with him, the two travel to Academia and are witness to the unleashing of chaos after Etro's death. In Lightning Returns, Dajh's soul has fragmented and he has fallen into a coma. As his father is driven into despair trying to awaken him, Dajh becomes frightened of waking.[126] Lightning manages to retrieve the fragments of his soul and rekindle Sazh's happiness, enabling Dajh to wake.

Dajh was originally meant to be a nine-year-old, but was made younger by designer Nao Ikeda to gain more sympathy with the player, saying she wanted someone the player would "want to pick up and [give] a hug".[185] In an interview with Famitsu, Ikeda said that Dajh's afro hairstyle was meant to be a baby version of Sazh's own hair.[186] Dajh is voiced by Connor Villard in English and by Shōtarō Uzawa in Japanese in XIII.[57] In Lightning Returns, he is voiced by Andre Robionson in English and Wataru Sekine in Japanese.[59]

Cid Raines[edit]

Cid Raines (シド・レインズ Shido Rainzu?) is a supporting character in Final Fantasy XIII, a Sanctum Air Force Brigadier and leader of the Sanctum's Calvary branch. Like Rosch, Cid has doubts about the Sanctum in its current state, and believes that Cocoon should be run by its people. Recruiting Fang after she gets separated from Vanille, Cid has her and his subordinate Rygdea capture Snow and use him to find the other l'Cie under the impression that the Calvary would back them up as he helps the party escapes from Yaag Rosch in Hope's home town, and then stage a rescue mission on the Palamecia to save Sazh and Vanille. However, it later turns out that Cid is actually a Cocoon l'Cie, aiding the group under orders from Dysley before acting on his own to kill them for the safety of Cocoon's people.[187] Defeated, Cid returns to Dysley to replace him as Primarch under orders to create chaos in Eden, Cocoon's capital city. After being confronted by the Calvary when the party invades Eden, Cid tells Rygdea to kill him and end his misery.[188] In Lightning Returns, the dead use Cid's visage to communicate with Lightning.[189] Through Cid, they tell her the truth about the Order's plans and that Vanille can save the dead, though in doing so she would be rebelling against Bhunivelze.[190] A character named Cid appears or is mentioned in every main Final Fantasy; this appearance is the second Final Fantasy game to feature a Cid character in an antagonistic role, after Final Fantasy XII. Cid is voiced by Erik Davies in English and by Yuichi Nakamura in Japanese.[57][59]

Rygdea[edit]

Rygdea (リグディ Rigudi?) is a supporting character from Final Fantasy XIII. He is a member of the Sanctum Cavalry, a unit loyal to Cid Raines and secretly opposed to the fal'Cie. It is he who extracts Snow and Serah in her crystal form after Anima made them l'Cie, then he helps save them again when the l'Cie are ambushed at Hope Estheim's house. During the battle that erupts on Cocoon with Cid's appointment as Primarch, Rygdea takes command of the Cavalry and confronts Cid, then ends up fulfilling Cid's request to end his life as a l'Cie.[188] Although he is never encountered during XIII-2, the novels Fragments Before and Fragments After, confirm that Rygdea survives when the rest of the Cavalry is turned into Cie'th. He eventually exposes the Sanctum's secrets and establishes the Academy with Bartholomew Estheim.[191] Rygdea is voiced by Josh Robert Thompson in English and Yasuyuki Kase in Japanese.[57]

Bartholomew and Nora Estheim[edit]

Bartholomew Estheim (バルトロメイ・エストハイム Barutoromei Esutohaimu?) and his wife Nora (ノラ Nora?) are Hope's parents and supporting characters in Final Fantasy XIII. Prior to the first game's events, Nora takes Hope to see a festival in Bodhum, and the two end up being selected for the Purge. When Snow and his group NORA free the refugees, Nora chooses to join their efforts. During an attack, Nora shields Snow from a missile attack, but she only has time to ask him to get her son home before she dies.[192] When Hope, Lightning, and Fang arrive at Hope's house with a wounded Snow, Bartholomew allows them to shelter there, managing to forgive Snow for failing to save Nora.[84] When the Cavelry help the four escape, Hope restrains his father, making him appear a victim and thus protecting him from Cocoon's authorities.[193] After the fall of Cocoon, Bartholomew helps set up the provincial government after the fall of the Sanctum.[191] He dies of natural causes some years later.[194] Nora is voiced by Komina Matsushita in Japanese and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn in English, while Bartholomew is voiced by Masaki Aizawa in Japanese and André Sogliuzzo in English.[57]

Paddra Nsu-Yeul[edit]

