Lightning (Final Fantasy)
|Final Fantasy character|
Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII
|First game||Final Fantasy XIII (2009)|
|Created by||Motomu Toriyama|
|Designed by||Tetsuya Nomura
Isamu Kamikokuryo (XIII-2)
|Voiced by (English)||Ali Hillis|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Maaya Sakamoto|
|Weapon||Blazefire Saber (Gunblade)|
|Special attack||Army of One, Legion of One, Zantetsuken|
Lightning (ライトニング Raitoningu?) is a fictional character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. She first appears as a playable character and main protagonist of the role-playing video game Final Fantasy XIII, featuring as a resident of the artificial world of Cocoon. After her sister Serah is declared an enemy of Cocoon, Lightning attempts to save her: she and others are then chosen by the fal'Cie, a divided race of demigods who rule the worlds of Gran Pulse and Cocoon, to destroy Cocoon. She reappears as a supporting character in Final Fantasy XIII-2, residing in the netherworld of Valhalla as protector of the Goddess Etro. She is the sole playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, in which she sets out on a quest to save the people of her world, which is destined to end in thirteen days. She is also featured in other games within the series, most notably the crossover game Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.
Lightning was created by Motomu Toriyama, the game's director and scenario writer, and designed by Tetsuya Nomura, a regular character artist for the Final Fantasy series. Their idea was to create a female protagonist new to the series and who was strong, good at fighting, and less feminine than previous Final Fantasy heroines. Aspects of her early design and character were later changed or transferred to other characters. Over the course of the games, she went through multiple design changes, many of which were meant to reflect her role and development in each game, particularly in Lightning Returns. Her Japanese name was originally a placeholder, but eventually became her real name.
Lightning has received mixed commentary from fans and critics – much of it relating to her cold personality, which was compared to that of Final Fantasy VII's protagonist Cloud Strife. She was also criticized for her relative absence in XIII-2. Her role in Lightning Returns had a mixed reception; some critics saw her as underdeveloped and unlikable, while others found her better developed and more human than in previous games. Nevertheless, her strength character development have been well received for allowing her to stand out among female video game characters.
Lightning was designed by regular Final Fantasy character designer Tetsuya Nomura, who had previously served as the character designer for Final Fantasy VIII and X. Conflicting accounts have been given on the ease of deciding on a design: some staff have claimed that multiple designs—including some by other staff members—were considered, while Toriyama has claimed that "one look at [Nomura's] design made [him] say 'This is it!' She looked so cool and strong that there was no need for any retakes." Because of the graphic capacities of the game's prospective platforms, Nomura was able to include far more detail in her design than in previous Final Fantasy characters, including her cape and facial features. However, this also necessitated far more effort on his part. Commenting on her original design, Nomura explained that she is essentially a "cool character", meaning that she was serious and unforgiving, but that he couldn't make the character too masculine for fear of losing player empathy. Her earlier characteristics included having blonde or silver hair and Asian-looking features. The final art was made less Asian-looking than originally conceived, while the silver hair color was given to Hope Estheim in favor of pink. Lightning's final hair color and hairstyle was made to reflect her femininity, and to balance against her athletic body. Her motif was roses. Daisuke Watanabe, while writing the script for XIII, paid particular attention to developing the character's non-romantic relationship with Snow Villiers and her development as a person while protecting Hope.
Lightning's real name is Claire Farron in English and Éclair Farron (エクレール・ファロン Ekurēru Faron?) in Japanese. During the early stages of production, Lightning's real name was to have been Averia: "Eclair" was used to keep her then-real name secret, but it was eventually chosen as her official name. Her English name, Claire, was chosen over Eclair because the latter name was closely associated with a type of pastry, a problem not present in the Japanese version due to differing phonetics. "Lightning" was not chosen by Nomura but by other members of the development team: Nomura had wanted to abandon the common weather-related naming tradition for Final Fantasy protagonists, and was surprised by the choice. Lightning's home never appeared in Final Fantasy XIII, but the original work by Isamu Kamikokuryo is contained in an artbook; several models were constructed before this aspect of Lightning's life was removed from the game due to space issues. Her weapon, the Blazefire Saber (known as Blaze Edge (ブレイズエッジ Bureizu Ejji?) in the Japanese version) was created to mirror the transforming nature of the game's summons, the Eidolons, as well as the theme of change found within the gameplay. Odin, Lightning's Eidolon, was designed around the concept of a father figure for the character.
