Child Soldiers: The latest foray into this theme since the SeeD. It is explained in universe as the Suzaku Crystal can only grant magic to the young and as people age their skill with magic diminishes.
The Chosen One: Each student is a part of Operation Apostle where he/she is striving to become the Agito, who was prophesied to appear at "Finis".
Code Name: All but Rem and Machina; however, they have no canon real names. They were originally going to, but the developers chose to only use the codenames. Since they were raised together by Arecia, they may well have forgotten their real names.
Turns out this is a deliberate arrangement by Arecia, who specifically conditioned such personalities since childhood as a way to prevent Finis and open Etro's Gate without the slaughter of billions at cost of their lives.
Panty Shot: In a disturbing glimpse into the mindset of the developers, the texturers put detail into giving each female playable character a unique and distinct set of underwear under their skirts, when previously during development, there was just going to be shadows and shading. May be justified due to how noticable the shadows could seem at times
Tragic Dream: In the tie in novel all of them mention one, except Nine who can't think of anything. Ace to own a Chocobo Ranch, Deuce to be a musician, Jack to be a comedian, Trey a scholar, Queen a teacher of traditional subjects rather then magic and weaponry, Cinque to travel the world, Cater to find love, Eight to become a competitive martial artist, Seven to make an orphanage for the children who lost their parents in the war, Sice to be a chef and King a police officer. Machina and Rem share a dream of rebuilding the county.
A transferee to Class Zero from Class Two (evidenced by his old navy-blue cape) and Rem's childhood friend, as well as her fellow viewpoint character. Younger brother of Izana who seeks revenge to Class Zero for not preventing Izana's death. His constellation nature is Fear.
Declaration of Protection: Deconstructed. His attempt to protect Rem is because of all Class Zero students, she's the only one he thinks he can trust. Along the way, he grows distant and accepts the power that grants him the strength for this purpose, but ironically loses his memories about her because of it. In the end, he's the one who kill her in his amnesia. Twisting the knife of irony further the novel reveals Machina's deep desire to protect Rem was due to the memory of having to murder her himself after she became possessed by the Lusanath Judge in the cycle previous and to do so he had to absorb the Phantoma of the rest of Class Zero himself.
Go Out with a Smile: At the end of the normal ending's Distant Epilogue, 50 years after Class Zero died defeating Cid, and having completed recording their deeds and leading Oriense to the Dawn of an Era, 67-year-old Machina dies with a smile, his wife Rem by his side.
He Is All Grown Up: It had been seven years since he and Rem last saw each other and back then Machina was even shorter then her.
Keet: Shows some shades of this in the secret ending, as he was last seen dragging off Ace from the Library to play.
Meaningful Name: Named after the phrase "Deus ex Machina" — "God out of the Machine". Makes a lot of sense once it is revealed that he and Rem are the key to breaking the near-endless cycle of destruction that has trapped Oriense.
Mighty Glacier: His attacks are a bit slow but hits hard and the sheer number of hits his Blade Spam can do racks up damage.
Tears of Remorse: In the normal ending, he breaks down in these upon finding Class Zero dead from exhaustion in their victory over Cid, apologizing for prejudging them earlier for their failure to save Izana.
You Killed My Brother: His prejudice of Class Zero is because of Class Zero's involvement in the mission where Izana was killed and had done nothing to stop his death. This very reason is also why he becomes The Mole of Class Zero for the Rubrum Council and pulls a Face-Heel Turn by accepting Milites' l'Cie power.
The other viewpoint character together with her childhood friend Machina and, like him, a transferee from Class Seven (indicated by her old pink cape). Conflicted with Machina's head first jump to self-destruction and her loyalty to her nation. Her constellation nature is Love
Hair Color Dissonance: In some released screenshots her light brown hair has looked purple, or darker to the point it's almost black.
Ill Girl: Suffers from an incurable disease that, according to Arecia, will eventually kill her.
Incurable Cough of Death: She gets better, though. In the normal ending, she lives long enough to be by Machina's side when he dies 50 years later, his mission of recording Class Zero's deeds completed; and in the secret ending, her illness seems to have been eliminated altogether, and she was last seen waking up on a bench amidst cherry blossoms and smiling to the heavens.
Poor Communication Kills: When she volunteers to be a l'Cie, she has to fight Milites' l'Cie. The problem here is, the enemy l'Cie is Machina, and they don't recognize each other because of Machina's Laser-Guided Amnesia and the fact that Machina is wearing Milites' full body uniform including the mask. She's so close from winning if not for Machina's mask slipping off and distracting her of his rapiers from piercing her. It takes a Deus ex Machina in the form of Arecia for her to get better.