Paddra Nsu-Yeul (パドラ=ヌス・ユール Padora Nusu-Yūru?) is a Pulsian seeress hailing from the city-state of Paddra on Gran Pulse prior to the time of the War of Transgression, having written Analects relating to the event, Etro, Ragnarok, and the Eidolons. In the novel Fragments After, it is shown that Yeul was the first human created, and that for some unknown reason her soul does not fade after reaching the afterlife. Taking pity on her, Etro gives Yuel the ability to see the future, called the Eyes of Etro,[195] and enables her to be continuously reincarnated throughout history. Though meant for the best, Yuel's ability to see the future becomes a curse, since each vision drains her lifeforce and she consequently always dies in her teens.[157] Because of her cruel fate, Caius Ballad, who had seen each Yuel live and die since before the War of Transgression, makes it his goal to destroy Etro and end time itself so Yeul would no longer die.[196]

Despite her cursed state, Yeul remains gentle and supportive of Noel and Serah's quest, and it is later revealed that she allowed herself to be reborn in order to be with Caius.[197] Only one manifestation of Yeul, who is seen wreathed in chaos in the Void Beyond and Valhalla, appears hostile towards the travelers and resentful of her fate.[198] In Lightning Returns, the many versions of Yeul take up residence in the ruins of Etro's temple, with Caius as their guardian. It is revealed that Yeul's constant reincarnation caused her soul to fragment, with each previous life mingled into the unseen Chaos that triggered the events of XIII-2.[199] As the world ends, the souls of Yeul choose to stay and become the new goddess of death to restore the cycle of life Etro established.[171] The final incarnation, who shares a strong bond with Noel and wishes for a new life, is allowed to leave and live as a normal human.[200] Yeul is voiced by Amber Hood in English and Mariya Ise in Japanese.[58][59]

Mog[edit]

Mog (モーグリ Mōguri?, Moogle) is a moogle (a creature frequently found in the Final Fantasy series) who acts as a supporting character in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Mog comes from a place called the Ocean of Time, where moogles seem to live in some numbers.[201] After the events of Final Fantasy XIII, Mog is pulled from his home into a paradox, losing his memories in the process, and eventually finds his way into Valhalla.[202] There, he helps Lightning defeat a Bahamut Eidolon,[157] then is sent with Noel to become Serah's "good luck charm".[203] While traveling with Serah and Noel, he acts as Serah's weapon-to-hand and helps them in their quest. At one point, while resolving a paradox, Mog recovers his memories and is given the chance to return home. Instead, he chooses to remain by Serah's side.[204] In Lightning Returns, Mog has moved to the Wildlands and become the leader of a the last moogle community to exist in the world.[125] When Lightning meets him, he feels guilty because of Serah's death, but he is revived by Lightning's promise to rescue Serah's soul.[205]

Mog was designed by Toshitaka Matsuda, who was asked to asked to make the character into a mascot for the game. He designed Mog in the image of an infant, and redrew it repeately until he was satisfied with the balance of features.[76] Mog was originally designed to be Serah's sole companion during XIII-2, but this was changed at a late stage when it was decided that it would clash too much with the game's general atmosphere.[29] Mog's voice proved a challenge for the sound designers in terms of non-verbal answers and noises: eventually, they created several different versions of "Kupo", the Moogle's trademark sound, with one signifying each of Mog's possible moods. At one point, Mog was talking too much in-game and the designers had to go through the game toning down the amount of dialogue he had.[206] In XIII-2 Mog is voiced by Ariel Winter in English and Sumire Morohoshi in Japanese.[58] For Lightning Returns, Mog is voiced in English by Bailey Gambertoglio.[59]

Alyssa Zaidelle[edit]

Alyssa Zaidelle (アリサ・ザイデル Arisa Zaideru?) is a supporting character from Final Fantasy XIII-2. Originally a young woman from Cocoon, she is involved in the Purge, hiding the ruined city of Bresha with a group of survivors. During the events at the end of Final Fantasy XIII, the roof of their hiding place collapses. Though Alyssa was meant to die, when time becomes distorted and the paradoxes erupted, she is resurrected, though she is still haunted by dreams of her true fate.[207] She joins the Academy and works as an assistant to Hope, going into hibernation with him after he initiates the construction of the new Cocoon. Although she is initially supportive of Noel and Serah's quest, she eventually betrays the two to Caius after learning that their quest to correct the timeline dooms her to vanish. But they escape and, while planning to kill Hope, the part of the timeline that brought her back is corrected, causing her to fade from existence.[208] She is voiced by Kim Mai Guest in English and Yōko Hikasa in Japanese.[58]

Chocolina[edit]

Chocolina (チョコリーナ Chokorīna?) is a supporting character that first appears in Final Fantasy XIII-2. In Sazh's DLC episode, it is revealed that Chocolina is the chocobo chick that Sazh bought for his son before the events of the first game, with Dajh choosing her name after those events.[209] While Sazh is whisked away to Serendipity, the chocobo gets separated from him and makes a wish to help others. This is granted by Etro and she is given a human body that can exist across all of time.[210] After that, she serves as a merchant and helper to Serah and Noel on their journey. She returns as a supporting character in Lightning Returns, minding the Canvas of Prayers, and also appears in her original chick form during the quest to save Sazh's soul.

