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Characters: Final Fantasy XIII

A list of characters from Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Be warned for unmarked spoilers. Trying to read this page before having played the games is not recommended.

For characters introduced in Final Fantasy XIII-2 go here. Characters introduced in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII are here.
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Main party

    Lightning Farron 

Claire/Eclair "Lightning" Farron

"It's not a question of can or can't. There are some things in life you just do."

Voiced by Maaya Sakamoto in Japanese and Ali Hillis in English.

The main character of Final Fantasy XIII. A former Sergeant of Cocoon's Guardian Corps who resigned so she could be free to rescue her beloved sister Serah from the clutches of the Pulse fal'Cie. Her weapon is a transforming gunblade called the Blazefire Saber. Her Eidolon is Odin, who transforms into a horse during his Gestalt Mode.

She changed her name to "Lightning" after the death of her parents as part of an effort to change herself into a stronger, more confident person capable of protecting both herself and her little sister. While her new Stoic personality was perfect for the Guardian Corp, she ended up developing a Married to the Job Ice Queen persona that hindered her Relationship Values and distanced her from Serah.The first game centers around the defrosting of this persona as she is forced to confront her failings as a caretaker and as a sister.
General tropes and those present in the first game:

  • Action Girl
  • Anti-Hero: Definitely a heroic character, but Pragmatic Hero or Unscrupulous Hero are in effect.
  • Armor Piercing Punch: Lightning scores three of these on Snow within the first three hours of the game. To release her pent up anger and frustration towards him.
  • Badass: Just look at the first cutscene... and that's before she becomes a l'Cie.
  • Badass Cape
  • Berserk Button: Do not mess around with Serah or Hope, you will not get a chance to regret it. Betraying her isn't the best idea ever.
    • With Snow only, she doesn't take kindly to him calling her "Sis". Mostly because she doesn't approve of him at first (and also because it's not technically true until the wedding).
  • BFS/Bifurcated Weapon/Double Weapon/Dual Wielding: In Gestalt mode, Lightning gets use of Odin's utterly monstrous sword Zantetsuken.
  • Bifauxnen: Not in game, but in a cross promotion. She appeared in Japanese men's fashion magazine Arena Homme Plus modeling Prada's mens summer collection.
    • A few costumes in the third game put her in suits, putting this trope into full effect.
  • Big Sister Instinct
  • Big Sister Mentor: She acts as one for Hope.
  • Blade Brake: Thrown in an uncontrolled manner by a massive Behemoth? No problem for Lightning. She'll just slam her gunblade into the ground with a single arm while flipping backwards and then proceed to steady herself quickly enough to pull off a badass pose seconds later before engaging in battle.
  • Broken Bird: Lightning's opinion about her moniker at the start of the game is that it reflects how destructive "Lightning" has been in regards her relationship with her sister, Serah.
  • By-the-Book Cop: One of the reasons she had such a problem with Snow was because she saw him as a jobless law breaking thug.
  • Character Focus: Final Fantasy XIII only came out at the end of 2009, but Lightning has become the modern face of the entire series in the years since, surpassing even Cloud and Sephiroth as the most exposed character. She's not only appeared in several spin-offs, but her outfit appears as a promotional bonus outfit for The 3rd Birthday and Final Fantasy XIV, she's the leader of the new heroes in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, and she appears in the "Long Live Play" commercials for the Playstation 3. About the only domain left is a Kingdom Hearts showing.
  • Combat Parkour: She's very acrobatic in cutscenes (back flipping, leap frogging over people, hopping from airship to airship during Chapter 12, etc) as well as during combat (Army of One is full of flips and other feats and her normal combo has her backflipping while firing her gunblade).
  • Cool Big Sis: Serah's. Along with the overprotectiveness, strength, and lack of social grace normally given to big brothers. Heck, Snow calls her "Nee-san"! (Although in his case it is a reference to her being his (future) sister-in-law.)
    • To Hope she's either this or a Parental Substitute.
    • Sazh refers to her as 'nee-chan' once in a while, though in his case it's less straightforward. The only time he actually says it to Lightning's face is when they've just met and he doesn't know her name — in Japan, addressing strangers as sister/aunt/grandmother depending on their age is pretty common. The rest of the time, he's talking to the others about her, which can be seen as Sazh encouraging them to think of Lightning as such.