Due to global demand and the development staff's desire to further Lightning's character, development began for a sequel to Final Fantasy XIII. The original game ended with a lingering question: "Is Lightning really happy?" The conclusion of the story in Final Fantasy XIII-2 was to have provided a clear answer to this question. Toriyama revealed in an interview that, even before the decision was made to make a sequel, he had wanted to create a happy ending for the character. After Nomura made a rough sketch to show how Lightning should look in the sequel, Kamikokuryo did the final design. Her outfit was redone several times by Kamikokuryo, with a qipao and a science fiction-style outfit both discarded as they seemed to clashed with the game's atmosphere; the final design was inspired by the valkyries of Norse mythology. The outfit was meant to reflect the environment around Lightning. The feather motif in her outfit was meant to represent both her light and delicate side and her growing powers. She was depicted as having transcended her human limits, making it "kind of hard to approach her" as a person.
Her outfit in Lightning Returns was designed by Nomura, who was told by Toriyama to create something representative of her final battle, with "strength" as the main guideline. The outfit was designed along the lines of a "leather body suit", with the arms given patterns in the style of a spinal column and the primary colors as white and red. Nomura later commented that he had felt "a strong reaction within [himself]" while creating Lightning's final look. Nomura's design was also cited as Kamikokuryo's favorite out of the many outfits designed. Her other outfits for the game were designed by Kamikokuryo, Toshiyuki Itahana, and Toshitaka Matsuda: many of them drew inspiration from the character designs of regular Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano. In addition to the new costumes, Lightning's in-game model was rebuilt from the ground-up, her bust was enlarged and several of her outfits were made to show her off in a more feminine way. For the game's epilogue, Toriyama wished for Lightning to appear in a normal setting and clothes. Some ideas for the ending were to have Lightning either meeting or speaking with her allies, but Toriyama wished the story to both start and end with her alone. He has claimed that Lightning was the Final Fantasy series' "first female protagonist" with her solo role in Lightning Returns.[note 1]
Toriyama wanted Lightning to be a new type of female character, with an athlete's body and a less feminine nature than some of the previous female characters of Final Fantasy. His guideline to Nomura was to make her strong, beautiful, and "like a female version of Cloud from [Final Fantasy VII]". Commenting on the resemblance, Toriyama stated that the similarities between the characters only extended to their cold personalities and their military backgrounds, but that otherwise "Lightning really [was] her own person." Nomura also compared the two during an interview shortly before the Japanese release of Lightning Returns, saying that he had "desired for her to be carefully developed and loved for a long time, like Cloud." Toriyama commented in an interview that, among the characters he had been involved in creating, Lightning was his favorite female character from a video game, alongside Yuna from Final Fantasy X and Yoyo from Bahamut Lagoon.
In contrast to other characters within the series, whose personality traits were molded to fit the story, Toriyama conceived Lightning's basic personality before the game's narrative or basic mechanics had been finalized. Toriyama has described her demeanor as cold, which was intended to have an entertaining dynamic with Snow's outspoken nature. Nomura had stated earlier that Lightning had "a strong element of mystery about her character". Lightning originally had a more flirtatious aspect to her personality, which was transferred to Oerba Yun Fang when Oerba was changed from male to female. For the last XIII game, the developers wanted to portray Lightning in several different lights as opposed to her more set-in-stone personas in her prior appearances. One of their highest priorities was to make Lightning a character who had lost much in her life and become deeply vulnerable as a result. Designer Yuji Abe elaborated that, because of her losses and newfound vulnerability, Lightning came across as darker, slightly numbed to her surroundings, and "like a puppet, like someone who doesn't quite have her real self inside." He elaborated that this effect "shows the kind of vulnerability she has, and it's the point from which she starts to change afterward." The decision to expand her personality in this way was originally suggested by Yoshinori Kitase, who was concerned that Lightning's coolness in previous games had made it difficult for players to bond with her.