Chocolina was originally meant to be a waitress in Serendipety, but her design impressed Toriyama enough that he expanded her role into something akin to a shop clerk, and the director wrote a new backstory and new dialogue for her.[211] Isamu Kamikokuryo said that though Chocolina's jovial manner and scanty outfit at times clashed with the game's overall atmosphere, he felt she was a good inclusion.[28] Chocolina is voiced by Julie Nathanson in English and Seiko Ueda in Japanese.[58][59]

Lumina[edit]

Lumina (ルミナ Rumina?) is a supporting character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Initially appearing as a doppelganger of Serah, she is eventually revealed to be an embodiment of Lightning's personal trauma as a child that created a physical form from the Chaos to contain Serah's soul.[72][212] Lumina meddles in Lightning's journey, aiding her or being a hindrance, before eventually revealing her true identity and integrating back into Lightning's mind once she comes to terms with her need to be helped by her friends.

Lumina was designed by Toshiyuki Itahana, who had worked on multiple titles in the Final Fantasy series. Her look has been described as a "Gothic lolita" style.[37] Her personality and actions were made to be unpredictable, with her both aiding and hindering Lightning on her journey.[213] In creating her childlike appearance and extravagant movements, the development team tried to make them as realistic as possible.[42] Lumina is voiced by Jessica DiCicco in English and Kanae Ito in Japanese.[59]

Cultural impact[edit]

Merchandise[edit]

In conjunction with the game's release, Square Enix produced a lineup of merchandise including jewelry, action figures and other goods related to the characters. Most of the merchandise is released in Japan. The items produced include Lightning's necklace, Snow's necklace, a l'Cie-themed lighter and a l'Cie-themed card case. Three full-colored action figures of Hope, Fang and Odin have also been displayed in the Square Enix Japan merchandise page, along with character posters.[214] To promote the game and its heroine, Square Enix also licensed production of a perfume branded as "~Lightning~ eau de toilette".[215] In 2012, in what Yoshinori Kitase called "a very exciting opportunity",[216] the April issue of Arena Homme+ magazine showed multiple characters from XIII-2 modeling outfits for Prada's spring and summer collections.[217] Characters from the games appeared on the packaging of snacks produced by Ezaki Glico to promote Lightning Returns.[218]

Critical reception[edit]

The characters of Final Fantasy XIII have received mixed and positive opinions from reviewers. Ben Dutka of PSX Extreme said that the voice acting for the characters are "interesting" and that the cast was "a competent one, even if some characters can begin to chafe after a while." He also said that the player "might grow tired of Lightning’s gruffness and Vanille’s bounciness in the early goings but they begin to show new emotions as [the player] progress[es]."[219] 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish applauded the characters as "the best-defined group of protagonists the series has ever seen" and also praised them for their development in the story. Parish also commented that the characters "worked through their differences and demons and feel like comrades" during the story's development.[220] IGN editor Ryan Clements drew a favorable comparison to the characters of Final Fantasy VI and enjoyed the characters' multi-story approach and the flashbacks in the storyline.[221] Adriaan den Ouden of RPGamer said the characters were "fantastic" and also praised the voice acting. However, den Ouden said that in the introduction to the game, the characters "lacked any kind of development for the first few hours [of the game], and the result is a confusing plotline with uninteresting characters that leaves a terrible first impression".[222]