  • Custom Uniform: Her outfit is based on the standard Guardian Corps female variant, but with different colors, Fashionable Asymmetry, and a cape. The flavor text of the outfit in Lightning Returns calls it "Acceptable wear in times of peace", implying that if she were on the front lines, she'd probably be wearing something a bit more standardized.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Worst birthday ever."
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: At the start she spurns everyone, especially her future brother-in-law. By ch 10, she advocates True Companions.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Was about to cross it after Serah crystalized and Hope clung to her for help she couldn't provide, then Odin teleported to the area and smacked it out of her.
  • Determinator: Her motto for living can be boiled down to: keep moving no matter what.
  • Dub Name Change: Her real name, Eclair, was changed to Claire, due to the fact that an Eclair is a type of pastry over in English speaking countries.
  • Dual Wielding: Guns Akimbo in the opening scene, and when mounted on Odin, she dual wields BFSs.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Easily carries around the unconscious Serah at the beginning of the game, looking rather protective.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Her brand is on top of her left breast where her heart is, hidden under her shirt. You never actually get to see it. Until Aya Brea wears her costume in The 3rd Birthday.
  • Expy: Character designer Tetsuya Nomura stated she was created as a "female Cloud" but the similarities are limited to her brusque demeanor and sword using.
    • Their facial structures are extremely similar, however. Just compare a picture of Cloud from Advent Children to one of Lightning.
    • She shares the same weapon and the initial aloof and cynical behavior of Squall, along with some jerkassery.
  • Fair Cop
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Flower Motifs: Roses.
  • Good Is Not Nice: While she shows a large capacity for kindness and caring, she also tends to be strict (according to Serah in XIII-2), harsh (seen with Hope as she scolds and reprimands him for showing emotion upon coming across slaughtered soldiers), and generally only hands out accolades when she feels morale is low or when someone meets her high standards. However, some of her more harsh tendencies stem from the fact that the entire world and the God-like beings that run it are out to kill her and her companions as well as the fact that she and her companions are ticking time-bombs. In this scenario, you either learn how to survive quickly or you end up dead just as fast.
  • Guilt Complex: She blames herself for not being around enough for Serah and she wholeheartedly believes that she failed to raise Serah; she blames the entire birthday incident on herself (when in all fairness, it's a 50/50 split); in XIII-2 she blames herself for everything that has gone wrong, even though she is actively trying to protect the timeline and caused none of it to happen; the list goes on.
  • Guns Akimbo: Pulls this off during the opening of XIII.
  • Gun Fu: Acrobatics with with a gun.
  • The Gunslinger: The woman has some Improbable Aiming Skills in cutscenes. In battle, the end of a normal combo has her shoot at the enemy. While backflipping.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: The further and further you get into the narrative of "The Lightning Saga", the more and more you'll discover that it doesn't matter what she does or accomplishes, Lightning will always find a way to cast herself in a negative light or at the very least downplay the whole thing. Taken even further in Lightning Returns, when she consistently claims it's her fault Serah died in XIII-2 because she requested Serah's help. In reality, Serah made her own choice to find Lightning and stop Caius and knew that she was at risk of death because of her ability to see the future.
  • The Leader: Defied at first as she wanted nothing to do with the others and tried to abandon Hope. Character development makes her a Type II.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers - Especially during XIII-2 where She deflects an entire energy based shockwave and an energy beam from a Chaos Bahumut with her sword.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Can shoot a small stone out of the air with her gunblade in one shot. With one hand. While falling.
