!!This article assumes you have played ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' and [[LateArrivalSpoiler will have unmarked spoilers]] for that game.

[[quoteright:285:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LightningAndSerah_7497.png]]

->''Time and Memory, frozen in crystal...''

'''''Final Fantasy [=XIII-2=]''''' is a direct sequel to the 13th game in the [[RunningGag baby-blendingly popular]] ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series and third entry of the ''Franchise/FabulaNovaCrystallisFinalFantasy'' sub-series, and also the fifth title in the series to be a direct sequel to a main series title. The game was teased on January 27, 2011 at the Square Enix 1st Production Department Premier Conference, and was subsequently released on December 15th, 2011 in Japan, January 31st, 2012 in North America, and February 3rd, 2012 in Europe. Like its predecessor, it is for both the {{Playstation 3}} and the {{Xbox 360}}.

Three years after the end of ''Final Fantasy XIII'', the residents of Cocoon are attempting to rebuild their lives following the loss of the Cocoon fal'Cie. Lightning is missing, assumed to have [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificed herself]] in order to stop Cocoon from falling and killing everyone inside. Only one person believes otherwise: Serah Farron, who swears that her sister emerged alive but disappeared into thin air a moment later.

When a mysterious young man called Noel Kreiss drops into Serah's life and promises to take her to Lightning, Serah eagerly accepts this opportunity to discover the truth. Noel reveals that he is a {{Time Travel}}ler, the last survivor of a [[BadFuture ruined future]] sent to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong. Using the Historia Crux gates to travel between the past, present and future of Gran Pulse and Cocoon, Serah and Noel must discover the source of the mysterious distortions that are tearing apart the walls between timelines, track down Lightning and confront an immortal antagonist from Noel's world.

The game's story continues in ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII''.

----
!!This game has examples of:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:#-D]]
* HundredPercentCompletion: The game requires you to completely fill out every map and monster[[note]]You only need to kill each monster once, not Librascope them to completion.[[/note]] and obtain all of the Fragments in order to view the Secret Ending. However, in order to do this, you will need to obtain several of the hidden monsters that would help against the harder optional encounters of the game.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Part of the Bresha Ruins area is underground and in the sewers.
* ActionCommands:
** During battle, you'll be asked to input commands via the Cinematic Action system, which allows you to do things like climb on enemies, and other cinematic stuff. Mostly, they do superficial stuff, like buffing the party, staggering the boss or just to take it down in a flashy way. Doing the last on will get you an adornment for each boss; doing them all will get you an achievement.
** Monster allies' [[LimitBreak Feral Links]] require the input of commands in order to increase the synchronization, which increases the chance of obtaining the monster killed by the Feral Link. Makes you wonder why support Feral Links even have synchronization...
* AdultFear: Sazh loses Dajh while time traveling during his downloadable episode. He is more than a little worried.
* AnAdventurerIsYou: The same roles make a return from the original game; [[AttackAttackAttack Commando]], [[ElementalPowers Ravager]], [[StoneWall Sentinel]], [[StatusBuff Synergist]], [[StandardStatusEffects Saboteur]] & [[WhiteMage Medic]].
** Lightning's DLC, Requiem of the Goddess, gives her six roles which roughly correspond to the roles Serah and Noel get. Paladin is the Commando, Knight is the Sentinel, Sorcerer is the Saboteur, and Conjurer is the Synergist. She does not get a role corresponding to the Medic, instead having two roles which act as Ravagers, the Shaman which specializes in physical attacks with elemental properties and the Mage which uses the standard Thunder spells.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: [[spoiler: Paradox Ending 5 "The Future is Hope" shows Serah riding off into a time vortex with Snow to beat the stuffing out of Caius in the future.]]
* AfterCombatRecovery: Your characters are healed after every battle, which is carried over from the first game.
* AIIsACrapshoot: [[spoiler:The A.I. of Augusta Tower did not like the idea of the Academy limiting its power, so it killed off the Academy higher-ups and took control of the tower and Academia. Its self-defense system for Academia City involves turning the citizens into Cie'th and sending them in droves to attack intruders. Its madness would later form into Academia 400AF, a BadFuture where said AI controls the entire city. Hello, [[TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL Expy.]]]]
* AllThereInTheManual:
** The Datacore system returns, although the main storyline is easier to grasp than 13. Every ending (except the secret ending scene) also grants a fragment that acts as a datacore, expanding on the information granted therein, as well as many fragments dropped from bosses and certain story events, including some surprising ones. For example, the Graviton cores [[spoiler:are actually a temporal MessageInABottle from Snow to Serah.]]
** In a more meta sense, the final datacore granted from the final bonus fight of Final Fantasy 13, [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Datalog/Analects#XIII._Fabula_Nova_Crystallis "Fabula Nova Crystallis"]], can be interpreted as spelling out 13-2's plot in a very general sense.
* AlternateUniverse: Yaschas Massif and Academia have alternate timelines that appear as a result of solving paradoxes in other locations, and they are marked with an X in the year name. (Ex. 01X AF) You can still go back to the original version of the area, though.
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl:
** [[spoiler: Caius' stated goal is to find a way to prevent Yeul from her fate of dying and reincarnating every few years, something she has done for ''millennia,'' with him standing by her side the entire time. His solution is to directly cause a TimeCrash and ''destroy time'', thus cutting off the source of her shortened lifespan.]]
** Noel believes in this. [[spoiler:His track record isn't very good though.]]
* AmbiguousRobots: Some of the monsters that look and act organic are upgraded with items like bolts and chips. These are usually the same monsters that were identified as biological weapons in the first game.
* AmbiguousTimePeriod: Several time periods you visit in Final Fantasy XIII-2 are labeled simply "??? AF" in the Historia Crux, meaning these episodes take place After the Fall but how many years after is unclear.
* AndIMustScream:
** [[spoiler:Caius, Yeul, and Serah]] are all ''walking'' examples of this trope because of Etro.
** At least three endings involve this trope. For the record, they are [[spoiler:the normal ending with Lightning, the Oerba Paradox Ending, and Augusta Tower 200AF.]]
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: You play as Sazh during the Heads Or Tails DLC.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Well, you aren't rewarded with clothes, but you can get them as downloadable content. The various monster adornments could also count as this in some cases. Most of these are earned by things such as Live Trigger Rewards, Cinematic Action Bonuses, or throwing Mog in obscure areas.
* AnimalEaredHeadband: Half the attendants of Serendipity wear [[CatGirl cat ear bands, tails, and cat paw gloves]]. The other half are {{Palette Swap}}s of Chocolina and dressed up like blue chocobos.
* AnotherSideAnotherStory: There are {{DLC}} packs where you can play a story segment as Sazh, Lightning, or Snow, and then obtain them as a party member "monster" when you complete it.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[UpToEleven To where it becomes]] extremely dark.
** Noel's backstory is that absolutely everyone can, ''and has'', died. He was the last human ever to be born, and so he's jumping around the timeline trying to prevent his backstory from happening.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit[=/=]LazyBackup: No matter how many monsters you've captured, only one can fight in battle at a time and only three can be placed in your Paradigm Pack and used in battle. If that monster dies, all monsters in your Paradigm Pack are dead and must be revived. Thankfully it also works in reverse and just reviving one of the monsters revives all 3: the same applies to healing[[note]]This works as a ''percentage'' of health. For example, if one monster has 35 percent of health left, all three in the pack have 35 percent as well. This becomes useful when you want to heal a Sentinel and replace it with a low-HP monster.[[/note]] and buffing as well.
* ArcNumber:
** Although the number thirteen doesn't appear as often as in the previous game, the Thirteenth Ark appears towards the end of the game. This means that it's now also an [[IncrediblyLamePun Ark Number]].
** Almost all {{DLC}} monsters have exactly 12 Crystarium nodes, which means that they max out at, you guessed it, level 13.
** Snow also says he's going to explore the "13 different ages" in one of the paradox endings.
** The clock in Valhalla strikes 13, the hardest Hands of Time clock faces have 13 numbers on them, and the face of the clock in one of the card games in Sazh's {{DLC}} goes up to 13.
** After completing the Fragment quests in Augusta Tower 200AF, you are awarded with the key to floor 13.
** Including the Paradox Scope battles and the Requiem Of The Goddess DLC, [[spoiler:Caius Ballad and his Chaos/Jet Bahamut forms]] are fought 13 times, the most boss battles of any ''Final Fantasy'' boss ever.
** In the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', a five-star battle rating for a standard battle was 13,000. In ''Final Fantasy XIII-2'', it's 15,000 (13,000 + 2,000 - ''13-2''.)
* ArcWords: "A future I could not protect..."; also "Time and memory, frozen in crystal."
* AscendedExtra:
** Serah becomes this after literally being a living prop in the first game.
** Same with Lieutenant Amodar (who only appeared in one scene) from the first game.
** In XIII, Zenobia of the Undying was the victim of a BaitAndSwitchBoss, being shanked by a Tonberry before her battle started. This time, she appears as the boss of Academia 400AF.
* AscendedFridgeHorror: How to create a DungeonTown. [[spoiler:Academia 400AF has Proto fal'Cie Adam transforming the population into Cie'th.]]
* AscendedMeme: The below-mentioned "LIMIT BREAK!" is not the original title. The Japanese version had the title roughly translating to "Breaking the Limits!", but the English fandom instead changed the title, and it circulated across the Internet as an [[WordOfDante unofficial title]]. When the OST was released in English, the title in the official listing was "Limit Break!".
* AttackItsWeakPoint ForMassiveDamage: Returning from the previous entry of course.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever:
** Atlas. Bonus points for being a RealityWarper.
** One of The Undying is located within Academia 400AF. It can [[ForMassiveDamage step on you]].
** Long Gui is back. It can step on you.
* AudibleSharpness: Swinging your sword on the map screen results in a distinctive "sharp sword" sound.
* {{Autosave}}: The game autosaves before key events like bosses.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The InfinityPlusOneSword for both Serah and Noel is this. The Strength and Magic stats depend on how many Fragments you have, so they can be rather weak when you first get them. By the time you'll power it up to have the highest stats, you'll most likely have almost every Fragment in the game, and there isn't much else to do. It also doesn't have any particularly good skills like other slightly weaker high-end weapons do (such as ATB+1 and ATB+50%) and they have no synth abilities.
** Twilight Odin. Yeah, he has insanely high stats and the full 6 ATB segments, but his attack speed is horribly slow, he doesn't get any decent stat gains until level 80, and it takes over 250 Crystals to max him out. You're better off with Chichu or Tonberry.
* BadFuture:
** Noel has come back in time to prevent this from happening.
** Most of the Paradox Endings lead to this.
** [[spoiler:The normal ending. Serah dying and the entirety of time on Pulse and the "new Cocoon" falling into Chaos isn't a bad future? It gets worse when it's revealed that now people can't have newborns and can no longer die naturally.]]
** But at least for the normal ending, there will still be [[VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII another sequel]] in which will fix this to some degree.
* TheBadGuyWins:
** [[spoiler:The normal ending, which doubles as a bit of a MindScrew and ends with ToBeContinued.]]
** [[spoiler: Paradox Ending 3, the one with the Flans.]]
** Pretty much all the paradox endings lead to this, as they all end up with [[spoiler: Noel and Serah being incapacitated in some way, and trapped for good, so no one can still stand up against Caius. Even if this wasn't the case, the normal ending shows that even though in the actual timeline they are there to try and stop him, it doesn't matter since he wins anyway due to his plan being able to be pulled off if he dies or if he succeeds.]]