The characters introduced in XIII-2 received a mixed reception, with some praising their inclusion and others saying they were too weak. Ryan Clements felt that the characters seemed to have no clear focus, with the only driving force being the quest for Lightning.[223] VanOrd thought the characters were good, but said that the game focused too much on Serah and Noel, rather than the more engaging characters of Lightning and Caius.[224] Dale North of Destructoid was the most positive, finding the characters very well fleshed out, understandable and well-voiced by the cast.[225] den Ouden thought that the characters alright and well voiced, but "[fell] flat when the actors [had] awkward dialogue to work with".[226] Alexa Ray Corriea of DualShockers found the characters entertaining and their development absorbing despite the story's shortcomings, with the best additions to the cast being Noel and Caius.[227] Juba was extremely critical of the characters and their story, seeing the company taking the "weakest" characters and placing them center stage, while the "best" characters, such as Lighting and Fang, were relegated to the background.[228] Parish was disappointed in the character's development, saying that Serah was never given any true power within the game's narrative, and that Noel was under-developed beyond his original premise, with the "stronger" characters from the original game being a noticeable loss. On top of this, he disliked how the two "least liked" characters from XIII (Serah and Hope) were given such large roles.[229] Parkin was especially critical, saying the characters were "irritating or forgettable, full of fuzzy or weak motivations and stuffed with tortuous, posturing dialogue". Despite this, he said that Serah's warmth endowed the game with a comforting atmosphere.[230]

The characters' resolutions in Lightning Returns received much criticism. Marty Silva of IGN found the writing for the characters uninteresting, and that the game had "forgotten why we ever liked these characters in the first place."[231] VanOrd stated that every character was "defined by the most basic of traits, all of which serve the needs of the plot, rather than the plot flowing from the needs of the characters." He also felt that their dialogue was overly frequent and poorly written.[232] GamesRadar's Ryan Taljonick found Lightning off-putting, and saw the inclusion of the other characters as "more like a ham-fisted attempt at fan-service than a critical plot element."[233] Kotaku's Mike Fahey was also unimpressed both with Lightning and how the other characters had stayed very much the same between XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, with them needing Lightning to move on.[234] In contrast, Tony Polanco of DualShockers praised the character's voice acting, saying it added strength to the "often times melodramatic plot depth and credibility".[235] Dave Riley of Anime News Network found that the characters had improved slightly over their previous appearances, saying "Dropping the pretense of stoic seriousness transmutes some of the sub-series's most insufferable elements into something marginally more tolerable, especially as it regards its main character."[236]

References[edit]