  • Jack of All Stats: If fully developed, she has the second-best Strength and ties for second in Magic with Vanille. She also has the second-lowest overall HP, but learns Sentinel skills that allow her to dramatically increase her evasion to physical attacks, so she can step into any role easily.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cold, distant, and extremely snarky to even those closest to her. However, she really does care deeply for them as she willingly joins The Purge to save Serah, is ready to sacrifice herself for Hope without a second thought, and feels so torn about Fang and Vanille's sacrifice that she immediately sets out to find a way to save them. She'll also generally try to do the right thing.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: She believes in doing what's right, which is not to say she's not incredibly bitter about just about everything.
  • Made of Iron: Becoming a l'Cie apparently does this to a person. Taken much further in the sequel as Lightning is first slammed by a chunk of meteor, then smashed by the full force of a Chaos Bahumut punch, then takes an entire meteor to the face... and seems none the worse for wear because of it.
  • Magic Knight: Equally skilled in sword melee and magic.
  • Mama Bear: For Serah (the director stated Lightning has both maternal and sisterly feelings toward Serah, so it works both ways) and Hope. For Serah, she willingly volunteers to be "Purged"; proceeds to hijack a Purge train, taking out all the soldiers on board; plows through several more platoons of soldiers/monsters on her way; then proceeds to hijack a military barge to infiltrate the Pulse Vestige where she then fights off the monsters within; and then decides to take matters straight to the God-like fal'Cie all within the first two hours of the game. And for Hope? "Start running, I'll keep em' busy. You survive!". Luckily Fang and Snow showed up just in time.
  • Master Swordsman: Episode one states that only the best get to handle Gunblades.
  • Married to the Job: Her dedication to the Guardian Corps; a possible reason she has no canon love interests.
  • Meaningful Name: She changed her name to Lightning when her parents died to be a stronger person for Serah, but ended up alienating her and ruining their relationship. Lightning comments to Hope on this "Lightning. It flashes bright, then fades away. It can't protect. It only destroys."
    • It is implied that Serah doesn't see it this way at all as not only does she refer to Lightning as "oneechan" in the Japanese version on a regular basis, she also hints that she saw Lightning as a role model/mentor in XIII-2 and never once gives any hint of resentment towards her elder sibling.
  • Modesty Shorts
  • Morality Pet: Serah and Hope demonstrate the heart of gold inside the jerk.
  • More Dakka: Her gunblade, which usually is seen only to fire one bullet at a time, suddenly becomes a rapid fire machine gun during the Chapter 7 airship fight. It is surprisingly effective.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Has no problem doing flips, backflips, high jumps, and impressive feats of swordplay despite possessing tiny twig limbs. Even before she becomes a l'Cie.
  • The Musketeer: When she isn't deflecting energy waves, cutting through an entire security fleet, and taking on 10 ton robotic scorpions and winning with her sword, she is shooting objects that are only a few inches in diameter, at a distance of several hundred feet while falling at terminal velocity, and only takng a second to line up the shot... without sights while upside down.
  • My Sister Is Off Limits: Is this when it comes to Serah and Snow.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Though it's subverted, as she's an Anti-Hero rather than a villain.
  • Nice Shoes: Knee-high, elaborate boots.
  • Not So Different: During the time when Hope wanted revenge against Snow, Lightning remarks how similar he is to her.
    • Noel certainly thinks Serah and Lightning are not that different from each other when they are angry after seeing her switch from being stern and focused to soft-spoken very quickly.
  • Off Model: When viewed at the right angle, it's obvious that the lock of hair draping down the front of her uniform is actually hovering in the air over the fabric.
  • One Woman Army: Lampshaded; her signature skill is called Army of One.
    • Taken further in the sequel: her Limit Break is named Legion of One.
  • Paradigm System
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner
    Lightning: [before using Army of One]: "I'm no one's slave!"
    Lightning: [before using Zantetsuken]: "The storm is here!"
    Lightning: Nice gun.
  • The Red Mage: She's considered the best Ravager (i.e. the XIII equivalent of the Black Mage) by many and is also quite skilled as a Medic (i.e. the XIII equivalent of the White Mage) on top of being a great Commando (i.e. physical attacker). Later on, she even gains access to buffs and debuffs.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Variety 3: You can count on a single hand the amount of times Lightning truly smiled in XIII. Otherwise, her default expression is one of focus and alertness with a healthy amount of seriousness being conveyed.