* BagOfSpilling:
** Averted because the heroes of this game aren't the same as the last one.
** Inverted with Lightning, who is now more powerful than ever.
** Justified for the rest of the XIII party since their l'Cie brands are removed at the end of XIII and they as such lose all their gained powers, no justification for the equipment though.
** Also averted (in a [[ZigZaggedTrope weird way]]) with Snow, as he's BroughtDownToNormal at the end of XIII along with the others, but at some point he [[spoiler:gets a fal'Cie to brand him since he needs the extra power on his quest]].
* {{Bathos}}:
** Mog provides levity in many serious scenes by being poked or comically shaking his wand in the background.
** The player can create this by having monsters with ridiculous accessories on during serious boss fights.
** The "funny" answers to some of the Live Trigger events can make Serah seem like some kind of fool. At one point you can have her ask Noel how much he thinks a [[GreenRocks time-warping artefact]] would sell for, right after a mid-game boss fight with the BigBad.
* BattleCouple: At one point in the game, you fight Caius with only Serah and one of your {{Mons}}. This trope comes into play when that Mon is Snow, her fiancé, assuming that you have bought the {{DLC}} featuring him and unlocked his crystal.
* TheBeastmaster: Serah and Lightning have the ability to tame monsters and have them fight with them. Of course, some monsters cannot be tamed.
** Caius has an army of monsters to fight for him in the opening cutscene, but he never makes use of this power again other than that...
* BeefGate:
** In order to unlock the gate in the Archylte Steppe to reach the Vile Peaks, you'll have to defeat three Gigantaurs (one at a time, not all at once), which are very powerful the first time you visit the location.
** A near-''literal'' one can be found in Academia 400 AF. While you're following Caius, the path you're ''not'' supposed to take is blocked off by a large Undying. You know, the Cie'th that were [[BonusBoss Bonus Bosses]] in the original game? At this point, your attacks will barely make a dent in it even when Staggered, and all its attacks one-shot you. The game is reminding you to ContinueYourMissionDammit.
** Long Gui is one if you decide to abandon all common sense and fight it instead of scaring it off with thunder like you're supposed to.
* BettingMiniGame: You can play slots and chocobo racing (and in {{DLC}}, cards) in Serendipity and bet coins.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Serah is very nice and gentle, but if you don't do your homework, cause mischief, or doom humanity, you will be in for quite the scolding! Which is also the case in one of the optional mission areas.
--> Meanie Miss Farron! Meanie Miss Farron!"
* {{BFS}}: Caius' sword is about as big as he is. He can still swing it pretty fast.
* BigDamnHeroes:
** Hope when you first meet him.
** Snow has one in one of the [[{{MultipleEndings}} Paradox Endings]]: [[spoiler:In Academia 4XX AF, Snow arrives with the "time police" to arrest Alyssa for conspiring with Caius. After informing Hope that he will be assassinated in three days, he invites Serah to come with him on his journey to defeat all the different Caiuses spread across the timeline. Serah happily agrees, and the two set off on their own adventure.]]
** [[spoiler:Fang and Vanille pull Serah out of New Bodhum Year Unknown.]]
** [[spoiler:Serah and Noel in the Paradox Ending at Archlyte Steppe.]]
* BigNo: Noel yells a big one when [[spoiler:Serah has another vision that effectively kills her.]] [[SoundtrackDissonance While Square Enix]] [[MemeticMutation continues to play inappropriate music]].
* [[spoiler:BigSleep: Yeul (multiple times). Also, DiesWideOpen is narrowly averted and becomes this when Serah dies.]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:Alyssa]]
* BittersweetEnding:
** All Paradox Endings except [[spoiler: #3 (the Flan one) and #5 (Alyssa's secret)]]. The ''canon'' endings are [[spoiler:listed under DownerEnding.]]
** [[spoiler: Lightning's Episode and its affect on the canon ending. Sure, the world is still enveloped in chaos, Serah is still dead, and Lightning is crystallized, but there's hope: Lightning reveals she will reawaken one day, and she and Serah will meet again one day.]]
* TheBladeAlwaysLandsPointyEndIn: Lightning's gunblade which she then uses as a SteppingStoneSword to swing herself into the fight. An obvious ShoutOut to [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII her base character]].
* BlackoutBasement: Yaschas Massif 10AF is under an eternal "eclipse" due to a paradox bringing the global eclipse of the sun from after Cocoon's fall (in Noel's timeline).
* BleakLevel: A Dying World 700 AF, New Bodhum 700 AF, and Valhalla. Also, by proxy, the Void Beyond.
* BlessedWithSuck:
** The Eyes of Etro. [[spoiler:Leaving aside the fact that this "gift" is indirectly responsible for Caius' RageAgainstTheHeavens, let's focus on Serah. At ''no point'' does Serah gain a benefit from the Eyes of Etro; she never has a vision of the future that helps her in some way or allows her to solve a problem that she wouldn't be able to otherwise. Instead, she only suffers the negative side-effects and eventually dies from them.]] It's also the most useless Fragment Ability in the game, allowing you to slightly adjust the camera angle during in-game cutscenes.
* [[spoiler:BlondesAreEvil: Alyssa.]]
* BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine: If you pick the odd or funny answers during Live Triggers, Serah becomes the boke and Noel is the tsukkomi.
* BoobyTrap: [[spoiler:The artefact given to Serah and Noel by Alyssa in Academia 4XX.]]
* BookEnds: The tutorial and final boss fights are against Caius and his Eidolon in Valhalla. This goes even further in the Lightning DLC where you fight Caius again, in the REAL FINAL BOSS BATTLE, so it still works.
** In the ending of Final Fantasy XIII, Vanille and Fang go into crystal stasis to stop Cocoon from crashing into Gran Pulse. [[spoiler: In the ending of XIII-2, Lightning goes into crystal stasis to preserve the memory of Serah, and ride out the storm of the TimeCrash that occurs.]]
** The tutorial battle and the Lightning DLC(which is more or less THE REAL FINAL BOSS) battle have you playing as Lightning alone.
** This was how the collector's edition was made: the main box is a literal book binder. The front (in Japanese reading, [[StealthPun if you're wondering]]) is Caius and the back is Lightning.
* BonusBoss: XIII-2 has MANY BONUS BOSSES compared to XIII. The Long Gui returns, and despite only having a quarter of the HP it had in XIII, it's still extremely tough to put down. Yomi is a weaker (but still formidable) version of Vercingetorix. And finally, there's Raspatil, a horrifyingly powerful Undying Cie'th that's probably the hardest fight in the vanilla game.
** The DLC Coliseum battles are all nasty even at maximum level, so this makes up for the normal game being pretty easy. One of the hardest ones is Jihl, the one person everyone who played XIII wanted to kill and now can't because of her summoning tricks and Sadistic Surge, and Gilgamesh, who has almost 10 million HP, can heal himself for 1 million after stagger and once he reaches half HP, he goes into enhance power mode, complete with auto-haste and attacks that even a Sentinel can struggle to keep up with.
*** The most notorious fighters in the Coliseum however, are Snow and Valfodr. First off, before you can fight Valfodr, you have to fight Snow, who has 10 million HP and if you don't provoke him into attacking someone else and he continues to attack the same character for a set amount of time, he will use a TotalPartyKill attack that you cannot survive even if you use Sentinels. And his attacks are BRUTAL. He is relentless and extremely strong, even at Max level. He can even use the WOUNDING SPELL on you to reduce your max HP. Once you defeat him, you fight Valfodr. He has five forms, progressively getting harder. While Level 1 and Level 15 aren't too much to be concerned about, at Level 45, he summons monsters that constantly heal him and gains a powerful axe attack. At Level 70, he summons Chichu - the ever famous best commando in the game - and gains a group attack that can kill even a triple Sentinel party (Reprieve won't save you either). And while he doesn't summon anything at level 99, his attacks are even more powerful, and he's much quicker.
* BossInMookClothing: Proto-Behemoth, Tonberry...
** When you first go to Yaschas Massif and people tell you not to get into fights with behemoths in the pitch-black areas, they're not kidding. It is possible to win the fights, but it's not easy, and not exactly super-rewarding either.
* BossRush: [[spoiler:The ending consists of multiple fights against Caius, in different forms. In order, Chaos Bahamut (that one you saw in the opening fight), Caius himself three times in a row [[FourIsDeath plus a fakeout]], and the Bahamut Trio as the FinalBoss. Jet Bahamut, Caius' OneWingedAngel form, has over 1 million HP, and the end total for all of these combined is around 2 million. Oh, and the other two Bahamuts prevent Jet from taking any damage or being targeted, and Jet can, upon completion of a countdown, kill any character not in Sentinel form.]]
* BraggingRightsReward: The Odinblade and Odinbolt don't achieve their full potential until you've acquired every fragment, at which point they receive a large jump in damage output, but then there's nothing to use them on... [[AvertedTrope except]] [[DownloadableContent the DLC coliseum fights]].
* BreakMeter: The same mechanic as the first game makes a return.
* BrickJoke:
** An Undying Cie'th was [[BaitAndSwitchBoss killed by a Tonberry]] in XIII. The same one shows up in XIII-2 as a boss in Episode 4.
** The ''mirror''. It played no role, and was there as a prop. That same mirror is a [[UnusualEuphemism euphemism]] for [[spoiler:a parallel dream world where all desires could come true.]] It was further evidence that everything was bleeding into each other, and where you got your first artefact.
* BridalCarry: Caius to Yeul during the opening credits, which was also a [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII familiar sight]] to some players.
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu:
** [[spoiler:You can kill Caius by stabbing his heart. Which was also the heart of the Goddess of Time. Which causes [[TimeCrash time itself to collapse]] and the world to end. Which was the villain's objective all along.]]
** Also in half of the Paradox Endings. Just to list: [[spoiler:if you kill Atlas, a war erupts and you're killed in it; if you kill the giant Flan, it takes over the world; if you kill the Proto fal'Cie with the Paradox Scope activated, Serah, Noel and Mog are captured by it and have machine copies made of them; if Serah kills Caius with the Paradox Scope activated in the Void Beyond, time ends.]]
* BrokenBridge: The time gates themselves serve this purpose, only opening up the next area once you've advanced the plot enough to uncover the various Artefacts. There are also numerous other examples in the form of barricades, fallen rubble, time distortions, and so on. There's even two Broken Bridges that are almost literally broken bridges - they're bridges phased out of spacetime that you can't cross until you get Mog's improved search ability.
* ButThouMust: [[spoiler:The very final Cinematic Action scene. The resulting cutscene is the ''exact same,'' regardless of which option you pick.]]
* ButtMonkey: Mog. There are parts of the game where advancing the plot involves picking the little guy up and tossing him.
* [[spoiler: TheCameo: Gilgamesh and Omega from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', Ultros and Typhon from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', and [=PuPu=] from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' are available as DLC [[BonusBoss bonus bosses]] and can be [[DefeatMeansFriendship recruited after being defeated]].]]
* CartographySidequest: An NPC will reward you for filling in most area maps 100%. [[LastLousyPoint Doing so is sometimes difficult.]]
* ChainedByFashion:
** Gogmagog and its palette swap, which are described as charms and seals placed upon it.
** The giant monster you ride in the Sunleth Waterscape has chains on its head for some reason.
* CharacterCustomization: This game introduces large nodes in the Crystarium, which will give you a stat bonus depending on what role you leveled up. (Ex. Commando raises Attack, Medic raises Health, etc.) This lets you decide whether Serah and Noel will become better spellcasters or physical attackers.
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:''Fang and Vanille''.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: Serah is a school teacher, and quite a strict one at that, which is mentioned in passing early in the game. It certainly comes in handy in Sunleth Waterscape - 400 AF when she and Noel are forced to fight a Flan School...