A boy said to be a key character in the game. He calm and withdrawn but with an underlying childlike passion. His constellation nature is Trust
Badass Bookworm: When controlling any other character, he can be sometimes seen at the Library (other times at the cafeteria or the chocobo stables Izana used to frequent). In the secret ending, he was last seen reading what looks like a book about magic before being dragged by Machina out of the Library to play.
Decoy Protagonist: The game's poster boy and the leader of Operation Agito. He's also the first character the player can control.
Survivor Guilt: Helplessly watching Izana die a miserable death left a traumatic mark upon the boy. There are times where he frequents the chocobo stables where Izana, a knowledgeable chocobo breeder, once worked.
You Are Too Late: Fails to rendezvous with Izana quick enough leading to his untimely demise.
Shown Their Work: He wears an archery glove, a three-fingered glove used to protect an archer's hand from the bowstring.
Wise Beyond Their Years: So he'd like to think. However, this only extends to book smarts. His long-winded Character Filibusters isn't always in-topic with what he was previously trying to explain and often off-railing quickly. The fact that his classmates are mostly annoyed by these makes it pretty clear that he actually pretty dense in these kind of things.
A strange girl with an equally strange mental process, who uses an oddly shaped mace. Her unusual personality and unpredictable actions tend to cause others to stay away from her. Her constellation nature is Innocence
Blow You Away: Her Hurricane and Hurricane Mace skills which like her others are chargeable.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Try imagining her running around the room in presence of Concordia's queen when her fellow classmates are kneeling because she doesn't really know where she has to kneel. There you go.
Idiot Hero: His Running Gag is trying to prove he's a (insert adjective) person by listing off the nations of Oriense, only to be told that doing that won't make him (insert adjective). And when he asked to do just that, he's doing it wrong.
Kiai: Has a skill called Roar that can stop enemies.
Tsundere/Sugar and Ice Personality:Known for being harsh to her allies, but cares for them deep down. In the ending, as she and the rest of Class Zero await their death after defeating Cid, she tries to comfort Cinque, who broke down crying over their fate.
Team Mom: Having a mature facade doesn't really hinder him, the second-oldest student of Class Zero (as well as its oldest boy), from fretting over his comrades' wellbeing and is sometime better at defusing internal tension than Queen. Not to mention he's very gentle and considerate, compared to Queen's standoffish, almost cold approach to team dynamics.
Rubrum is the nation at the southern area of Oriense, whose heraldic beast is Suzaku, the Vermillion Phoenix, and whose traditional color is red. Featuring tropical weather and Victorian-style towns, Rubrum is traditionally governed by an eight-person council with Khalia Chival VI (who also functions as Headmaster of its Peristylium) as head. While not as technologically-advanced or refined as Milites or Concordia, being limited to cold weapons (such as swords), Rubrum is nevertheless feared for its soldiers' patriotism and its prowess in magic and summoning Eidolons.
Back from the Dead: In the secret ending, his death never took place and he remains the instructor of Class Zero. In fact, he was last seen walking onto some Love Letter Lunacy-induced Les Yay involving Sice, Seven and a letter from the former meant for him.
Scars Are Forever: Invoked by himself. He refused the treatment that will erase the scar because he doesn't want to forget about the traitor that killed his peers and gave him the scar. Said scar mostly hidden by his mask and people rarely know about it.
Physical God: She is really fal'cie created by Pulse to try and open the Door of Souls.
Seen It All: Has repeatedly seen various versions of Class Zero's failure against Cid and the destruction of Oriense. However, Rem and Machina's arrival spelled the ultimate subversion of this cycle, intriguing Arecia enough such that she eventually decides to pull off a Pet the Dog moment by triggering a Cosmic Retcon that causes the crystals to cease to exist and give Class Zero one more chance to live like a happy, if somehow ordinary, homeroom.
Two mysterious figures who report to Arecia. Both wear the Class Zero uniform with the hood drawn, and Lean also wears a Byakko grunt uniform with a mask at one point. Their faces are never shown. They are the original #00 and #10 in Class Zero who removed themselves from among their comrades and were replaced by Machina and Rem as part of an experiment by Arecia. Their constellation nature are Decrepitude and Pain respectively
The assistant to Class Zero who provides them with merchant services.
Kill the Cutie: Double subversion. She was shot by a Byakko sniper and was presumed dead by Class Zero. However she was taken to Milites and healed, being put in Qator's care. Then she was killed for real after Qator's death because Milites soldiers forget that their Brigadier General actually took her refuge.