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  114. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Hope: I think I know what you mean. I'm the same way. It all happened such a long time ago. I remember it clearly, but the feelings? They're gone. / Lightning: Maybe that's how God wants it. Maybe emotions in his servants just distract us from what we're supposed to do. So he got rid of them for us. / Hope: Maybe he did. And maybe returning me to childhood was part of his plan, too." 
  115. ^ "Hope in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII; Hope is younger?! (in Japanese)". Famitsu. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  116. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Hope: It's too late for me now. I had a job. I was God's eyes and ears, made to watch over everything you did. But now the last day is here, and God doesn't need me anymore. I'll just... disappear." 
  117. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: You? You're Bhunivelze? / Hope/Bhunivelze: My savior. [Dissolves Fang, Vanille and Snow's physical forms and absorbs their souls] These are mine." 
  118. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: This is the last soul I'll save. Hope, I'll set you free!" 
  119. ^ Nelva, Giuseppe (15 June 2013). "It’s Official: Lightning Got a Boob Job for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII". DualShockers. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  120. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Sazh: My son Dajh. He was picked. He's a l'Cie. He said he wanted to see a fal'Cie. So, I took him on a tour of the Euride Gorge plant. Thought I surprised him with a Chocobo chick to take home, but the second I turned my back... ...into the energy plant he went." 
  121. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Sazh: I'm pathetic. / Vanille: That's my line. I'm the one who lied to everyone. / Sazh: Forget it. You can't change what's done." 
  122. ^ Eishima, Jun (16 December 2010). "Part IV". Final Fantasy XIII Episode i (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. 
  123. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog - Serendipity: 'Serendipity' is the name of a fantastical wonderland that appears in the folklore of Gran Pulse, and was first imagined by a certain minstrel of old. [...] The fortunate souls that gain entrance experience joy and amusement beyond measure, cavorting in an eternal 'now' that knows neither day nor night." 
  124. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Sazh: You just told me the world is gonna end! [...] There's gotta be something we can do! / Owner: Unfortunately not. It has already been decided. There is nothing we can do, but to let it happen. / Sazh: But... Alright. Here's how it's gonna be. I can't just sit here and do nothing. [...] Take me where I need to go to make a difference." 
  125. ^ a b Spencer (21 August 2013). "Sazh And Mog Also Return For Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII". Siliconera. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  126. ^ a b Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lumina: Sazh was desperate to save his son - but that desperation nearly drove him mad. Dajh saw what was happening and got scared. So he hid his heart away." 
  127. ^ "Feature: Final Fantasy XIII - Lightning Strike". Official PlayStation Magazine (Future Publishing) (256): 84. May 2009. 
  128. ^ a b "FFXIII: Sporty Nora Members & The Short Demo". PS3Hyper. 9 March 2009. Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2009. 
  129. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Vanille: My name is Oerba Dia Vanille. I am a l'Cie from Gran Pulse. And to everyone on Cocoon...evil." 
  130. ^ a b Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog - The Heavenly Deceit: Ragnarok took wing; made to smite Cocoon, and thereby deliver us our everlasting peace. [...] The Goddess pitied the fools who so blindly bowed to Lindzei's will, and so She robbed Ragnarok of power, putting the l'Cie to an early crystal sleep, Focus yet incomplete." 
  131. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog – The War of Transgression: Several hundred years ago, the armies of Pulse attempted to invade Cocoon in a conflict known today as the War of Transgression. The Sanctum fal'Cie were able to repel the lowerworld forces before they breached Cocoon's interior, but not before they managed to seriously damage areas lying near the world's outer rim." 
  132. ^ Eishima, Jun (21 June 2012). "1: imaginary and real". Final Fantasy XIII-2: Fragments Before (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. pp. 5–35. ISBN 978-4-7575-3466-7. 
  133. ^ a b Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Serah: So this is a dream after all. But, why did you come? / Fang: Because you've needed help. [...] We've come to break you out of this fantasy of yours." 
  134. ^ Rusty (27 June 2013). "東京都港区のSSJ品川ビルにて行われた『ライトニングリターンズ ファイナルファンタジーXIII』×プレコミュ体験会の模様をお届けする。". Dengeki Online. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  135. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog – The Winds of Chaos: Vanille herself says that she wants to use this power to bring the peace to the dead. It is a wish born of the remorse that she still feels for all the deaths for which she believes she was responsible." 
  136. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Vanille: They're begging for their suffering to end. But... No matter how much pain they feel, none of them asked to be destroyed. Not a single one. [...] And I didn't listen. Instead, I was going to perform the Soulsong and destroy them forever. [...] / Lightning: There is a better way, Vanille. You can lead them to safety. Show them the way up, into the Ark. Once they're there, they will be reborn in the new world..." 
  137. ^ Ishaan (21 March 2010). "Siliconera Sounds Off: Wrapping Up With The Voice Behind Vanille". Siliconera. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  138. ^ a b Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Fang: I've got a few screws loose, but I'm a l'Cie, same as you. Difference being... ...I wasn't born on Cocoon. I'm from Gran Pulse. The 'world below' you all hate so much. My partner and I'd turn to crystal and gone to sleep. But when we came around, here we were. The reason Cocoon's in such an uproar is the same reason that you're here now. Vanille and I woke up." 