Across her speaking appearances, Lightning is voiced by Ali Hillis in English and Maaya Sakamoto in Japanese. Sakamoto found that Lightning impressed her as "cold", "strong", and a "female warrior" and that she had been asked to portray the character with strength betraying hidden vulnerabilities. She initially found it strange to voice Lightning, as she was used to gentler roles such as Aerith Gainsborough, a central character in Final Fantasy VII and its companion media. Commenting on the difficulty of balancing Lightning's depiction as both a woman and a professionally trained warrior, Kitase noted that Sakamoto's acting helped bring out Lightning's femininity. Hillis was given the role of Lightning after reading a few lines provided to her, then given a book about the Final Fantasy XIII universe which she said was a little "overwhelming" when she read it. One of the challenges Hillis faced involved listening to the Japanese dialogue and trying to capture the emotion and energy of Sakamoto's performance for the character's English rendition. She also said later that she tried to help the staff of the XIII games portray Lightning as a real person, saying: "I think that was my main priority, to make sure that Lightning had every single layer of who she was as a person, not just a game character, but a real person with layers and history and relationships to every single character in the game...even the Chocobo!" Over the course of the trilogy, Hillis felt that Lightning "maybe [became] a little more sarcastic...a little more hardened to everything that's going on around her and has [needed to evolve] into a real warrior". She was impressed by how much of an impression the character had made on the Final Fantasy fanbase.
Final Fantasy XIII series
In Final Fantasy XIII: Episode Zero: Promise, a novel set before the main game, it is revealed that Lightning and Serah's parents died when they were young and Lightning resolved to become her sister's protector, but ended up neglecting her in the process. She grows to harbor dislike for Snow's relationship with Serah and the activities of his group NORA. Lightning discovers too late, on her 21st birthday, that Serah has been branded as a l'Cie—a human cursed with magical powers and a task to complete within a time limit—by the Pulse fal'Cie Anima, initially thinking that Serah was using it as an excuse to get married. She then resigns her position as a member of the Guardian Corps and submits herself for the Purge, a forced relocation of citizens who have come into contact with Anima, to save her sister.
In Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning reaches Anima along with Hope, Sazh Katzroy and Oerba Dia Vanille, three of the surviving exiles. When they find Serah, she turns to crystal after asking them to save Cocoon. Lightning and the party defeat Anima, and are marked as l'Cie when PSICOM, Cocoon's main military force, destroys Anima. Skeptical of Snow's faith to save her sister, Lightning abandons both him and Serah: the pair are later rescued by Oerba Yun Fang and the Cavalry, a rogue section of Cocoon's military forces. Lightning ends up traveling with Hope. During their time together, she inadvertently summons Odin, and protects and trains Hope to fight, inadvertently supporting Hope's plan to kill Snow. During the course of the game, Lightning struggles to deal with her nature as a l'Cie and her anger. She realizes that she had been misdirecting her anger at being made an enemy of Cocoon, and resented herself for distrusting her sister. This realization allows her to acknowledge Snow's relationship with Serah and his faith that they will restore her to normal. After killing the fal'Cie Orphan to save Cocoon, Lightning, Serah and all the party but Fang and Vanille are allowed to continue their lives as humans.
In Final Fantasy XIII: Episode I, a short novel which takes place immediately after Cocoon's fall, Lightning, feeling uneasy about whether her battle is over or not, leaves to find a way to save Fang and Vanille from their fate. Before she leaves, she gives her blessing to Snow and Serah's marriage. Eventually, she finds herself caught in a dark void, but decides to keep moving forward.