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: A {{Deconstruction}}. [[spoiler:Caius wants to save Yeul, but, no matter what happens, she always dies. It's implied he once was a hero, but seeing the repeated deaths of Yeul damaged his way of thinking and he now thinks dying/killing Etro and unleashing the chaos will save Yeul from her fate.]]
* {{Chronoscope}}: The Oracle Drives serve as this, recording the visions that the Seeresses see.
* {{Cliffhanger}}[=/=]ToBeContinued: [[spoiler:The game ends on a "To Be Continued..." note with Serah and Etro dead, Lightning self-crystallized (according to interviews, this is to save Serah and maintain Etro's presence), and Hope and Noel trapped at ground zero of a successful TimeCrash and Class Z ApocalypseHow moment. It is continued by Lightning's DLC episode, which itself is followed by ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'']]
** Lightning's Episode introduces another cliffhanger: [[spoiler:Lightning mentions she will reawaken one day, opening new questions about what will happen to her as well. If you get the "secret ending" after the credits of this episode (by 5-staring the second fight), you see her wake up in the distant future... which is destroyed.]]
* ClockRoaches: Several monsters (the crystal-insect ones) are [[AbstractApotheosis direct manifestations of paradox]].
* CollectionSidequest: The Fragments, of which there are 160. [[LastLousyPoint Some are easier to get than others, naturally]].
** Some of the fragments are actually rewards from collection sidequests, like having fully explored every map or having defeated every monsters.
* ContinuityNod: Near the beginning of the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII last game]], when the heroes are turned into l'Cie, a short DeliberatelyMonochrome cinematic shown Ragnarok atop Cocoon. In this game, it's explained that the same cinematic is part of a ''much longer'' prophecy: [[spoiler:It shows Cocoon falling, with the crystal support being shattered and crashing down into Pulse.]]
* ColorCodedCharacters:
** The various roles are color coded, so you can tell at a glance which character or mon has which. They even color the nodes in the Crystarium when you level up the role.
** Several of the time labyrinth puzzles use color coding to make the gameplay more obvious. Clock puzzles color code the numbers so you can tell at a glance which number is which. Crystal constellation puzzles color code nodes that can be linked. And falling platform puzzles have red and white platforms to tell you which can be crossed once and which twice.
** The three stats are color-coded, to make it easier to tell which one gained a bonus when you advance in the Crystarium. Hit points are green, attack is red, and magic power is purple.
* ColossusClimb: Noel does this via ActionCommands. He runs up Atlas's visible arm and takes a flying swing at its (invisible) head.
* CompletionMeter: The game shows a rundown of memory fragments by type and by location, as well as the overall count. Moreover, [[HubLevel Historia Crux]] shows how many Time Gates are available in each location and how many have already been opened; and the map screen shows how much of the current location you have visited.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: You fight Caius multiple times throughout the game. Notably, you fight him once in Oerba 200 AF, again in the Void Beyond ([[spoiler:without Noel]]), and again in [[spoiler:the Dying World]] (this time [[spoiler:without Serah or a monster companion]]). Now, in order to get three of the Paradox Endings, you need to fight him again with the Paradox Scope fragment skill active. With the Paradox Scope active, Caius suddenly gets more health, the ability to apply ''health regeneration'' on himself, and his attacks are quick, relentless, and very powerful, leaving very little room for his victim to do much at all until he stops. And the worst part of all? ''You need to fight him twice in the same battle in all instances''.
* TheComputerIsYourFriend:
** [[spoiler:Future humanity is secretly ruled by an AI.]]
** [[spoiler:The Paradox Ending at Augusta Tower has the supercomputer kidnap Serah, Noel, and Mog, brainwash them, and turn them into weapons.]]
* CoolSword:
** Caius' sword looks amazing. It's huge, improbably shaped, and ''purple''. With a glowing red eye.
** Lightning's new sword doesn't look too bad either. They gave it a more medieval fantasy look to match her new armor.
** Noel has a large sword that doubles as a sheath for a smaller one. It's very ornate and can also be transformed into a spear when necessary.
** Serah's weapon is actually Mog, who can also find objects that are lost in Paradoxes. [[spoiler:Even when Serah loses Mog (kinda), her weapon turns translucent.]] It also switches between a bow and a sword depending on the distance in combat.
* CrutchCharacter: Most monsters that are "early peakers". They have fantastic growth and can carry you through a chapter or two of the game, but since they're capped at level 20, they'll soon get outpaced by increasingly stronger enemies and better monsters.
* CursedWithAwesome: The Heart of Chaos. [[spoiler:It allows the user to have power of chaos itself and {{Immortality}}. Caius has it as a gift from Etro herself as being the sole Guardian of Yeul, and only the person who kills him can take it. This concept quickly makes a left turn into {{Deconstruction}} when Caius is later known to have DeathSeeker tendencies after living for an ''extremely'' long time and witnessing Yeul die countless times.]]
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: In a moment similar to the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII original]], The Royal Ripeness is blasted and stunned for several seconds by massive fire-ball spells... from Noel. This wouldn't be so bad if it was Serah, as one could argue [[spoiler:Snow's presence makes it ThePowerOfLove]], but it's Noel who does it instead. Made even worse by the fact that many players level Noel's ''strength'' (i.e. ''not'' his Ravager role), and he doesn't even start with a fire spell in the first place!
* ADayInTheLimelight: The three {{DLC}} story packs for Snow, Sazh, and Lightning.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory:
** In this game, spells are ordered in the battle menu by power level (so first all the normal spells, then the '-a's, then the '-ga's) as opposed to the original XIII's ordering by element. (Fire, Fira, Firaga, etc.) For those who played the first game a lot, this can take some getting used to.
** On a similar note, many enemies from the first game return, but most of their weaknesses have been changed.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to its [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII predecessor]]. It's like ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' dark. Notable in that a lot of people initially assumed that, like the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 last Final Fantasy with a direct sequel]], it would go [[LighterAndSofter the opposite direction]]. They were '''dead''' wrong.
* DarkestHour --> HopeSpot: This occurs multiple times in the game
** [[spoiler: Noel's backstory, as shown in his dream world. Everyone except him, Yeul and Caius have died off. Caius wants Noel to kill him, and when its clear that Noel can't accomplish this, Caius leaves for Valhalla to go and try to kill Etro, leaving Noel and Yeul as the only ones left on Gran Pulse. Shortly after, Yeul dies from her visions, leaving Noel to wander the land searching for a way to Valhalla. Then you know the rest.]]
** [[spoiler:Most of Episode 5. Serah is lost in the Void Beyond and runs into Caius. After a CurbStompBattle, Caius traps her in a dream world, where all her dreams can come true. Noel is trapped in one of these as well, thanks to Caius. After wandering around her dream world for awhile, Serah starts to panic and finds fake Lightning, who tries to convince her to stay there forever. Serah is dangerously close to giving into Lightning...]]
** [[spoiler:The ending! Caius had been vanquished, the paradoxes were resolving, Fang and Vanille were saved before the old Cocoon fell, the new Cocoon took off and then... Serah has one last vision and dies, Lightning crystallized and stays that way for centuries, Vanille and Fang are still in crystal stasis, and Snow is somewhere outside of the timeline. Meanwhile, Noel and Hope are smack dab in the middle of a TimeCrash caused by Noel falling for Caius's plan and inadvertently killing Etro.]]
* DeathByOriginStory: [[spoiler: The Yeul from the timeline where Noel was born, as shown in his dream world, which basically shows his whole origin story.]]
* DecoyProtagonist: Most of the advertising suggests that Lightning is the central hero of the game, even though the true main character is her sister Serah.
* DegradedBoss: Some monsters have moved up or down between ''XIII'' and ''XIII-2''.
** Malebranche is basically Attacus from ''XIII'', and while Attacus was considered a boss in ''XIII'', Malebranche is a regular enemy here. Same goes for Tonberries, though they're a rare encounter.
** There are some inversions as well: The Immortal and Ochus were regular, if strong and rare, enemies in the first game, but are unique {{Bonus Boss}}es here.
* DemotedToExtra: The main party in VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII, save for Hope, is affected by this. There are short {{DLC}} episodes for Lightning, Snow, and Sazh, which allow you to recruit them into your party.
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: The ''Fragments Before'' novel reveals that once the truth about the events of the first game came to light, the remaining PSICOM soldiers were shunned from most of society. Many of these soldiers went off into the Pulse wilderness and ended up founding many of the settlements that are now on Pulse. It's also revealed that another reason they did so was because with the destruction of Cocoon, their one goal in life (to protect Cocoon) disappeared, so [[BloodKnight they went to look for dangerous monsters to fight]], as training for war was all they had known and is the only real skill they have.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything:
** If you decide to go to Augusta Tower 200AF after going to its 300AF counterpart to get a keycard, Noel will remark that you already have the key.
-->'''Noel:''' ''If the key we need is something that is in a different time period, don't we already have it?''
** It is possible to win the Lucky Coin Fragment in Serendipity while playing as Serah only (i.e. - when you get lost in the Void Beyond and Serah is alone without Noel.) If you do, Noel's comment in the cut-scene will be absent.
* DialogDuringGameplay: Few [=NPCs=] in the game are actually able to be talked to; the rest of the [=NPCs=] can be heard by walking by them.
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler:Yeul to Caius and Noel multiple times; Serah to Noel in the ending.]]
* DiscOneNuke:
** Completing ''Requiem of the Goddess'' unlocks Valkyrie Lightning for the Paradigm Pack. Lightning's Episode can be played the moment you have access to the Historia Crux, meaning you can unlock the Second most powerful Commando in the game before you even get to the Bresha Ruins. Even though you can't level her up until very late in the game, her Strength and Magic stats at her starting level are in the 6000's so she can absolutely [[GameBreaker wreck any enemy you come across for most of the game.]]
** If you manage to max level the Dragoon from Augusta Tower 200AF, you will be able to use him through the ''rest of the game'', short of {{Bonus Boss}}es. This is because it has ~600 Attack at a time you are at the 250s.
** The Behemoths you're told to avoid in Yaschas Massif 010 AF. It is possible to beat one as long as you have a Saboteur, Sentinel and a Medic, and its recruit rate is decent enough to make capturing it on your first visit a possibility.
** A lot of the monsters labeled with "Early Peaker" have a low max level and pretty high stats compared to other choices. However, most of them lose out in the long run.
** If you manage to survive, you can get a Munchkin from Bresha Ruins 300AF quite early in the game. They have very high health and strength compared to most others, which can get even higher if use certain materials to level them up, and are "Early Peakers".
** The {{DLC}} weapons are really useful up until you start to do sidequests near the endgame.
* DiscountCard:
** One of the Fragment Skills will reduce the price of items.
** Played for [[MundaneMadeAwesome funny]] when Serah, Noel, and Mog receive the "reward" for solving Bresha Ruins' paradox: [[spoiler:a 10-year supply of toilet paper]]. [[CrazyPrepared And you get to keep it in your inventory]]!
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Walking around talking to [=NPCs=] in Academia 4XX AF, one little girl will say "Ah! You're a scary adult! [[PaedoHunt Scary adults shouldn't talk to kids they don't know]]!"
* DoomedHometown: [[spoiler:Not a straight example, but New Bodhum, Serah's hometown, is absolutely destroyed in the future.]]
* [[spoiler:DownerEnding: The final cut scene shows Lightning is petrified on Etro's throne, Serah dying in Noel's arms, Chaos engulfs the world, ''and it's all the heroes' fault''. In their defense, Caius influenced events so that he would win no matter what. He had 2 plans, and if one failed, the other would definitely succeed anyway. Serah and Noel succeeded in stopping Caius' Plan A of using Cocoon's destruction to force the gate open. It's just too bad that his Plan B, them killing him, worked perfectly. The ending of Lightning's episode makes it more of a BittersweetEnding. See that entry for more info.]]