  139. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Fang: It's my fault Gran Pulse ended up like this, isn't it? / Vanille: Wha-? / Fang: I remember everything. I became Ragnarok. I scarred Cocoon. And I left Gran Pulse in this mess. It was me. [...] / Vanille: You're lying! / Fang: No, it's the truth. It's all my fault. / Vanille: Don't say that!" 
  140. ^ Nelva, Giuseppe (4 July 2013). "Fang is Back in the New Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Trailer". DualShockers. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  141. ^ Tanaka, John (21 October 2009). "Final Fantasy XIII Update". IGN. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  142. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Caius: It's as I feared, you are too weak. / Noel: I don't understand you, Caius. All this talk of killing you, and destroying the past. Do you think any of that will make Yeul happy? Do you really? / Caius: I don't want to please her. I want to save her." 
  143. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: I thought if I could become Etro's chosen warrior, like Caius, I would have the power I needed to change Yeul's fate. So I set my sights of Valhalla - the home of the goddess." 
  144. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Serah: Noel [...] If we keep going through the gates, and resolving paradoxes and changing history... Doesn't that mean the future you come from will change along with everything else? / Noel: Perhaps it will become a future where I never existed. / Serah: Is that possible?! / Noel: Sure it is, but it's okay if it does. There's too much sadness in my world. It would be better if it never happened." 
  145. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: Snow only cares about the people he's trying to protect. Damn the consequences, damn himself. / Serah: And you... you hate him for that. / Noel: Yes, I hate him. But... I understand him too." 
  146. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: Yeul died when she was only fifteen. Seeing the timeline exacts a terrible tole on the body. And Serah...you can see the timeline too. / Serah: You mean...I'm about to die? / Noel: You're okay right now. [...] The more we change the future, the more history changes. And the more you see, the sooner the visions will destroy you." 
  147. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: I never wanted to hurt anyone. I didn't want to lose my Yeul. I didn't want to lose any of them. No-one deserves to die. Not even you, friend. Farewell." 
  148. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: All this time, you've been dreaming of a new world where you're reunited with Yeul. / Noel: It's no dream, Lightning. The future's right there in the Oracle Drive. If I kill the savior, then the world will be reborn. And this time, it's going to happen like it's supposed to. It's going to work." 
  149. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: I failed once before, long ago, but you know that story. I defeated a friend because I believed I could save everyone. Everyone went wrong. [...] I destroyed the world." 
  150. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: You murder innocent people, and expect me to do your bidding? / Goddess Disciple: But Hunter! You know we did it for you! For the prophecy! / Lightning: Having a falling out? / Noel: Don't insult me, Lightning. You think I'm with these guys? Fanatics with blood on their hands?" 
  151. ^ a b Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Caius: If it is your wish - you will die in her place. / Noel: Go ahead. Do your worst. / Caius: Then swear on your life... Keep [Yeul] safe." 
  152. ^ "Square Enix Magazine, issue 1 (page 15)". Square Enix. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  153. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: It's a stupid acronym. Their little code. Stands for "No Obligations, Rules, or Authority"." 
  154. ^ Spencer (13 November 2013). "NORA Won't Return For Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  155. ^ "【FFXIIIシリーズ後日談小説 #03】「ノラは軍隊より強い!」~Get Back(ノラ". Dengeki Online. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  156. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Dysley: Oh child, perish the thought. I am more than that! [Dysley transforms into the fal'Cie Bartandalus] Barthandelus: I am fal'Cie. My name is Barthandelus. Voice of the Sanctum, and Lord-Sovereign of the Cocoon fal'Cie." 
  157. ^ a b c Eishima, Jun (21 June 2012). "2: prayer and wish". Final Fantasy XIII-2: Fragments After (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. pp. 17–63. ISBN 978-4-7575-3650-0. 
  158. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog - The Door of Souls: When our earthly vessels meet their end, the souls they housed must leave this world. [...] Must they not pass through the same doorway the Divine employed to reach that place that lies beyond? [...] The Door would be thrown wide, and perhaps we might even glimpse the gleaming light of Divinity beyond." 
  159. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Snow: Aw, cut the crap! You want l'Cie, then kill l'Cie! Why do other people have to die? The Purge has got to stop! / Yaag: Do you think we want to Purge our own people? If any trace of Pulse remains, the populace will erupt into Chaos. Without sacrifice, without the Purge, Cocoon will die!" 
  160. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Rosch: I believed their rule was best for Cocoon's present and future prosperity. But it seems that I have misjudged their benevolence. If this is my punishment, I accept it." 
  161. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Rosch: This is...this is PSICOM Director Rosch. Attention all PSICOM and Guardian Corps units. Suspend l'Cie operations. I repeat, suspend l'Cie operations. All units should focus their efforts on evacuating the civilian population. I do not issue this order as an absolute. You are free to make the choice. [...] I'll trust in your humanity, l'Cie. The fate of Cocoon is in your hands. This is my end. The end which I have chosen!" 
  162. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Jihl: Yes. That young lady's terrorist assault at Euride Gorge is the reason your son was made a l'Cie. Ironic, isn't it? The very girl you were protecting is the one who stole your son." 
  163. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Jihl: Your son is a hero. The boy who saved Cocoon. We'll erect a memorial in Eden and place his crystal on display." 