In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning disappears from Gran Pulse with everyone except Serah thinking she sacrificed herself to save Cocoon with Vanille and Fang. In reality, Lightning was brought to Valhalla, capital of the Goddess Etro, as a direct result of Etro releasing her and the others from being l'Cie. This, in turn, causes the timeline to become distorted and Lightning to be erased from that moment in history. Though tempted by Caius Ballad to return to her own world, she chooses to stay in Valhalla and protect the dying Etro from Caius, hoping to atone for the deaths she caused during her time as a l'Cie. She eventually asks Noel Kreiss and Serah to stop Caius from releasing Valhalla's chaos into the world of the living. In her DLC episode, Requiem of the Goddess, Lightning is defeated by Caius after learning of her sister's death and her role in it. Though she nearly falls into despair, she is comforted by Serah's spirit, who reassures her and asks not to be forgetten. Vowing to not lose hope and remember Serah, Lightning sits on Etro's throne and turns to crystal, allowing her be unaffected as the chaos is released.
In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning is revived after five hundred years by the god Bhunivelze. The world is set to end in thirteen days, and Lightning is chosen as the savior, a spiritual guide for the souls of humanity: in return, Lightning will get the chance to resurrect Serah. Aided by Hope, she frees her former allies of emotional burdens, reunites with Odin in the form of a white Chocobo, and frequently crosses paths with Lumina, the physical manifestation of the vulnerabilities Lightning suppressed when she took on her codename. During her journey, she begins to doubt her humanity, and upon learning that Bhunivelze stole Serah's soul from her and manipulated her memories, plans to betray him when the new world is formed. On the final day, Lightning fights Bhunivelze, who wishes to transform humanity into his ideal image and has been shaping Lightning as Etro's replacement. Though prepared to fulfill her new role, Lightning accepts Lumina as a part of herself and calls for aid. Everyone she has saved, including Serah, unite with her and defeat Bhunivelze. Lightning then witnesses the creation of a new universe and goes with her allies and the souls of humanity to a new world. In the game's epilogue, she is seen going to reunite with one of her friends.[note 2]
Aside from her appearance in the XIII games, Lightning has appeared in several spin-offs within the Final Fantasy franchise. In the fighting game Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Lightning is one of the warriors summoned by the goddess Cosmos during the 12th war between her and Chaos. She was meant to debut in Dissidia Final Fantasy, but the idea was scrapped as Final Fantasy XIII had yet to be released and Square Enix did not want to reveal her abilities ahead of time. During Dissidia 012, Lightning's group is confronted by beings called Manikins, which inflict permanent death on those they defeat, threatening the world's cycle of rebirth. She leads an expedition to the portal from which the Manikins are emerging, and the group sacrifices their lives to close it. Lightning bears three alternate outfits in the game, including one based on the character Aya Brea, made available as downloadable content by using a given password when purchasing The 3rd Birthday. Lightning also appears in a series of special Full Active Time Events (FATEs) in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. In the plot, Lightning appears in the land of Eorzea along with many monsters during her time in crystal stasis between XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. It is hinted in a conversation with her that she was sent to Eorzea by Bhunivelze to hone her skills in preparation for future battles in her world. After the FATEs are completed, Lightning meets up with the Adventurer one last time, saying that she is thankful for the time spent in Eorzea and that the deity that sent her would regret what they did. As she fades, she asks the Adventurer to remember her time there. Players who participated in the FATEs received gear themed after items and weapons from the XIII games and clothing modeled after Lightning and Snow's outfits in Final Fantasy XIII.
In the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and its sequel Curtain Call, Lightning is a playable character representing the Final Fantasy XIII games. In Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, Lightning is featured in her XIII-2 form. She also makes appearances as a playable character in the mobile crossover games Final Fantasy: All the Bravest and Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, a powered-up character form in Final Fantasy Explorers, a chibi figure in Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Mobile, and a character card in Final Fantasy Artniks. During speculation about her continued role in the series after Lightning Returns' release, Kitase clarified in 2013 that she would appear in spin-off titles, but that her role in the main series had ended. Outside the Final Fantasy franchise, Lightning can be found within a minigame in Kingdom Hearts Re:coded where the player creates avatars for themselves.