* DreamingOfThingsToCome:
** Lightning and Serah both have seen Noel in a dream prior to meeting him.
** It's eventually revealed that Serah has the power to [[{{Seer}} see into the future]] just like Yeul. Also, like Yeul, [[spoiler:[[{{YourDaysAreNumbered}} this power drastically decreases her lifespan]].]]
* DreamWorld:
** Serah winds up in one [[spoiler:after Caius stabs her. Fake versions of Snow, Team NORA, and Lightning all show up. Fang and Vanille eventually help her out of it. One of the Paradox Endings can be obtained here if you tell the fake Lightning that you wish to stay with her, and Serah will live in her dream world forever and forget about Mog and Noel]].
** [[spoiler:Lightning ends up in one also caused by Caius in her episode, and is forced to fight him before coming to.]]
* DuelBoss: Late in the game, [[spoiler: Serah and Noel are temporarily separated and they both run into Caius. Serah averts this, as she fights him with a {{Mon}} on her side. Noel plays this trope straight and fights him one-on-one.]]
* DungeonShop: Chocolina sometimes sets up shop in dungeons, even right before the boss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:E-N]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Despite there being multiple endings, this game has more "ItsAWonderfulFailure" endings than any other SquareEnix game. Compare this to its predecessor, which had one CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming after another [[spoiler:globally retconned out in this game.]] There is only ''one'' perfectly happy ending, which is ''not canon''.
* EldritchAbomination: Gogmagog and the Undying Cie'th Raspatil.
* ElevatorActionSequence: In Augusta Tower 200AF, you're forced into several fights in a row while riding the elevator. All while going up one floor, which after the sequence, takes nothing more than a few seconds.
* EmpathicEnvironment:
** Bresha Ruins 005 AF starts out sunny. After Atlas begins his rampage across the ruins, it begins to rain. After defeating Atlas and stopping his rampage, the area becomes sunny again. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Apparently, the environment cannot make up its mind]].
** It is ''always'' dark and raining in Academia 400 AF.
** It's usually bright and sunny in New Bodhum. The two exceptions are during the intro, when monsters are attacking the town(this exception does make sense though, since it's at night when the monsters attack), and in the year 700 AF, when all humans have perished.
* [[spoiler:TheEndingChangesEverything]]
* EmperorScientist: [[spoiler:Since the Academy is more or less the government of the world, that makes the Director of the Academy, Hope, its leader.]]
* EndgamePlus: You obtain the Paradox Scope after beating the game, which, after getting it as a skill in Serendipity, will let you access the Paradox Endings that you couldn't access before.
* EternalEnglish: One of the [[AllThereInTheManual datalogs]] [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this by noting that the human language has not changed in over a thousand years, although curiously enough, Cocoon and Pulse use different alphabets. The datalog [[{{Handwave}} speculates]] that the reason for the unchanging language is because language was something that the fal'Cie gave humanity.
* EvilAlbino: There are numerous albino {{Palette Swap}}s of regular enemies. They tend to be significantly more powerful than non-albino versions of the enemies, but the only really evil thing about them is their placement; many of them are [[GuideDangIt extremely hard to find]].
* {{Expy}}:
** Atlas looks like (and has the same model of) a miniature [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII Titan]].
** Noel himself is basically a [[GenderSwap gender-swapped]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII Fang]], [[LampshadeHanging which is lampshaded]] in a conversation between Snow, Serah, and Noel.
** An RPG revolving around two heroes chasing down a WellIntentionedExtremist [[RageAgainstTheHeavens raging against the local deity]], fighting him with an army of {{Mons}} while unravelling the mysteries surrounding the first game's protagonist? [[TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld That's that Namco RPG, isn't it]]?
*** Making the Namco comparisons even more hilarious is that ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'' seems to have a lot of similar elements to ''XIII-2'': making it [[UpToEleven an]] {{Expy}} ''[[UpToEleven of]]'' [[UpToEleven an]] {{Expy}}. Apparently, what goes around comes around.
*** Making the Namco comparisons ''even more apparent'' is the weapon design. Caius' sword has been compared to [[SoulCalibur the Soul Edge]] by almost every gaming site on the planet and [[TalesOfVesperia Serah is not the first character to use a bow-sword]].
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: [[spoiler:Caius and Lighting can see the entire timeline from Valhalla, and as discovered in the normal ending and pointed out in the secret ending (and implied in the Paradox endings, since they all pretty much have Serah and Noel unable to try and stop Caius anyway, leaving him unopposed), ''all timelines lead to Etro dying and Caius winning.'' The specifics differ but the end result is always the same... and Caius knew it. Lightning realising it sends her past the DespairEventHorizon and causes her to choose to crystallize herself to attempt to ride out the storm.]]
* FailureKnight: Caius and Noel to Yeul, which justifies Noel's [[TheDulcineaEffect protectiveness]] of Serah. [[spoiler:Caius succeeds in reviving Yeul while Noel fails to protect Serah.]]
* FakeLongevity:
** Square seems to have gone out of its way to make getting the fragment from the slot machine the dullest, and most time consuming activity ever.
*** Luckily, you can use the rubberband trick to have the game autoplay the slot machine until you get the fragment, and you can do something else in real life while waiting for that.
** The whole process of getting all the Fragments for the sake of the Secret Ending is this, especially because the game is hellbent on you exploring every nook and cranny.
* FanService:
** One of the members of the game's production team [[WordOfGod stated outright]] that Mog's presence in the game was intended as a form of fanservice, though this is one instance where it doesn't have anything to do with sex. Of course, one might begin to believe that it's intended as a form of a FanDisservice after about the fifth time of hearing Mog say "I'll be helping in spirit, so good luck, kupo!" after failing at one of the Temporal Rift puzzles.
** One of the {{DLC}} options is to have Serah spend most of the game (excluding certain cutscenes) in a pink bikini.
* FashionsNeverChange: With one or two exceptions, fashion changes very little over the centuries you travel; Academia and military uniforms not at all.
* FastballSpecial:
** Odin to Lightning in the opening cinematics.
** Snow to Noel when fighting the giant flan.
** Noel throws Serah's sword (i.e. Mog) at the Proto Fal'cie Adam during a Cinematic Action sequence. [[ButtMonkey Mog gets paralyzed from electrical shock for a few seconds afterwards]].
* FeatherMotif:
** Lightning gains one to replace her rose motif in the first game.
** When you buy the Arcus Chronica for Serah and the In Paradisum for Noel from Chocolina, white and black feathers appear respectively every time they attack an enemy.
* FetchQuest: Roughly half the sidequests available are you running down an item or two for various [=NPCs=].
* FinalBossNewDimension: The last two bosses in the game are fought in Valhalla.
* FinalBossPreview: Caius is the first and last opponent fought in the game. Zig-zagged since [[spoiler:Bahamut is the first and last boss fought]], but the trope counts since [[spoiler:Bahamut is the Eidolon of Caius and Jet Bahamut is the OneWingedAngel form of Caius.]]
** You also fight Caius in Oerba once.
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler:
** At the beginning of the game, Serah has a brief vision of Cocoon falling to the ground. Later on, Hope, Noel, and Serah watch a cinematic of Cocoon's fall. Finding a way to prevent Cocoon's fall and save Fang and Vanille later becomes the central goal of the Academy. [[spoiler:They are unable to do this, so they make a new Cocoon instead and remove Fang and Vanille's crystals from the pillar when the time comes. Then it goes FromBadToWorse.]]
** Switching the view of the Historia Crux will allow you to see the panorama images for each era.
* FiveRaces: Although the first game consciously avoided using this trope to be unique, it returns in full usage in this game, with The Academy functioning as High Men (a society of thinkers who live in isolated enclaves, ruled by an near-immortal man with vast knowledge of the world), the Steppe Hunters being Stouts, and Mog and Chocolina being representative of Cutes. Fal'Cie retain their status as Fairies, and add Yeul to their ranks.
* FloatingContinent:
** Valhalla has a few surrounding the periphery. Most of them are destroyed in the battle with Caius.
** The 13th Ark
** Bhunivelze ([[spoiler:aka New Cocoon]]) becomes this.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** The "Worlds Collide" battle theme references several plot points. Interesting how they reference ''Literature/AtlasShrugged''.
--->Worlds collide and people fade\\
Seek gates through timelines, we've all prayed\\
Let's fix the past\\
Trade it now to see smiling faces\\
This hope, Heart of Chaos cannot take\\
Paradoxes must break, this is the path I must take\\
My destiny may change your fate\\
The pain my heart feels is my strength
** For those who finished XIII's postgame, the datacore you get for the final bonus fight, [[http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Datalog/Analects#XIII._Fabula_Nova_Crystallis "Fabula Nova Crystallis"]], definitely has parallels with the 13-2 storyline... [[spoiler:and hints about what may lie beyond "ToBeContinued."]]
** Similarly, the tenth Analect from ''FFXIII'' titled "The Menace Beyond", along with the "Mirror of Atropos" fragment from ''FFXIII-2'', suggest that [[spoiler:a final battle is due to take place in the Thirteenth Ark, which appears late in the game but is conspicuously irrelevant to the plot aside from giving Hope the idea to use Graviton Cores.]]
** A lot is said in-game about how people think Lightning is crystallized inside Cocoon, even though the player is aware that's not the case. However, the very last shot of the normal ending is [[spoiler:Lightning sitting on Etro's throne, crystallized.]] You'd normally dismiss it, but it's pretty brutal in hindsight...
*** Likewise, Lightning [[spoiler:sitting in Etro's throne]] in one of the [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130116204306/finalfantasy/images/f/fb/XIII-2_PromoPoster-Withoutwatermark2.jpg promotional posters]].
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: [[spoiler:In scenes where Lightning is snatched from time and again at the canon ending.]]
* FourIsDeath: "Unseen Abyss" (also known as "Invisible Depths"), [[spoiler:Caius' FinalBoss theme]], runs for 4 minutes and 44 seconds on the Soundtrack CD. [[spoiler:This comes after you fight him three times plus a fakeout in his human form.]]
* FromBadToWorse: [[spoiler:The ending goes from Serah dying to chaos engulfing the world to Lightening's crystalization. It's possibly the most bleak the Final Fantasy series has gotten, and that includes ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', where Kefka destroyed an entire ''planet'' and someone attempted suicide on camera.]]
* GameplayandStorySegregation: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] when it comes to fighting Caius. There are a total of five fights against him in the story. In each fight, he cast reraise on himself and the first four battles end after it revives him. The next cutscene typically involves him standing up and kicking your ass. [[NewGamePlus The Paradox Scope]] lets you continue fighting him after Reraise activates and Caius proceeds to use the same strength he demonstrated in cutscenes. Beating Caius in these fights results in a [[NonStandardGameOver paradox ending.]]
* GameplayGrading: Like the last game, your battles are ranked from one to five stars. This is important since not only do higher ranks increase item drops and the Feral Link gauge, but some achievements/trophies are only awarded for get five stars on certain boss battles.
* GenreBlind: Mog, who sees [[spoiler:Alyssa's (lengthy) TraitorShot]] but doesn't say anything, presumably because he doesn't know what to make of it.
* GenreBusting:
** The soundtrack. Examples: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBZvtVpynXA LIMIT BREAK]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGZzR5Zmlpo Colliding Worlds]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZc-pzCKgjE Groovy Chocobo]]. The first two are a few of several tracks vocalized for the game, somewhat like ''{{Persona 3}}''.
** The game too, to an extent. Basically, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' and ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''[=/=]''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' hopped in a hot-pink convertible together and got in a hit-and-run accident with ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' and a ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' game.