Summon Magic: It was said that she can summon multiple War Gods by herself without dying. But for something like Alexander, not only she has to sacrifice people for a single summoning, she also goes to a Crystal Statis and shatters after that.
As the chief of the Armament Research Institute, he has the responsibility of developing arms and armor. He tends to get overly excited or engrossed in his work. He's been friends with Kurasame and Emina since their school days.
Running Gag: Every time you meet him (as different characters), expect him to knock the daylights out of whichever character you control and use him/her on some kind of experiment (much to Kurasame's irritation).
Milites is the western nation of Oriense, whose heraldic beast is Byakko, the White Tiger, and whose traditional color is yellow. Milites is traditionally ruled by an Emperor, but due to his sudden absence, Cid Aulstyne took over and became its effective dictator. Its Peristylium specializes in researching the Byakko Crystal, and unlike the other nations their Crystal can be tapped onto Magitek armor, allowing for mass application of its powers.
Marshal Cid Aulstyne
Voiced by: Shuichiro Moriyama (JP)
Head of government of Milites, its effective dictator following the mysterious disappearance of its Emperor, and leader of the invasion of Rubrum and the man who broke the Pax Codex between the four nations.
Demonic Possession: He is possessed by the servant of Lindzei and transformed into the Lulusathian Judge near the end of the story.
Driven to Suicide: Broken, humiliated and defeated by mere teenagers, he beheads himself with his own katana as he gazes at the specter of Gala staring over him.
Mythology Gag: He's a Cid. This Cid isn't content with just one airship, though. Nothing less will do than a whole fleet of 'em.
Hopeless Boss Fight/Scripted Battle: In the first phase of the final battle, he manhandles your half-dead party with 9999-damage attacks. Then the second phase turns the tables in your favor: the crystallized Machina and Rem lend their power to their classmates one at a time (starting with the last to fall during the first phase), giving him/her Regen and functional immortality. All you need to do is strike at him at the right time, then perform a Phantoma extract which will destroy one of Cid's orbs but knock your character out, forcing Machina and Rem's spirits to take over another character and continue the fight — using up all twelve characters — until it's over.
Death Equals Redemption: Dies preventing an Ultima nuke Cid secretly implanted onto his Gabriel from detonating over the capital of Milites — all just to root out a Class Zero infiltration.
Even Evil Has Standards: Even a loyal general like Qator objects to Cid nuking out the capital of his own nation through an Ultima bomb secretly installed onto his Gabriel — all to stop a Class Zero infiltration. This would ultimately lead to Death Equals Redemption.
Lorica is the northern nation of Oriense, whose heraldic beast is Genbu, the Black Tortoise, and whose traditional color is green. What little is known about Lorica is that its people directly intake the powers of the Crystal to increase their strength, increasing their body size in turn, and most of its citizens serve as warriors.
Start of Darkness: If he is the same Gilgamesh seen throughout the series, this is likely where his story begins. No other game has given him an origin story thus far, and the final battle with him takes place in the Rift, fitting in perfectly with his fate to Wander the Multiverse through the Rift that connects the worlds.
Worthy Opponent: As he wanders without his focus. He decides to leave after Class Zero doesn't put up a good enough fight for him.
Voiced by: Hiroshi Shirokuma (JP)
A childhood friend of Gilgamesh and a fellow Genbu l'Cie.
Concordia is the eastern nation of Oriense, whose heraldic beast is Souryuu (aka Seiryu), the Azure Dragon, and whose traditional color is blue. Notable for its distinctive oriental style, Concordia is a matriarchal society where almost every top government position is held by women (with the sole exception of the King, who holds a largely ceremonial role). Led by the Queen, Andoria, Concordians are known for tapping into the Sōryū Crystal to communicate with dragons and utilize them in combat.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Swears fealty to her Kingdom, whatever the cost. Unfortunately used in a villainous manner when she antagonizes Class Zero, blaming them for Andoria's death, unaware of Milites' hand in her queen's murder.
Revenge Before Reason: Andoria's murder (while in Class Zero's refuge) automatically places the entire Class under Celestia's Roaring Rampage of Revenge — it's not until she learns of Milites' treachery that she rejoins the party for good.
Turn the Other Cheek: After the truth about Andoria's death is revealed, she immediately helps the Class Zero taking down Cid, never mentioning the fact that her child was killed in the previous battle against them afterward.
The Quisling: After Andoria's death, he effectively takes over Concordia and signs a peace treaty with Milites, unaware of its role in Andoria's murder. But it turns out he has another motive of this...
The Starscream: He actually wanted to kick Andoria from the throne since a long time ago, and change Concordia back to the time where men were in charge of the nation. At the first sight of Milites' offer for it, he quickly takes the bait.