In merchandise and promotion
Lightning has been used as the theme for multiple pieces of Final Fantasy XIII-themed merchandise produced by Square Enix. The two pieces directly inspired by the character are Lightning's necklace and a mild perfume. Along with this, action figures of Lightning in her three main iterations were produced by Play Arts Kai, who have frequently made action figures of characters and creatures from the Final Fantasy series. Several cards depicting the character are also available in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. Lightning in her outfit for Final Fantasy XIII appeared in a live-action PlayStation commercial titled "Michael", alongside characters like Nathan Drake, Kratos and Cole McGrath. An actress also portrayed the character in her XIII-2 attire during the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Event during Asia Game Show 2013. She was portrayed again in a Japanese live-action/CGI TV commercial for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. In April 2012, Lightning and other characters from XIII-2 were featured in a 12 page section in the male fashion magazine Arena Homme + showcasing Prada's designs. Lightning was also featured on the packaging of snacks produced by Ezaki Glico as part of a campaign to promote Lightning Returns.
Lightning's character has received mixed reviews. When Final Fantasy XIII was still in development, Anime News Network's writer Todd Ciolek expected Lightning's activities in the game to be insufficiently innovative, and he found Sazh's chocobo pet more likable than her. In a review of the finished game, Ciolek opined that Lightning is initially "far too distant and cold, as though the writers were so intent on creating a tough, competent heroine that they forgot to make her at all compelling". However, he admitted that after hours of playing the title, Lightning becomes a more appealing lead character. Wesley Yin-Poole of VideoGamer.com simply referred to Lightning as a female version of Cloud. Jeremy Parrish of 1UP.com commented that if it were not for Lightning's scenes in which she shows a thoughtful side, she "could simply be your typical, sullen Square protagonist". On the other hand, GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd called Lightning a "likeable, strong-willed beauty" while commenting on her interactions with the other main characters of the game. Martin Robinson of IGN UK stated that Lightning "instantly endears herself" due to the scenes in which she punches Snow whenever he gets full of himself, but commented that due to the fact her backstory "soon gets bogged down in generic swash", the character of Sazh became more appealing than her. GamesRadar's Carolyin Gudmundson was unenthusiastic, opining that while Lightning's narrative had its points, "it certainly isn't above and beyond what we'd typically expect", later commenting that this resulted in her coming off as "one-dimensional and boring". In his analysis of the game as a whole, Gamasutra author Christian Nutt commented that Lightning's relationships with Snow, Serah and the rest of the cast added a level of humanity to the narrative.
Her small amount of screen time in Final Fantasy XIII-2 was criticized by several outlets, especially in contrast to her large presence on the game's cover. Game Informer's Joe Juba was disappointed that Lightning had been transferred to a supporting role in favor of the likes of Serah and Hope, whom he saw as weaker characters than Lightning. Alexa Ray Corriea of DualShockers said that while the game's protagonists did a good job, she felt that fans of the first game would be sorely disappointed about Lightning being "side-lined". Simon Parkin of Eurogamer felt that the game's story suffered for lack of Lightning's single-track determination driving the pace. In his review, GameSpot writer VanOrd was disappointed that Lightning, along with Caius Ballad, had relatively limited screen-time, since they came off as stronger characters. Her appearance in Lightning Returns also received mixed reactions: Juba, for example, felt that Lightning did not grow enough as a person during the narrative, while IGN's Marty Silva felt that her increased coldness made her "downright unlikable." VanOrd also felt that Lightning "[was not] interesting in and of herself", having become "a vessel for holding and pouring plot devices", and that her stoicism would make it difficult for the player to connect with her. Parish, writing for USGamer, stated that Lightning had become "downright apathetic", showing "no personality whatsoever", and that this clashed violently with the ability to dress her in various costumes. In contrast, Parkin commented that some of the game's side quests, such as herding some sheep or helping a girl find her doll, helped to humanize Lightning and make her likable, while Destructoid's Dale North found that the costumes and dialogue available lightened her character, making her "not so flat and lifeless now, which [was] a big improvement." Dave Riley of Anime News Network found that Lightning's stoic attitude was a better fit for her role in the game.