* GenreShift: ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' had LighterAndSofter music with vibrant strings layered onto a common style most often associated with past Final Fantasy titles, [[SoundtrackDissonance which contrasts]] the "[[EarnYourHappyEnding brighter future]]" theme akin to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. This game is the exact opposite: DarkerAndEdgier soundtrack with strong emphasis on individual instruments optionally layered with a subtle rap-like voice-over, which contrasts the apparent theme of [[ThePowerOfFriendship how relying on others is extremely helpful]].
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** A close look at Serah's black modesty shorts shows that they fit her REALLY well.
** Some of the quiz questions in Academia 4XX demonstrate Square-Enix's newfound love of {{Double Entendre}}s (see also VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV)
--->Q: What act performed by the comedian Fl-Fl-Flan got him booted off of every TV station?
--->A: Wanna touch my Shaolong Gui?
--->Q: Which model is popular among collectors?
--->A: 1/1 scale Serah Farron
* GhostTown: Oerba is still this, even after hundreds of years. The game gives it a HandWave by explaining that Hope ordered the place to be preserved in honor of Vanille and Fang. Plus, the area is ''continuously'' under Paradox Effects, so going there is very dangerous for anyone other than Serah, Noel, Mog, and maybe Chocolina.
* TheGodsMustBeLazy: [[InvertedTrope Etro]] is a very kind goddess but unfortunately she does not know her own limits and instead is too ''active''. [[spoiler:The happy ending in ''XIII'' was caused by an intervention and leads to this game's conflict. The Heart of Chaos and the Eyes of Etro were both gifts from her; the former powers the villain and the later kills the hero. She indirectly caused the majority of bad events to happen.]]
* GoldenEnding: The Lightning DLC's own ending is considered to be this, since it expands on the game's own ending.
* GoldSilverCopperStandard: One of the fragment items from the Bresha Ruins mentions that after the paradox wiped away everyone's debit card information, everyone switched to bartering using materials like silver and gems.
* GottaCatchThemAll: Of the optional variety. Like many {{Mon}}s games, the monsters range from the very common to the extremely rare and from the exceptionally easy to catch to the frustratingly difficult, and they are spread out all over the game. Some fall into GuideDangIt due to the fact that you need to know where to throw Mog. One fragment is obtained as a reward for having defeated every single enemy in the game at least once.
* GoryDiscretionShot: When [[spoiler:Noel is ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice by [[BigBad Caius]]]].
* GrandfatherParadox: [[spoiler:Who caused the AI humanity creates to turn against them and finish the Artificial Fal'cie? The Artificial Fal'cie, of course. Must have been inspired by [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Ultimecia]].]]
* GuestStarPartyMember: Snow joins your group as a non-playable character in Sunleth Waterscape 300 AF.
* GuideDangIt:
** You most likely can't find all 160 Fragments without consulting a walkthrough at least once. The worst ones are either Fragments related to Paradox Endings, which already have their own GuideDangIt moments, or the ones that are hidden on the map, and require searching everywhere and checking every nook and cranny to find.
** Nearly every fragmentin Academia 4XX AF. Obtaining most of them involve answering a number of inane (and even some luck-based) questions ''in a row'', tracking down Captain Cryptic with infrequent and vague clues from pedestrians, and ''filling the entire bestiary'', which is itself a GuideDangIt, especially monsters like [[spoiler:Tezcatlipoca, a unique Woodwraith who spawns only in a single spot in Academia 500 AF, on the northeast platform close to the final boss fight. If you already fought Xolotl and Miquiztli at that spot instead, you have to ''reset the entire area'' and go all the way over there again.]]
** You also wouldn't be able to find all Artefacts to open up the mostly-optional Gates.
** The hidden monsters that require throwing Mog. Some of them make a little sense, but it's rather annoying to find out that one of the best Commando monsters in the game, Chichu, require this.
** If you want to collect all of the [[AndYourRewardIsClothes adornments]] in the game, be prepared to either throw Mog a ''lot'' ([[RandomlyDrops about 10 times at every possible place in the game]]), or consult a guide.
* HeroicSacrifice:
** [[spoiler:Lightning crystallizing during the ending is supposed to be her protecting Serah's will after she died. Some elements of DespairEventHorizon also come into play, as Lightning [[YouCantFightFate realized what Caius did]].]]
** [[spoiler:Serah realizes towards the end of the game that trying to fight fate to save the future will shorten her lifespan and kill her. She decides to continue fighting, and does indeed die from the visions.]]
* HeroOfAnotherStory: The rest of the cast of ''XIII'' (Lightning, Sazh, Snow, and Hope) are not idle while you are off saving the timeline, and while they dip in and out of the story throughout the game, they remain mostly orbital storylines that we know little about. Their {{DLC}} packages explain more about what they've been up to.
* HowWeGotHere: You are shown in the opening sequence in which Lightning is fighting against Caius in the city called Valhalla. [[spoiler:The ending sequence has Valhalla being remade on Gran Pulse as per the death of Etro, with Chaos spreading across the land. Serah dies, Caius narrates, and Lightning is shown as a [[TakenForGranite crystal]]. "A future I could not protect," indeed.]]
* HubLevel: The Historia Crux serves as a menu-screen version of this. Each node on the map marks a different era and location. To unlock other nodes, you must activate time gates within those locations.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Played with after completing the Bresha Ruins sub-story. Noel and Serah get all philosophical about how humans caused the paradox and Mog proclaims that humans are the foulest of all evils [[RantInducingSlight because who else would]] [[FelonyMisdemeanor give them with a voucher for a year's supply of toilet paper as a reward for their hard work?]]
* ImmortalitySeeker: PlayedWith. Caius is already immortal, he simply wants to find a way to stop Yeul from dying and being reincarnated over and over again and give her true immortality. How does he give Yeul a deathless life? [[spoiler:By getting someone to stab him through the heart, killing Etro and transforming the world into Valhalla, a world where time no longer exists.]]
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Serah uses a MOOGLE as a weapon. Granted, though, it does change into an actual weapon.
** Noel's sword is actually two swords attached to each other that can turn into a spear.
* InfantImmortality: {{Averted}}.
** [[spoiler:In Acedemia 400 AF, some of the [=NPCs=] transformed into Cie'th are children. Heartrendingly, you can sometimes pass adult female [=NPCs=] and hear them begging their children not to leave them, or reassuring them that they're right there.]]
** Yeul isn't exactly an infant, but she never lives to be older than fifteen. And she's constantly reincarnated.
** One of the sidequests is from a young boy who was sucked into a temporal distortion and killed, and is unable to move on because he never accomplished anything.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The Odinbolt and Odinblade for Serah and Noel, respectively, is this. However, the Strength and Magic stats rely on how many Fragments you have, so the trouble in obtaining this is not getting it, but rather powering it up into the most powerful weapons in the game.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: Like its sister game, the strongest weapons in the game are not the best (in fact, the actual {{Infinity Plus One Sword}}s only achieve their full potential once you have achieved OneHundredPercentCompletion, and thus [[BraggingRightsReward have nothing to use them on]]), and battle strategies are improved by weapons that grant beneficial statuses or speed up the fill rate of the ATB gauge, for instance.
* InsurmountableWaistHighFence: This becomes even more obvious from the first game, since characters can now freely jump, yet still can't jump over most fences.
** The last level is a platforming level, and some of the platforms have these, so that you can't make certain jumps to get through the level faster. The silly thing is that some of the "fences" are about an inch tall...
* InterfaceSpoiler: Whenever you load up the game, a brief PreviouslyOn recap will play just to remind the player of the story so far & starting with "''Final Fantasy XIII-2'' - The story so far" said by one of the main characters chosen at random, including [[spoiler:Fang & Vanille]], which spoils their cameo towards the end of the game.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Bahamut, I'm looking at you. And the faeryl, which indirectly caused the events of Sunleth Waterscape 300AF to happen.
* [[spoiler:InvincibleVillain: Caius, who eventually gets his way in the end.]]
* IronicEcho: When you first arrive at Academia 400 AF, [[spoiler:Proto fal'Cie Adam makes its introduction in this timeline by [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII arriving in an airship modeled after Etro, complete with a slow-moving tendency and greenish flashing lights]]. It then proceeds to remain above The Academy in the front of the map for rest of time.]]
** Serah's flashback of the ending of ''Final Fantasy XIII''. "I swear to you, I will make her happy." "I believe you."
* ItemAmplifier: One of the item combination effects is "Improved Potions", which increases the amount of health restored potions.
* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: Augusta Tower, which thankfully uses elevators...
* IWillFindYou: Serah towards Lightning and, later on, [[spoiler:Snow]]. Noel towards [[spoiler:his]] Yeul, as he believes he will reunite with her in the future.
* IWillWaitForYou:
** Serah waits for Snow to return in New Bodhum at the beginning of the game.
** At the start of the game, Lightning is locked in combat with Caius, and neither of them seem to be able to gain the upper hand over the other. When she sends Noel to go find Serah, the implication is that Lightning will be fighting Caius for ''the entire span of the game''.
* JokeItem: Mog positively quivers with excitement at the idea of scoring a huge amount of gil once the party resolves the paradox at the Bresha Ruins in 100 AF / 300 AF. The reward turns out to be [[spoiler:a coupon good for ten years of free toilet paper, leading Mog to declare that the government is evil. The coupon becomes a key item in the inventory.]]
** Most of the adornments. Almost any mechanical monster looks funny with a newsboy hat on.
* JumpedAtTheCall: After losing Lightning, then Snow, and hearing nothing from the latter for two years, all it takes is a small-scale monster invasion and Noel's word to send Serah traipsing across time and space in search of her sister.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Alyssa]], except in one Paradox Ending where [[spoiler:Snow reveals that she's working with Caius]]. Notably, she [[spoiler:never appears again in the timeline. She mentioned in her MotiveRant that she was doing this because she found out, due to study of the timeline that she only existed due to a Paradox, one that the heroes would invariably fix, causing her to vanish. In fact, if you go back afterwards... no one's heard of any Alyssa--the only hint she's been there is that Hope remembers her and one of the other assistants seems to remember the name.]]
* KillerRabbit: The Chichu monster, which is essentially a big seed on legs with cute little plant sprouts growing out of it. Raised to its maximum potential, it has arguably the highest damage output of any monster in the entire game.
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler:Yeul and Serah, former one repeatedly.]]
* [[LastLousyPoint Last Lousy Fragment]]:
** You'll also need to fight Long Gui and Yomi for two Fragments, who are considered by some to be even tougher then the final boss.
** Yet another Fragment requires that you earn tons of coins from the slot machine. And in this game, the slot machines behave like real ones--in other words, [[LuckBasedMission your control over the outcome approaches zero]].
** The Travel Guide: Academia fragment requires 100% completion of all Academia maps. Academia 400 has constantly-spawning, mostly inescapable enemies to trip you up. Academia 4XX is by far the most complex map in the game, full of little nooks and crannies that will take a long while to explore fully. Academia 500 is a constantly shifting [[UnexpectedGameplayChange platforming]] level with multiple switches changing which platforms are accessible. Bring a snack and a stress-ball.
** The Paradox Endings Beneath a Timeless Sky and Heir of Chaos. Both of them are fights against a ''really hard'' version of Caius without your whole party. Beneath a Timeless Sky gives you Serah and your {{Mons}}, while Heir of Chaos pits Noel in a DuelBoss against Caius. Even if you've maxed out the Crystarium, you still don't get much breathing room, and Caius is absolutely relentless.