    • She actually smiles more frequently (or at least, more noticeably) in the Japanese version of the game. Either something got lost during the lip-synch editing for the English dialogue or it may have been an intentional decision to try and portray her as a more stoic character for Western appeal.
  • Promotion to Parent: Once legally for Serah, once metaphorically for Hope.
  • The Protagonist: Its her story, though the fragmented nature early on makes this difficult to see.
  • Resentful Guardian —> Character Development —> Parental Substitute: For Hope. Almost literally for the last trope.
  • Sergeant Rock: This was her rank in the Guardian Corps, pre-game.
  • She's Got Legs
  • The Stoic
    • Not So Stoic: Her outbursts to Snow and her demeanor just before her confrontation with Odin. She also didn't take too kindly to Cid Raines' betrayal.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Just read Final Fantasy: Episode Zero. Oh, Lightning, you were never fooling anyone.
  • Summon Magic
    "Odin... Cut us a path!"
  • She-Fu: Lightning's fighting style.
  • Shock and Awe: Her magic specialty is (of course) the thunder line of spells.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Orphan.
  • Speak Friend and Enter: In one of the early cutscenes, she pounds on a door that looks like a l'Cie Brand, and then apologizes and asks the door (or the fal'Cie controlling the door) nicely to open, which works. It is explained in Episode Zero that this door turns away those who are evil:
    “This door is a door of trials. It will turn away those who hold evil in their hearts, and lead on those who hold the holy spirit.” The girl with the eyes of an adult knelt before the door, and prayed. The girl with the eyes of a child followed suit. The symbol on the door glowed red, and the door opened.
  • Spin Attack: Her Blitz skill is one of these.
  • Stepford Snarker: Sarcasm is definitely part of her personality and she even shows shades of being a Snark Knight. However, as she develops, it is revealed that some of her more jerk ass comments come from her own insecurities, feelings of guilt, and anger at the situation she has found herself in. She even apologizes to Snow later on in XIII for the numerous comments and healthy amount of disdain she showed him and immediately apologizes to Hope after making some of her harshest comments.
  • Still Wearing The Old Colors: She quit a minute or two before she boarded the train in the opening, and didn't have time to change.
  • Super Reflexes: While in Sentinel mode, she can use Elude which gives her a 50% chance of dodging an enemy attack.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Her gunblade (unlike Squall's) is a weapon which can shift between its sword form to a submachine gun instead of being a bullet-powered Vibro Weapon.
  • Third-Person Seductress:
    • A beautiful aversion in her base-game and related appearances. She's attractive but is not played for fanservice nor is her outfit particularly revealing, especially in comparison to Vanille and Fang.
    • Played with in Lightning Returns, where she can don either more revealing outfits and show off her Jiggle Physics, or wear outfits that are even more modest than her original.
  • Transhuman: In XIII she goes from a Human to a L'cie. After XIII she goes from a L'cie to a human possessing the magic of a L'cie (according to "The Fragments After"). Just before the events of XIII-2, she goes from a human possessing the magic of a L'cie to merging with the Goddess Etro and being called a "Warrior Goddess" at one point and having the manual state she's "something more than human... almost a Goddess herself". During Lightning Returns, she will now serve as "The Soul Liberator" and has been said to be even more powerful than before. By the end of Lightning Returns, she has been considered something of a God or somewhere close to it.
  • Troubled, but Cute
  • Women Are Wiser: Somewhat of an aversion and isn't touched on too much, but to say the least she's much stronger, better skilled, and more athletic than all the guys (and all the other girls for that matter) on the team, and could easily kick all their asses. Heck, she's the strongest character period by far, not just of the team members. She's even stronger than God himself as proven in the last game, and defeats him to take his place as Goddess, until being convinced by Serah and Lumina they should not have gods in the new world. In other words, she has the looks and skills, just not the appropriate personality.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Plans on pulling this for a couple of chapters. She snaps out of it, though.
  • Worst Whatever Ever: See Deadpan Snarker above.