Despite her relatively few and often minor appearances, Lightning has been widely ranked as a popular video game character. In a VideoGamer.com listing of the best ten Final Fantasy characters, Lightning was sixth; writer Yin Poole found her interesting in her own right despite her similarities to Cloud. In 2011, IGN ranked Lightning among the best characters in the series, saying that she demonstrated that "a delicate balance can exist between strength and tenderness, even in the midst of ... incredible acrobatic feats." In a similar list by GameZone, Lightning was ranked eighth, owing to her visual appearance as well as her determination, which GameZone felt made her "one of the strongest female leaders of the Final Fantasy series." Cheat Code Central also listed her as one of the top ten "badass" women of video games for her independence, which the reviewer felt distanced her from previous Final Fantasy heroines. Lightning ranked second in AfterEllen's list of the "hottest" video game characters. In Game Informer's list of top ten heroes of 2010, Lightning was ranked eighth and praised as the only protagonist in Final Fantasy XIII who "seemed capable of taking on the corrupt government of Cocoon"; another comment was that her "no-nonsense approach to her mission [made] her the game's standout hero". She was included in two lists by Complex, being ranked as the 19th greatest Final Fantasy character and the 39th greatest heroine in video game history.
The gaming community has received her positively as a character. In 2010, she was ranked as the 34th most popular video game character in Japan in a Famitsu poll. In 2013, Lightning was voted the favorite female Final Fantasy character in an official poll by Square Enix, and in that year's Dengeki PlayStation Awards, she was voted best video game character of the year for her appearance in Lightning Returns. Out of all the Final Fantasy XIII cast, Lightning was voted as the most popular character in a Microsoft poll. She was voted as the best character in XIII by IGN in 2014 after a two-week period of voting by readers of the site. Professional journalists and game developers have also ranked her high among important female video game characters, with her coming third in a list of top female characters in an RPG or JRPG during a panel at PAX Prime 2013.
- Director Motomu Toriyama's full quote: "We feel that every person within the party is a main character, but we feel Lightning is very impactful as the main female protagonist in the Final Fantasy series. Not only is she the first female protagonist, she is very powerful, cool, calm, and collected. So we believe that is another attractive feature of hers." This official statement addresses the common claim of Final Fantasy VI's Terra as being the first female protagonist; but does not address Final Fantasy X-2 or Final Fantasy XIII itself. According to this official statement; Square Enix identifies Lightning as the first female protagonist; without expanding on the criteria as being the female protagonist in a single character title or conventional definitions of female protagonists.
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- Square Enix (2010-03-09). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: You became a l'Cie, so now you're gonna marry this idiot? And you think I'm gonna buy that? Full points for originality. But don't forget. If you really are a l'Cie, it's my job to deal with you. / Serah: Sis... / Lightning: This is ridiculous. Worst birthday ever."
- Square Enix (2010-03-09). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Vanille: Pulse fal'Cie and l'Cie are bad news. That's why Cocoon kicked them out. Live too close to the fal'Cie? One-way ticket to Pulse! That's the Purge in a nutshell."
- Square Enix (2010-03-09). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog - Operation Nora: Operation Nora[...] the means by which he will exact vengeance on Snow. [...]Lightning soon realizes her mistake. Her lecture to abandon compassion was intended as a warning against the hesitation she fears will be his undoing."
- Square Enix (2010-03-09). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: This l'Cie curse, it took everything from me. My future. My dreams. I didn't want to think. So I fought instead. As long as I was fighting, nothing else was real. I was running away."
- Square Enix (2010-03-09). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: It was too much. / Snow: Hm? / Lightning: What happened to Serah. All I could think about was, 'What could I have done?' I hated myself for not trusting her. It hurt too much. I couldn't face it."