** One Fragment requires that you defeat every single enemy in the game. No other Fragment compares to how long this takes, given the number of opponents, the rarity of some opponents (Tezcatlipoca spawns on ''one platform'' in Academia 500AF. If you fought anything else on that platform, you have to redo that level from the beginning, because it doesn't spawn again), and the difficulty of the opponents, like all the BonusBoss versions of Caius, Long Gui, Yomi, and Raspatil.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: In almost every piece of advertising for this game, it shows Serah, revealing that she is revived from her crystallized status.
* LawOfChromaticSuperiority: Most monster families have an 'albino' variant, which is usually rarer/more powerful. Oh, and a massive GuideDangIt to find.
* LayeredMetropolis: Academia has multiple levels of streets and platforms to walk on. The different levels are connected by conveyor belts. The ground is not even visible.
* LeaveYourQuestTest: While in the dream world you get the choice to stay there or continue the adventure. Accepting the dream leads to one of several Paradox Endings in the game.
* LightningCanDoAnything: Well, [[IncrediblyLamePun she probably can if the writers feel like it]], but here it manifests more accurately by the fact that enemies and event-based item boxes appear in form of a bolt of reddish-purple lightning striking their spawn location.
** This seems to be how the Proto-Fal'cie instantly converts people into Cie'th. [[spoiler: What he's actually doing is a CallBack to the first game: turning people into I'Cie, but not giving them a Focus, hench insta-Cie'th]].
* LimitBreak:
** {{Mon}}s have a Synchronization gauge that fills up as they fight with you. Once it's full, you can unleash their Feral Link.
** Serah and Noel both can get their Full ATB Attack (Serah's is Ultima Arrow and Noel's in Meteor Javelin), but they're only useable once per fight unless you use an Elixir.
** The Scourge and Smite abilities that Commandos can use. They only activate if any enemy is about to recover from Stagger, and do about five times the normal amount of damage.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: The loading screens last much longer then the first game, and it really shows. At worst, it could take a full minute. There's also every time you enter a timeline from the menu. The resulting traveling-through-time animation always takes 25-30 seconds, and it ''can't be skipped''. {{Justified}}, since the game is attempting to load the entire world from scratch and there are barely any loading scenes in the areas themselves except for the Academia variants, which is really huge and relies on [[VideoGame/HalfLife small corridors between larger areas]].
* LongSongShortScene: All the Aggressive Mix count, since you will never hear them entirely during the game. It's actually quite sad to miss some of them, like the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_VBaQrHP6o New Bodhum (Aggressive)]] one.
* LostForever: Mostly averted. After obtaining the proper seal, you can lock a time gate and go back to the area as it was when you first arrived. Because of this, few things are truly lost, even the Live Trigger rewards, but at the moment some of the gate seals don't work properly and thus don't return you to the very beginning of that location, Archelyte Steppe being a major offender.
** Unique monster crystals that can only be gotten by throwing Mog at specific spots used to be this in the sense that if you picked the wrong Crystarium upgrades for them or infused another monster with them (which was the only way to pass on the useful Pack Mentality skill), you couldn't get another one, but thanks to Snow's {{DLC}}, all versions of Valfodr have 2 of the unique monsters as their drop items and thus you can get as many extras as you want.
* LotusEaterMachine: [[spoiler:Serah and Noel get trapped in separate ones. Vanille and Fang free Serah from hers, and Serah saves Noel from his.]]
* MagikarpPower: A few monsters can fall straight into this trope.
** The biggest example is Twilight Odin, who is weak when you first get him. With enough sufficient leveling, he can become an absolute monster. Too bad he's overshadowed by other monsters that attack faster than him, do more damage than he does at equal or lower strength values and don't waste time posing after every 4 attacks.
** The Cait Sith you get as one of your two first Mons can, with time and patience, be one of the best Medics in the game.
** Noel is this in comparison to Serah. In the beginning, he tends to have lower stats, but towards the end he outpaces her in stat growth.
** Chichu starts off average and its slow growth in its early levels keeps it average. However, its stat growth in the later levels accelerates like a rocket, and at max level you will have [[ItMakesSenseInContext a squeaky wrecking ball]]. There's a reason why many players have a Chichu in their late- to post-game Paradigm Pack.
* ManualLeaderAIParty: The player controls one party member at once and has the option of customizing the AI of the party. Also, the game adds the option of switching the character you're controlling directly mid-battle.
* MarathonLevel: Episode 5, which once started, you cannot go back to the Historia Crux until you finish it or get a Paradox Ending (of which the chapter has three, though only two will return you to the Crux.) Technically, you can return to the Crux, but the only locations available to you will be whichever one you were working on, and Serendipity, if you really fancy a break.
* {{Masquerade}}: [[spoiler:After the AI of Augusta Tower murdered the members of Academia, it created a "staff" of androids that looked identical to the original staff in order to hide what had happened from the general populace. It then took over Academia, which itself eventually became the de facto government.]]
* MasterComputer: Augusta Tower is a ''gigantic'' computer, complete with little glowing TronLines.
* MaximumHPReduction: The game adds the Wounding mechanic, wherein certain attacks and monsters reduce the target's maximum HP to force the player to avoid long battles. Although such wounds are thankfully covered by AfterCombatRecovery, no magic and only two specific potions (one of which is [[{{Panacea}} Elixir]]) can heal them in combat.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler:Caius to Noel and Serah, trapping them in a dreamworld paradise outside of time. They break out, however, but not without help.]]
* MindScrew:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyOPFgxvXXM The Secret Ending.]]
** With time and space itself overlapping and blending together, the entire game might qualify.
* MinigameZone: Serendipity
* MinMaxing: The Crystarium has big nodes that give you a small stat bonus in either HP, ATK, or MAG depending on which role you decide to level up on the big node, which starts adding up if you concentrate on a single stat. As a result, some people opt to have an all-MAG and all-ATK build for Serah and Noel, respectively.
** Similarly, you level up your {{Mons}} with materials that enhance one of the same three stats at each node, or [[MasterOfNone all three to a slightly lesser degree]].
* {{Mon}}s: Also known as "your third party member". Defeating most monsters will cause them to turn into crystals, and you can then use the crystallized monster in battle alongside Serah and Noel. Paradigm shifts switch monsters and they level up with you and can be customized to an extent. They're pretty much Pokémon. Mog also counts toward this.
* MonsterArena: The Coliseum allows you to fight optional bosses. All of them are {{DLC}}, though.
* MonsterCompendium: With a sidequest for HundredPercentCompletion, to boot.
* MoodDissonance: Chocolina, who's always cheery no matter where she is (with a few exceptions. In [[spoiler:Academia 400 AF, she's depressed that everyone's being turned into Cie'th. Right before the finale in Academia 500 AF, she also gets a little downcast when she realizes that if Serah and Noel resolve the final paradox, she may never see them again.]])
* MoodWhiplash: Do ''not'' expect any mood in this game to last for long, especially if you're going for post-game 100% completion.
* MrExposition: Mog
* MultipleEndings: Subverted in that the majority of the multiple endings don't actually affect the gameplay, and there is only one true ending.
* MythologyGag:
** The MythArc concerning the birth of the fal'Cie, directly parallels the story of Noah and his disciples in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII''. Pulse gets the power to create magical beings and shape the world as he sees fit, Lindzei gains the power to guard the unseen realm of the divine, and Etro gets [[spoiler: nothing, and floods the world in darkness as an act of sorrow and revenge. This is in addition to trying to seek out a force of nature that models itself in the image of a female deity.]]
** In the first round of the Gilgamesh fight, he shoots Rocket Launchers at one target, much like his Rocket Punch ability.
** [[spoiler:Kaias stabbing Noel in the back seems very familiar.]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII A little too familiar.]]
*** The ''opening scene'' itself (both intro movie and the start of the freaking game) takes it further: [[spoiler: Caius placing Yeul's body in the water on the seaside of Valhalla, a la Cloud and Aerith.]]
** [[spoiler:Lightning's crystallized state is similar to one of the promo pics of the first game.]]
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Terra Branford]] is briefly mentioned in one of Captain Cryptic's quiz questions. Given who [[Creator/DaveWittenberg the Captain]] [[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy is voiced by]], it is also extremely ironic as well as extremely hilarious.
* NamesTheSame[=/=]DubInducedPlotHole: ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' now has two cases for using the word "chaos"/"Chaos". The former refers to an ''entity''; the latter refers to the FinalBoss of the original ''Final Fantasy''. Suspiciously, "Heart of Chaos" has a capital 'C', while [[spoiler:Caius in the ending narrates and says]] "chaos" with a lowercase 'c' in the subtitles. This is ''extremely important'' when you know the context of the event, and creates massive confusion.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
** The first boss is named Gogmagog, a Biblical reference.
** Caius, named after many a Roman emperor and phonetically similar to "chaos"
* NeverTrustATrailer:
** Lightning is not the protagonist of this game, although the earliest trailers were basically her and Caius in the opening. Even the logo is just her and Caius facing off.
** In a remarkable piece of false advertising, the trailer at the end of the playable demo showed Omega in the game. No "Omega Coliseum is DLC" or "Omega Coliseum sold separately" disclaimer, just a hook to get long-time fans to buy the game... before the soul-crushing realisation that Omega isn't actually in the game and would be released a month later. For more money.
* NewGamePlus: This can be achieved by closing gates and re-entering them, causing you to play through the area's events again with all of your current stats and items.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: The Eyes Of Etro for Yeul and Serah, Lightning becoming a NighInvulnerable demi-goddess and [[AllThereInTheManual according to one of the fragments]], some civilians get access to magic upon reaching the surface of Pulse.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler:In the normal ending where Noel kills Caius, he ends up letting Caius take over the world.]]
** [[spoiler:Taking it up a level, Etro herself for saving the l'Cie at the end of ''FFXIII'', which disrupts the timeline and sets into motion the events that inevitably lead to the above scenario and '''her own death'''.]]
** [[spoiler:Sazh does this during his downloadable episode. As a result of collecting medals to find Dajh, he also "destroys" the future.]]
** [[spoiler:In one of the timelines, Hope directs the building of a fully functional Cie'th-happy fal'Cie, which kills him and Alyssa and basically takes over the civilized world.]]
* NoFourthWall: Gilgamesh doesn't even know what a fourth wall is.
-->'''Gilgamesh''':"I've been waiting in this Coliseum for so very long now! I was starting to worry that you'd never download this part of the game, and I'd be stuck in digital limbo!" ''(cue confused expression from Serah and Noel)''
* NonCombatEXP: You can get CP (the game's form of EXP) from finding fragments throughout every area, which are obtained by completing sidequests or main missions. However, the CP gained from fragments not directly related to killing things tends to be pretty poor.
* NoSidePathsNoExplorationNoFreedom: Intentionally and deliberately averted with areas more complex and intertwined than before.
* NowWhereWasIGoingAgain:
** The characters will be happy to remind you what's going on nearly every time you enter a gate. This is useful if you've been sidetracked [[GottaCatchEmAll catching]] {{Mons}}, {{Sidequest}}s, or by [[SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer Serendipity]], but a tad annoying if you've played straight through and just heard similar dialog less than five minutes before.
** You can see sidequests you've accepted via the menu.
** When you load your game from the title screen, a brief PreviouslyOn will play, reminding you of the story so far.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:O-Z]]
* OldSaveBonus: If the player has save data for ''Final Fantasy XIII'' on their HD, the success rate of the slots minigame in Xanadu/Serendipity will be higher, [[RandomNumberGod mostly]]. They also unlock several in game items, a theme for your Playstation Dashboard (for PS3) and a gamer picture (for XBox 360).