In XIII-2, Lightning has gone missing and is assumed dead by all but her sister Serah. The reality is that she has been whisked to the timeless plane of Valhalla, where she has ascended to become the protector to none other than the Goddess Etro.
Tropes present only in XIII-2:

  • A God I Am Not: "I never said I was a Goddess."
  • Air Jousting: With Caius during the opening.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: She has been pulled to the world of Valhalla (A.K.A. Land of the Dead) to protect Goddess Etro's temple.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered: Lightning considers her entire situation in Final Fantasy XIII-2 as something she deserves and feels that it will serve as her way to atone for all of her past sins.
  • Being Good Sucks: Caius even tells her in The Fragements After that she could live out her life with her friends and family in happiness without anything bad happening until hundreds of years later. However, she couldn't live with herself and knows that she could never face her loved ones by making such a choice, so instead She goes though endless 900 year loops fighting each and every day of her life in an unending, ultimately lost war.
  • The Beastmaster: The game's introduction shows her as The Leader of an army of monsters.
  • Big Good: As The Champion for the benevolent deity in this story, she is the highest authority, the ones Serah looks up to, and the only one that can truly match Cauis in battle.
  • Blade Lock: With Caius in their battles.
  • Chainmail Bikini: It's a bit more practical than most, but still qualifies.
  • Cool Horse: Odin, of course, though he only appears in the prologue.
  • Cool Sword/Cool Gun: The one she has in the first game is upgraded by Etro along with her armor.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Though she has a short DLC episode in the form of "Requiem of the Goddess" to explain her side of the story a bit more, this game is very much about Serah.
  • Demoted to Extra: She has a scene in the prologue and narrates in new areas but otherwise she has no screen time.
  • Feather Motif: Her costume and her gunblade summoning now involve copious amounts of feathers. Word of God confirms that this symbolizes a connection to the divine.
  • Gravity Master: One of the quick time events during the opening allows for Lightning to use the Graviga spell... which causes all of the surrounding sheets of metal and scrap to collapse in on Caius, crushing him. He doesn't die.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: As part of her new Etro's Champion armor.
  • Futile Hand Reach: To Serah during the Requiem of the Goddess DLC.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Lightning is crystallized in the ending in order to protect Serah's will, according to Word of God.
  • Heroic Vow: "I made my choice. I will fight...I will never give up" This entails fighting an unwinnable battle for countless 900 year loops in which she remembers each one; leading army after army into battle; protecting every single last human across all the timelines, in every point in history; and essentially chains her to a life of death, sorrow, and hardship on top of precluding her from ever being with those she loves and cares about... heroic indeed.
  • Hero of Another Story: The fragments hint at many adventures in Valhaha and imply that she built the army seen in the prologue by fighting every single monster composing it.
  • Hyper Space Arsenal: Calls her new gunblade from thin air.
  • Legally Dead/First Episode Spoiler: Believed dead by everyone but Serah.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Another upgrade from Etro; she carries a shield for defense.
  • Mounted Combat/Dragon Rider: With Odin and Bahamut.
  • Narrator She has a monologue at the start of each world and sometimes at the end.
  • No Sell: In the Requiem of the Goddess DLC, the Knight paradigm gives her the ability Immortality. Under its active protection, Lightning will block every attack that Caius/Chaos Bahamut can use and takes no damage.
  • Out of Focus: The Protagonist of the first and third games, but here the focus is on her sister.
  • Not Quite Human: The booklet states, “…she is something beyond human, almost a goddess herself.”
  • The Paladin: A knight charged with protection of the goddess Etro and her shrine.
  • Pet the Dog: For Mog. Mog is known as the weakest being of all the void and has lost every fight he has ever been in. After he ended up in Valhalla... he didn't fair much better as Odin goes as far as to refuse to follow the most basic understanding in Valhalla (i.e. the weak serve the stong) since Mog was so weak and leaves him behind. Despite not wanting to fight a creature obviously so weak, she can't bring herself to humiliate him and "fights" him. After winning, rather than leaving him behind as Mog expects, she takes him in and takes care of him.
  • Showgirl Skirt: It's made of Fluffy Fashion Feathers. It's an odd case because her legs are covered by greaves.
  • Summon Magic: She can summon her own version of Bahamut now as well as command of monsters.
  • Sword Pointing: To Caius in Requiem of the Goddess.
  • Taken for Granite: Happens to her in the default ending and by her own decision. In one of the fragments you can find, it says she knew she couldn't avoid this fate, so she acknowledged her defeat and crystallized, with one wish in her heart. It was revealed in an interview that her wish is to protect Serah's will. Referring to protecting the future since her crystallization is the only thing keeping the world from being completely lost.
  • Transformation Sequence: How she got into all that fancy armor. It looks like a less-flashy version of a Magical Girl's transformation, complete with nudity.
  • Valkyries: Certainly in terms of design and considering Valhalla is considered the "Land of the Dead" it makes sense in terms of theme.
  • Up to Eleven: When leveled up to level 10 for the Requiem of the Goddess DLC, her stats are HP = 999,999; Strength = 9,999; Magic = 9,999; and she has no damage ceiling.
  • Wolverine Publicity: She's the one on the boxart and the logo but The Hero of XIII-2 is really her sister Serah. The game trilogy as a whole is now the "Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Saga" (Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII) and an entire event was planned during the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy to announce the third of those, also known as "...the next Lightning game...".