  164. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Dysley: Why don't you leave, Jihl. Or rather, take your leave. Humans have no business here." 
  165. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Fragment - Chaos Brand: A massive battle once raged on Gran Pulse. Paddra was besieged by a great army that sought the life of the seeress. In the face of this assault, Caius chose to perform an 'incarnate summoning.' This ritual merged his essence with that of the Eidolon Bahamut [...] and thus Caius did perish." 
  166. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Yeul: The seeress possesses the Eyes of Etro, and inside Caius beats the Heart of Chaos. The Goddess has gifted him the curse of eternity." 
  167. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Yeul: He is tasked with protecting the seeress and remembering her visions. Now and forever, he will remember the entire timeline. Caius, he is beyond death." 
  168. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Caius: They have seen all of history, all of its possibilities. They have seen all the endings, but they must know the Goddess Etro is already dead. Her end is final: no man, woman or god can bring her back now. [...] Yeul, let us begin. We are freed from our eternal curse. Embrace the new world." 
  169. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Caius: So you're here as the savior, to offer me salvation. / Lightning: It's for Yeul's sake. She asked me. [...] / Caius: You think you know what she wants? Even if one Yeul prays for my salvation, another demands the opposite." 
  170. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Caius: I shall cast this body into the Chaos. I shall be the sheperd of all the souls... destined to wander the darkness, never be reborn in the new world." 
  171. ^ a b Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: We don't need God anymore. / Caius: The living don't need a god, but the dead do. A god to protect them. A god of salvation. / Yeuls: We shall become that god. We will rule over the Unseen Realm, and from there, we will look over the cycle of death and rebirth." 
  172. ^ The Complete Official Guide to FINAL FANTASY XIII-2. Piggyback Interactive. 3 February 2012. p. 318. ISBN 978-1908172112. 
  173. ^ Juba, Joe (25 December 2012). "2012 RPG of the Year Awards (page 2)". Game Informer. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  174. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog – Proto Fal'Cie Project: The Proto fal'Cie Project began in 13 AF, under the direction of the Academy. The objective was to develop an artificial fal'Cie in order to re-levitate Cocoon. The project was proposed and designed by Alyssa Zaidelle, and directed by Hope Estheim." 
  175. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Serah: Noel, do you realize what this means? The Proto fal'Cie could have used this place to travel through time and infiltrate the artificial intelligence. Then it could have manipulated the AI to kill all the humans in the tower, and build the fal'Cie of Academia's future. / Noel: You're saying the Proto fal'Cie took control of the AI and ordered it to build.. the Proto fal'Cie. It's a closed loop. A chicken-and-egg paradox." 
  176. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Serah: Just a sec! If the Proto fal'Cie can manipulate the past, that means... / Noel: It can travel back in time and rebuild itself. / Mog: As long as the crossroads exists, you cannot defeat the Proto fal'Cie, kupo!" 
  177. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: Okay. You saw Serah getting mad at you, so you canceled your project, and then poof, the Proto fal'Cie disappeared. Is that about right? We didn't destroy it do much as it never existed in the first place." 
  178. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog – Almighty Bhunivelze: Almighty Bhunivelze, god of light, stands above all others and holds the world in his palm. After creating Pulse the wild, Lindzei the wise, and Etro, the goddess of death and Chaos, Bhunivelze retreated from man's sight and slipped into a long slumber. It was Bhunivelze who called to Lightning, forcing her to awaken from her long crystal sleep and become the savior." 
  179. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: Then you'll do it all over. Rebuild the world, the sky, even the people. But with no memories or feelings...and no past. / Hope/Bhunivelze: The perfect people for my perfect world. Free. Knowing only joy. Unfettered by grief and grudges." 
  180. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Hope/Bhunivelze: Etro is gone, and she will never return. The new world needs a new goddess, one who can restore the cycle of death and rebirth. You must become the ruler of Chaos... The goddess who takes the souls of the dead and places them in the hearts of the newly born." 
  181. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Hope/Bhunivelze: Millions of human souls, yearning for life, ready to be reborn. And yet... the moment of renewed life, recedes. My glorious new world must be destroyed. / Lightning: After you went to all that trouble. / Hope/Bhunivelze: It is your doing. You stopped the sacred one from singing the Soulsong. The souls are poisoned. prisoners of their past and of their fates. What God has created, he can destroy. I shall burn it in an ocean of flame." 
  182. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Hope: Is it over? Is God really dead? / Lightning: He's fallen into the unseen realm. Does that mean he's destroyed or merely sleeping? I don't know. Maybe one day. he'll return... But even if he does, it doesn't matter. We'll win again." 
  183. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Jihl: The capture of undesirables. It seems that was your son's Focus. [...] Dajh was a great help. He could sense power of Pulse origin." 
  184. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Fragment - Cartesian Board: The Void Beyond is a chasm between the seen and unseen worlds. It is a space of shadows that are cast long and dark from Valhalla itself. Many form closed, incomplete worlds that are known as temporal rifts. There are other kinds of places here, too, such as palaces and battle arenas molded from nothing more substantial than hopes, dreams, and passions." 
  185. ^ Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega (in Japanese). Tokyo: Studio Bentstuff. 4 October 2010. p. 326. ISBN 4-7575-2958-9. 