* OnlySmartPeopleMayPass: The Hands of Time Temporal Rifts veer straight into this trope, with players wasting half an hour on one puzzle being a common sight. Thankfully, IGN made a excel spreadsheet that does it for you [[http://faqs.ign.com/articles/121/1218039p1.html here]]. For those willing to look at Japanese, [[http://nyusuke.com/game/ff13/ff13-2puzzle.html this page]] doesn't require Excel. Just input the number at the top of the "clock" into the spot labeled 0 and go clockwise from there.
* OminousLatinChanting: Caius's Theme
* OminousMessageFromTheFuture: One of the Memory Fragments you can uncover in New Bodhum 700 AF with Paradox Scope on is a message to Serah from Future!Serah, which pretty much tells you that [[spoiler:Serah will die in the end]]. Of course, since you only acquire the Paradox Scope after beating the game, you already know that.
* OneWingedAngel: Of course, [[TropeNamer this being]] ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'', [[spoiler:Caius can transform himself into a dark dragon called Chaos Bahamut and Jet Bahamut in the final battle.]]
** Special mention for [[spoiler:Jet Bahamut: He brings along Garnet Bahamut and Amber Bahamut, and constantly re-summons them throughout the fight. That's right, the last boss is [[ActuallyFourMooks actually three dragons]].]]
* PaintingTheMedium:
** If a particularily strong rare monster appears, it does so in form of a small black hole, which causes horizonal static lines to appear on the screen.
** Augusta Tower 300 AF is suffering from malfunctions due to the paradoxes; the screen is covered with hazy lines while you're there.
** In the secret ending, [[spoiler:Caius talks about the player having seen all eight endings.]]
* PaletteSwap:
** Several bosses are directly re-used from ''13'', only with a new paint job--for example, Atlas uses the mostly unused Titan character model.
** On a larger scale, many monsters are "family" monsters which reuse very similar or exactly the same models, with new textures. This is actually ''useful'' in some instances, as it's possible to find monsters with the Pack Mentality auto-ability, which makes them stronger if all three monsters in your Paradigm Pack are from the same family.
** Most of the [=NPCs=] are palette swaps of each other, with only clothing and hair color changed.
* PalmtreePanic: New Bodhum
* PeninsulaOfPowerleveling:
** If one goes to a very tiny spot at AF 400 Academia just before you fight Zenobia, and turn on a turbo fire controller (or mash the X button A LOT), then you can accumulate LOTS of Crystanium points.
** For monster materials, Archlyte Steppe -Year Unknown- just throws them at you.
* PerpetualMolt: Lightning, as fitting her Valkyrie motif.
* PinkGirlBlueBoy: Serah wears pink and white, whereas Noel wears blue and black.
* PopQuiz: There is a man named Captain Cryptic who asks Serah questions about the world they live in. The Brain Blast quiz podiums scattered around Academia 400 AF also count.
* PreviouslyOn: Every time you continue the game, some clips are shown of what happened the last time you played. It seems to be a random collection of clips from previous cutscenes, and sometimes doesn't really help the player remember what happened before.
* PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo: Sazh, Vanille, and Fang make only cameo appearances in the game. The other three have slightly larger roles.
* PungeonMaster: Brant, an NPC involved in one of the fragment mission sidequests. The player must play along by responding with puns provided by the game in order to obtain the fragment.
* RagnarokProofing:
** Some of the locations you visit don't change much at all across the timeline, with only a few areas opening up or being closed off, but no major changes even after a century or more.
** The sporty wristwatch takes a licking, and keeps on ticking. After being lost in a ravine for 100 years, it can be dusted off and returned to its owner in the past still in working condition. Somewhat justified by having one of the fragments mentioning Snow wanting a wristwatch that can take tons of punishment and Maqui coming up with one, which probably was made into its own brand at some point in the past.
* RandomEncounters: Unlike the previous game, which had PreexistingEncounters, here the monsters [[JustifiedTrope simply pop straight out of rifts in space and time to attack you with no warning]]. You can still run away from them beforehand, though, and in fact it's easier to avoid encounters entirely if you wish. Just know what you're doing, otherwise the Moogle Clock will run out and you'll have to deal with the encounter with the ''Retry option locked''.
* RandomNumberGod: There is a sidequest in Oerba which involves rotating clock-like hands (called a "Temporal Rift"). Usually, it's very straightforward since the game leads you through them, the first few of these quests are not randomized, and each decision is not under a time limit despite having only one chance. The final Fragment is just ridiculous: it ends with thirteen randomized movements ''and'' you still have that one chance or you restart the entire thing from scratch. [[http://www.njohnston.ca/2012/02/counting-and-solving-final-fantasy-xiii-2s-clock-puzzles/ There is a solver and explanation for this]], but it helps to have some knowledge of statistics.
* [[spoiler: TheHeroDies]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Caius does this a couple of times, most notably to [[spoiler:''the player'' in the secret ending.]]
* RecurringExtra: Chocolina shows up almost everywhere, acting as a DungeonShop.
* RedOniBlueOni: A menu-based variant. When you initially progress through the game, you have a blue menu. Whenever the "Paradox" Fragment is turned on, the menu will become red.
* ReplacementGoldfish: After Snow leaves to find Lightning, Serah adopts a cat and names it Snow.
* RetGone:
** [[spoiler:Lightning, of all people, in the "main" timeline.]] Makes seeing snippets of the ending of ''XIII'', only with that particular character missing (and Serah being the only one who notices anything is wrong--something she's considered mildly ''insane'' for believing) absolutely horrific. Doubly so since the player presumably remembers the original ending to the game.
** Ironically, this is {{inverted}} as well in a big way. [[spoiler:Namely, Etro did the inverse, saving the party from ''XIII'' after the fight with Orphan, which causes a few problems.]]
* TheReveal: Turns out, it's the moogle's bobble that allows them to fly. The wings are just for show.
** [[spoiler:The Eyes of Etro drastically shorten the lifespan of those who bear them.]]
* RippleEffectProofMemory:
** Serah and Noel, alongside a few others.
** Somewhat averted [[spoiler:in Noel's case. Memories relating to his native era aren't impervious, as Serah figures out in a brief narrative moment roundabouts Academia 4XX AF.]]
* SaveScumming: As expected of any game that involve gambling. Bonus points go to the Card game in Sazh's DLC, which allows you to play "All In", essentially doubling (or even tripling, if you are lucky) your credit if you win, if not, reload.
* SceneryGorn[=/=]SceneryPorn : Academia, The Vile Peaks, Sunleth Waterscape, Valhalla... [[UpToEleven they really went crazy on the visuals]].
* SelfDeprecation: Possibly why [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEUOOgNzOv4 "Crazy Chocobo"]] exists, and it's also similar in style to {{Hyadain}}.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy[=/=]TemptingFate: The seeress of Paddra predicted that the city would be destroyed. The resulting anarchy and civil war from this prediction ended up destroying the city.
* SequelHook: [[spoiler:The secret ending, which involves lots of BreakingTheFourthWall and MindScrew.]]
* SeriousBusiness: Two of Chocolina's chocobo chicks in Sazh's episode involve this. The male chick wants to ask out the female chick, so he gives Sazh a letter to deliver, and then she doesn't like that he can't come himself... After a bit, the two finally get together to some romantic music.
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: [[spoiler:Noel comes from a BadFuture, which he escaped from by going to Valhalla, which he then left to his past to change the future. Also, Future!Hope wants to save Fang, Vanille, and his mother.]]
* SequelDifficultySpike: Inverted big time. Random battles are now no threat at all, and the rare enemies that are supposedly more powerful than their peers usually just take a minute to kill instead of ten seconds. There is little sense in using anything other than Commandos and Ravagers 95% of the time. The beautifully layered, multifaceted battle system of the previous game is still here, but there is little reason to use it anymore. It is entirely possible to stumble across some of the most powerful foes in the game completely unprepared and win on your first try.
* ShipperOnDeck[=/=]ShipTease: Lebreau teases Serah about Noel at the beginning of the game.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: Timey-wimey stuff cancels out the seemingly happy ending from ''XIII''. The plot of this game centers around Serah searching for Lightning, who has vanished for no apparent reason. Various time paradoxes destroy progress made by the protagonists. [[spoiler:In the end, Serah dies after beating the BigBad, Lightning is crystallized, and the BigBad gets better.]]
* ShoutOut:
** If you have seen ''AdventChildren'', you will immediately recognize Lightning's action when she attempts to break through the meteor by going straight for it. Later on, the camera focuses on a chunk of said meteor and it resembles the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' logo. Noel repeatedly saying "[[ArcNumber 700 years]]" just adds fuel to the fire.
%%
%% MODERATOR WARNING: Just like with English vs. British spelling, when it comes to Spell My Name With An S, first official spelling
%% wins. Don't edit war over the spelling of a FREAKING NAME.
%%
** The way that Caius holds Yeul and lowers her into the water in the opening cinematic is very reminiscent of Cloud and Aerith.
** [[spoiler:The scene in New Bodhum Year Unknown when Lightning is standing on the pier, shrouded in darkness, and puts her hand out for Serah to join her is very similar to when Riku holds out his hand to Sora in ''KingdomHearts''.]]
** The Brain Blast questions in Academia have plenty of these as answers. Amongst them are mentions of [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Balamb Garden]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII prisoners who gained their freedom by winning a chocobo race]].
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSKzBZIlgy8 Amodar's Feral Link]] is a [[StreetFighter Shungokusatsu]] in all but name: this is made even obvious by its QTE command, which is SGS' command in a 4 button layout.
** One of the reccomended names for chocobos is "[[SesameStreet Big Bo]]".
** The Proto fal'Cie Adam can use an attack called [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight "Gate of Babylon", which summons a bunch of swords to rain down on its target]].
** A lonely [[LastOfTheirKind last of his kind]] time traveller finds a female companion who's lost a loved one through a crack in time and is due to be married soon, reminiscent of ''Series/DoctorWho'', especially series 5 of the new series. Also [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhPRByQPbzE this]] sounds very similar to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D-QPDGhCtM this]].
* SillinessSwitch: Half of the Live Trigger rewards are obtained by selecting the weirdest answer. Some of them also make Serah out to be a bit of a CloudCuckoolander.
** Also, the Adornments you can put on your monsters range from Baseball caps, to 4 leaf clovers.
* SkywardScream: [[spoiler:Noel after Serah dies.]]
* SoundtrackDissonance: [[spoiler:The ending song, New World, has hopeful lyrics that really clash with the bitter ending.]]
** Hey guys, a meteor just crashed into New Bodhum, the entire beach is covered from head to toe in monsters, and we have no idea what the hell is going on! You know what this calls for? An upbeat jazzy rock song!
* SpiritualSuccessor: To the ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' series as mentioned below. The time travel is even facilitated by "gates" to different eras.
* SquatsInAName: An almost-unheard-of ''in-universe'' example: [[spoiler:Hope names the new Cocoon "[[MythologyGag Bhunivelze]]", which is the name of the god that created the fal'Cie Pulse, Lindzei, and Etro in the ''Fabula Nova Crystallis'' mythology. There is no real indication that Hope even knows who Bhunivelze is, nor is there any explanation why the new Cocoon would be named "Bhunivelze" in the first place.]]
* StableTimeLoop: [[spoiler:The Proto fal'Cie Adam uses time-travel to go back to its creation at 13 AF and kill off Hope, Alyssa, and the other Academy scientists, allowing itself to take control of the tower and the city of Academia. This means that no matter how many times Noel and Serah kill off the fal'Cie, it will just keep regenerating.]] Eventually this chicken-and-egg scenario is resolved: [[spoiler:Serah curses Hope out as she attacks the fal'Cie. Her outcry and battle with the fal'Cie is recorded on the Oracle Drive in the past, causing Hope in 13 AF to see what will happen in 200 AF and abandon the project.]]