- Square Enix (2010-03-09). Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Snow: We will see her again, right? / Lightning: Don't go there. No room for doubt. / Snow: You're right. / Lightning: We'll see her again. And soon. You've convinced me of that. So stay strong. / Snow: Don't worry. We'll finish this, and go see her together."
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- Square Enix (2012-01-31). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: I was lost. The darkness caught me in its embrace, and wrote me out of history."
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- Square Enix (2012-01-31). Final Fantasy XIII-2. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: We must face Caius on two fronts: in Valhalla, and in the world of humans. If we don't... We won't be able to change the future. I can't do it on my own. I need your help."
- Square Enix (2012-01-31). Final Fantasy XIII-2 DLC: Another Beginning, Lightning's Story; Requiem of the Goddess. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Serah: Don't be sorry. And forget your tears. You don't need them. No matter what future is waiting for us, I'll have no regrets. No matter what end we see coming, I won't change my mind. / Lightning: You knew. You knew what would happen. [...] / Serah: I believe in you. You'll keep the future of this world safe. So it's okay. I don't mind if I'm gone. [...] Just keep me in your thoughts. Remember me, and we'll see each other again."
- Square Enix (2012-05-15). Final Fantasy XIII-2 DLC: Another Beginning, Lightning's Story; Requiem of the Goddess. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: I'll never forget. I promised you that. Even if I stand to lose everything, I'll preserve your memory for the tomorrows yet to be. [...] There are ways to keep a thought alive, and I know one that works for sure; indestructible crystal. [...] This shall be my legacy, and my atonement. But most of all, my final hope."
- Square Enix (2014-02-11). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: [Bhunivelze] told me what I had to do. I would be his servant, and if I succeeded in doing his bidding... my reward would be a miracle. He said she would live again. My sister, Serah. [...] And so I was chosen, by God, to rescue lost souls and guide them past the end of this world, and into the next. I became the savior."
- Square Enix (2014-02-11). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Serah: Do you remember? What you tried to do? You tried to kill me. [Lumina appears before Lightning.] / Lightning: You! You're me. Young...weak... / Serah: I'm Claire Farron. Her selfishness, her loneliness, her fear. That little bit of your soul that you couldn't accept."
- Square Enix (2014-02-11). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: I'm more powerful than I ever was - but it came with a price. I'm not even sure if I'm human anymore. [...] I've taken a lot of lives, more than I can count. If I had any humanity left, I would have been crushed by the guilt by now."
- Square Enix (2014-02-11). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Datalog – Lightning's Heart: Lightning has regained the memories that she lost. When she fell into the crystal sleep, it was as a vessel for Serah's soul. But Serah is no longer inside Lightning's heart. Did she lose Serah as well as her emotions when she became the savior? [...] Lightning finally reveals her intentions. If God will not fulfill his part of their bargain, then she will not stand idly by and watch him take another throne. After he has made his new world, Lightning will wrest it from his hands and give it to humanity. Even if she has to use her last resort..."
- Square Enix (2014-02-11). Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. Square Enix. "Lightning: God has bigger plans for me, doesn't he? Being the savoir was just the first step. If I could complete my task in the short time I had, then he would know. That I could carry out the real mission. And replace the lost goddess."
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- Square Enix (2013-08-27). Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows. Square Enix. "Lightning: I always seem to be at the mercy of some power of fate I can't control. In fact, I'm probably only here as part of an insane god's trial. To be tested and tempered like some unthinking weapon, so that I might be ready to fight..."
- Square Enix (2013-08-27). Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows. Square Enix. "Lightning: The time I've spent in Eorzea has been a welcome respite. [...] I'm ready to return...and ready to finish this. Hmph. God or not, someone's going to regret putting me through these trials. [Lightning begins to glow and rises from the ground] And it looks like someone was listening—just waiting for my declaration of war. I'm being called back. It's a shame; my memories of this world probably won't last... Keep them for me."
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