  186. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (11 September 2009). "Get Your First Look at Sazh's Boy". Andriasang.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  187. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Cid: I put you on the path. That was my Focus. / Fang: You're a l'Cie?! / Cid: Since long before we met. [...] I'm here of my own accord, not by fal'Cie order. [...] If I can defeat you here, the fal'Cie plan will fail." 
  188. ^ a b Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Rygdea: So Raines, is this the Cocoon you dreamed of? / Cid: My dream is but a fal'Cie's fancy now. End it." 
  189. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: Cid Raines. / Cid: That was once a man's name, but now it means nothing. His soul has dissolved into the swirl of Chaos. [...] I am the voice of the many, of the countless multitude who call Chaos home. I am the speaker for the dead." 
  190. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: She can do what I can't. Vanille can bring salvation to the dead. / Cid: Yes. But she doesn't know what she is capable of. The Order has kept the truth from her. [...] The Soulsong will destroy us and make you forget we ever existed. Murder on a grand scale. / Lightning: You want me to stop her, right? / Cid: Yes. And then you must tell her what her real power is, so she can lead us to salvation. / Lightning: Is this what you all want. / Cid: It is. But it is not God's will. If you answer our prayer, it will mean defying Bhunivelze." 
  191. ^ a b Eishima, Jun (21 June 2012). "4: fair and foul". Final Fantasy XIII-2: Fragments Before (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. pp. 136–192. ISBN 978-4-7575-3466-7. 
  192. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog - Nora Estheim: Nora is Hope's mother. [...] Wanting to protect her boy from the horrors of the Purge, she volunteers to join the battle, but is killed during the chaotic conflict. Nora begs Snow to get Hope home, but the NORA leader never hears the boy's name before she slips from his grasp." 
  193. ^ Square Enix (9 March 2010). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: We're leaving. Hope, tie up your dad. We threatened you and forced you to help us. Got it? / Bartholomew: There must be something else.. / Hope: Do what she says! I can't let you get dragged into this." 
  194. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: What about your family? You'll never see them again. / Hope: That was no longer an issue for me. My father had already passed away by then." 
  195. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog – Eyes of Etro: The 'Eyes of Etro' is another name given to Yeul's power to see changes in the timeline. [...] Every time a seeress has a vision, a part of her life force is drained away." 
  196. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Serah: But why, Caius? Why do you fight us? / Caius: To save her. [...] I will slay the goddess and return everything to Valhalla. In a place without time or future, Yeul will be free for eternity." 
  197. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: You really think this will make Yeul happy? / Caius: Which Yeul are you talking about? I've known and protect hundred of Yeuls. [...] They all died. All of them, before my eyes! / Noel: But despite that, she chose to live again... So she could be with you! [...] She knew her next life would be short. She knew! Because she wanted to see you again! Again and again without end!" 
  198. ^ Jun Eishima (21 June 2012). "9: Coda". Final Fantasy XIII-2: Fragments After (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. pp. 238–241. ISBN 978-4-7575-3650-0. 
  199. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lumina: You can see it now, right? Why time was distorted, why the world fell apart? Why you got dragged into Valhalla? It was all because of the power of the unseen Chaos. And the Chaos came from that girl, reborn and splintered, generation after generation. From Yeul." 
  200. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog – Rebirth: The battle was over. Etro's place would be filled by the Yeuls who had become one with the great Chaos. But a single Yeul was returned to Noel." 
  201. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: So this is it. The Ocean of Time. [...] / Mog: [...] I remember everything now. We are headed to the place where I was born, kupo." 
  202. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Serah: When Mog was still a young moogle, he was playing hide-and-seek with his friends. Somehow he ended up getting swallowed by a paradox. Before he knew it, Mog was drifting farther and farther away from the land where he grew up. [...] On top of that, he had forgotten about his home, his friends and his family." 
  203. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: A good luck charm. Give him to Serah." 
  204. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Noel: So you're sure about this, Mog? / Serah: You don't know if you're going to get another chance. Are you sure you don't want to think about this just a little bit longer? / Mog: Why do you say that, kupo? Mog has a new home - right be Serah's side, kupo." 
  205. ^ Square Enix (11 February 2014). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: You've shed a lot of tears for Serah, haven't you? / Mog: Kupo... / Lightning: But blaming yourself for what happened is just gonna make her sad. You know that. / Mog: Serah's gone, kupo. Gone forever. / Lightning: Her soul is still out there. And I promise you. I'm going to bring her back. / Mog: R-really, kupo? / Lighting: Really." 
  206. ^ "Exclusive: Meet Final Fantasy XIII-2's sound team". Destructoid. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  207. ^ Square Enix (31 January 2012). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Alyssa: Five years ago, the entire town of Bodhum was wiped out by the army. [...] We ran and hid with the other fugitives. But just as the troops were pulling out... that's when the ceiling of our hiding place collapsed. Ever since then, I've had the same dream: I'm trapped under rubble. It's dark, I'm in pain and I can barely breath. The next thing I know, I rise out of my body and I'm standing before this grave. And the name written on the stone... It's mine." 
  208. ^ Eishima, Jun (21 June 2012). "6: back and reverse". Final Fantasy XIII-2: Fragments After (in Japanese). Tokyo: Square Enix. pp. 133–179. ISBN 978-4-7575-3650-0. 
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