** Also causes a bit of FridgeBrilliance: [[spoiler:Why is it that, even after finalizing the plans for the creation of Bhunivelze, Noel doesn't disappear? If you had been able to truly win, the future that Noel comes from would be erased...]]
* StatGrinding: Like the first game, the Crystarium works like this.
* SteppingStonesInTheSky:
** During the opening battle between Lightning and Caius, this happens twice. First traditionally, and then on pieces of metal frozen in place with a gravity spell.
** TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon is basically this, complete with [[UnexpectedGameplayChange an out-of-place platforming segment]].
* TheStinger: [[spoiler:The secret ending, which appears after the ending credits, after HundredPercentCompletion, with the Paradox Scope enabled.]]
* SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion: Found in a Fragment that provides a poem about the sheep of Gran Pulse titled "The Melancholy of the Lambs:"
-->''It's hard to be sheep''\\
''out here on the plain,''\\
''Avoiding the hunters''\\
''is such a terrible strain.''\\
''Oh, I wish that once''\\
''I could munch on some grass''\\
''Without a man coming to pull''\\
''a tuft from my... side.''
* TakeThat: An Academia 4XX AF NPC girl notes this:
-->''All the boys want to do is play war games. Why can't they grow up? They're so immature.''
* TakeYourTime: Due to how the Historia Crux works, time will stop flowing in one location once you leave, and will only continue flowing when you return. Because of this, there is no rush to complete an area's objective.
** Atlas, once he fully materializes, will wait for you in that courtyard for as long as you want while you continue running around the Bresha Ruins doing other stuff.
* ATasteOfPower: In the prologue, you control Lightning, who is very powerful and wins the opening battles with little challenge.
* ThanatosGambit: [[spoiler:Caius never wanted to destroy Cocoon. His plan was to get the heroes pissed off enough to kill him. [[TheBadGuyWins It worked]].]]
* ThemeNaming:
** The soundtrack titles fit the descriptions of the characters. Disc 1 is Serah, which has "Paradox," and "[[{{Foreshadowing}} Worlds Collide]]." Disc 2 is Noel, which has "Unseen Intruder", "[[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic Eclipse]]," and "[[LateArrivalSpoiler Eyes of Etro]]." Disc 3 is ''Caius'', which has "[[PunnyName Oathbrand]]," "[[RunningGag Chaotic Guardian]]," and "[[HilariousInHindsight Augusta Tower]]." Disc 4 is ''Lightning'', which has "A Fading Miracle," "[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV Etro's Gate]]," and "[[HarsherInHindsight Unseen Abyss]]."
** InUniverse example: the Blitz Squadron had their call-names after Lightning's, in honor of their once-cooperation before [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII her leave for the Purge]]. Blitz is even the name of an ability, but names like "Thunder", "Falcon", and "Sarge" come to mind.
** Both Noel's and Yeul's names have a connection to Christmas, and thus, to each other and hinting at their bond.
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: [[spoiler:Noel does this when he realizes that he indirectly and inadvertently killed Etro.]]
* TimeCrash: [[spoiler:The actions of Etro accidentally cause this, [[RetGone Ret Goning]] Lightning and directly leading to the plot of the game. [[TheBadGuyWins The canon ending is this on a larger scale]].]]
* [[RealityWarpingIsNotAToy Timeline Manipulation Is Not A Toy]]: Remember, kids, every time you alter the timeline, Etro kills a cute seeress girl.
** [[TimeIsDangerous Paradox Resolution Is Dangerous]]
* TimeParadox: The theme of the game.
* TimeTravel: The Historia Crux system allows the player to travel through gates that lead to different time periods, akin to ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''. It is slightly extended from the CT system, however, in that there are several alternate versions (in some cases up to 4, but a few are just for Paradox Endings) of most time periods.
* TomatoInTheMirror: It's not until the ending cutscene that you realize with a sinking feeling that [[spoiler:Valhalla has, all along, been the city of Academia with a minor case of serious time-warping. This hits particularly hard once you realize that the simple existence of Valhalla renders your entire quest meaningless and has been ''in front of your eyes the whole time'']].
* {{Tomorrowland}}: Academia 400 AF.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** Serah is an active participant in the storyline instead of a sort of PosthumousCharacter.
** Hope. From the whiny and weak kid in the first game to [[spoiler:the de facto '''leader of the world''']] in this one. He saves Serah and Noel multiple times.
** Lightning wasn't exactly weak at the end of the last game, but in the opening Caius calls her "warrior goddess." He isn't exaggerating.
* TotalEclipseOfThePlot: The eclipse that happens at some point in future history is implied to have darkened the entire continent for years. {{Justified|Trope}} by it being caused by a fal'Cie rather than a celestial object. This trope also applies to Yaschas Massif 010AF to a lesser extent.
* ToThePain: One of the Undying Cie'th you battle, Gorgyra, was once a female bodyguard to a Yeul. After being tricked by an enemy nearly leads to the seeress' death, Gorgyra is so ashamed that she asks a fal'Cie to turn her into a Cie'th as punishment (much to Yeul's opposition). Just before the transformation, said fal'Cie gives her a rather disturbingly detailed description of what's about to happen to her.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil:
** Beware the latest PS3 and XBOX360 trailers, which are spoiling things way too much. For example, [[spoiler:the XBOX360 trailer reveals scenes which lead us to think that Noel and Yeul are going to die. The [[http://youtu.be/7ikNX-p8hEI?t=2m25s XBOX360 trailer]] goes as far as showing Caius stabbing Noel in the back, leaving him to die.]] Of course, we know that we should NeverTrustATrailer, or that with the multiple endings the game will have, we only see one of the paths our choices may lead us... Still, it's going a little too far.
** The [[http://youtu.be/TludyEtj7OA?t=2m27s latest PS3 trailer]] (released at the same time as the above) has another (and different!) spoiler: [[spoiler:it confirms that Lightning and Serah eventually reunite through the time travel paradigms]], which seemed to be a little bit too far for trailers 3-4 months before the release.
* UnexpectedCharacter:
** Available through the {{DLC}} is Lightning's former superior, Lieutenant Amodar. He's a Commando-role "monster".
** Jihl Nabaat is an available combatant.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange
** Academia 500 AF is a maze that involves platforming. [[WordOfGod The developers]] explained that they wanted to make an area to take advantage of the new jumping ability.
** A more minor example is in Academia 400 AF. Enemies will randomly appear in random areas, and if you find a monster, you can not run away.
** Lightning's episode has a different development system: Lightning levels up in a more traditional manner, where she gains stats and abilities once enough Crystogen points are earned.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Averted. Many people will talk about [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Mog]] or will say your clothes look strange. People will also react with fear when you activate Mog Search and you can even draw a crowd to yourself when you throw Mog or make an item appear with Mog Search. Guards and tame chocobos will also attack any [[RandomEncounter monsters that appear out of nowhere.]] Chocobos also seem to be ''very'' popular with the [=NPCs=]
* VaguenessIsComing: Both Cocoon and Gran Pulse are prophesied to be doomed, but the exact nature of the calamity remains unclear because time has been twisted and warped so many times that any of a number of things could cause it.
* VariableMix: Most of the area themes have an "[[SpeedyTechnoRemake Aggressive Mix]]" that kick in when monsters show up.
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: [[spoiler:Academia 500 AF.]]
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** Using the Moogle Throw will have Mog squirm and panic. It's rather cute though. Actually throwing him can have him bounce off obstacles and fall down cliffs. Good thing he seems to be MadeOfIron. This is also made more amusing by the fact that whenever you throw him, all [=NPCs=] nearby gather around him regardless of whether they're little kids or hardened soldiers when they just express some casual wonderment when he's flying around.
** Infusing monsters with others, which apparently destroys the second monster. Even the monster that's been fighting with you for hours is liable to be sacrificed to a better one the moment it shows up.
* VillainForgotToLevelGrind: No, not Caius (he gets stronger), but Gogmagog, an unusual being that pops up in random portals and forces you to fight him in a boss battle several times in the game. After a long string of {{Wham Episode}}s and a very depressing TearJerker, Gogmagog shows up as the boss in the time period... only for him to rarely attack (and when he does, it's very weak), along with use something called "Writhe", which is like [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} "Splash"]] but ''worse'': it inflicts a random debuff on himself.
* [[BuildingSwing Vine Swing]]: In the Sunleth Waterscape.
* VoidBetweenTheWorlds: The Void Beyond, described as the "area between gates," which Serah and Noel use as rest stops upon their first few visits.
* WakeUpCallBoss:
** The weakened Atlas you fight in episode 2. This is the first battle where you'll actually have to switch paradigms and be reasonably leveled to beat.
** Similarly, the full power Atlas hammers home the concept that you are simply not going to be strong enough to pick every path. [[spoiler:Fortunately, later in the game you gain the ability to forcibly rewind time, starting chapters over with your current stats, which is basically New Game Plus.]]
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: This was mostly removed from gameplay, presumably as a reaction to complaints against this mechanic in the original game. If the party leader dies in battle, you'll be automatically switched to whomever wasn't the party leader, assuming he or she is still alive. You may also switch between leaders at any point within the battle. However, if both Noel and Serah die in battle, it's GameOver, even if your current monster knows Raise. Perhaps the monster takes the opportunity to high tail it before he's infused into another monster?
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Ultimately, [[spoiler:BigBad Caius]] is ''not'' looking to rule/destroy the world ([[AGodAmI godhood optional]]). [[spoiler:He's hoping to create a timeless place where Yeul never has to die, which unfortunately will have the side-effect of collapsing every timeline ever. And he succeeds in the end.]]
* WhamEpisode:
** After Serah and Noel are sent through a sabotaged time gate [[spoiler:by Alyssa]], they get separated and both run into Caius. [[spoiler:Who then proceeds to [[HolyShitQuotient LITERALLY stab our heroes in the back!]]]]
** Seconds before that you discover [[spoiler:that the original and correct history has ''everyone'' frozen in crystal at the end of ''XIII''. The only reason the party, save for Vanille and Fang, survived was due to the timely intervention of the goddess Etro... something that ended up ''killing her'' and ''dooming the timeline (and humanity) to a slow death.'']]
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The original plan for the game was to have the story take place 900 years after the events of XIII with little to no involvement with any of the original cast, no time travel, no paradoxes, and would have ended with a reference to Type 0.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Several major people in the storyline vanish outright and are never mentioned again. Case in point, no mention of [[spoiler:Alyssa]] after [[spoiler:her betrayal]] outside of a Paradox Ending. This is almost acceptable with her [[spoiler:since her betrayal was apparently due to her discovering that the heroes succeeding in their adventure would RetGone her]], but less understandable when [[spoiler:Snow]] gets the same treatment.
** To be fair, [[spoiler: Snow]] does meet up again with Noel and Serah later in another version of the Coliseum......Except alot of people wouldn't know due to that version having to be bought as DLC in order to be accessed.
* WholePlotReference:
** Watch the trailers for ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'', and then play through this game. [[MythologyGag Notice any parallels]]?
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUlt89pbMl8 The Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology]] is [[MythologyGag surprisingly accurate]].
* WorldOfPun: [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Jet]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII Bahamut]]. You can make parallels between both cases for this game.]] There's also [[spoiler:Even better, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX Garnet]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Bahamut]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Amber]] [[VisualPun Bahamut]].]]
* XanatosGambit: [[spoiler:Either Caius' plans to destroy Time succeed (by killing Etro directly or by forcing open the Unseen Gate by crashing the new Coccon), or the heroes kill him...which kills Etro and also would destroy Time as well. If they don't kill him, he can keep trying his Plan A until they do. Lightning realises the futility of fighting against him under these conditions, and allows herself to be defeated.]]
[[/folder]]
----