After the events of XIII-2, she crystallized herself for five hundred years so she would come back again in a later and more proper time. Now, she has to save the world from Chaos. She is the only playable character in the game.

Her personality has changed a bit from the first two games. She now is more emotionless and distant, but she still has a kind and good heart deep within her which slowly resurfaces as she does good and heroic deeds.

Tropes present only in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII:

  • A God Am I: By the final battle, she's been groomed by Bhunivelze to become the new Goddess of Death to replace Etro. By the end of the final battle, she's become stronger than him. Although she gives it up in the end when convinced by Lumina and Serah that the new world will be better without Gods/Goddesses.
  • All-Loving Hero: Her task has ultimately changed her into this. She tries to help everyone and bring the best out of everyone she meets.
  • Ambiguously Human: Lightning is unsure whether she's still human after her crystallization. In addition, she states numerous times that at points where she should feel something, she isn't, and doesn't really care. Even a vision of Serah didn't get emotion out of her, she noted, and is justifiably worried.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: The Children of Etro view her as the harbinger of the impending apocalypse.
  • Badass Boast: She doesn't think much of Noel's attempt to challenge her.
    Bring It on, Noel. I've been fighting destiny for a long time now, and I'm getting good at it.
    • Another example is Bhunivelze's challenge.
    "I'll become a Goddess of death, all right. But not the one you want. I'll be the Goddess who kills you!"
  • Badass Longcoat/Badass Long Robe: While what she wears in her default outfit can't actually be called a coat or a robe, it's clearly designed to invoke the imagery of one. Some of her other outfits have the more traditional longcoat or robe.
  • Broken Bird: In an interview, Yuji Abe and Motomu Toriyama state that Lightning is less rough and stoic than previous games due to her Guilt Complex finally catching up to her, and that some players might interpret that as her being more feminine.
  • Cool Shades
  • The Chosen One
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: She reveals in the "Stolen Things" sidequest that she always despised how people pitied her for being an orphan when she was young, so she walled away her emotions and worked to become The Stoic.
  • Dude Magnet: She gets a lot of compliments from guys she meets about her looks throughout her quest. One even goes so far to ask her out on a date, which the player has an option to agree or not.
  • Emotionless Girl: Lightning suspects God removed her emotions and Hope's to better go about their mission.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: If she's wearing one of the "suit" style garbs, passing by some women can cause them to remark "He's a cutie!" Other outfits like her Sphere Hunter outfit go right into the trope with women complimenting her legs and saying, "Sexy!" as she runs by.
  • Fanservice Pack: Square Enix increased the size of Lightning's breasts for this game since there would be outfits in that would show off more of her body than what players were used to seeing from her.
  • The Heroine: While her main motive for helping God save the souls' of humans is to save Serah, she still generally displays quite a lot of heroism throughout her quest, moreso than she ever has before - from helping anyone in need to encouraging anyone having a difficult time, and even making occasional quotes in battle such as "I fight to give people hope!" and "Evil has a price!". Fairly justified in that doing so helps her power grow. By the end of the game, she's undoubtedly a true heroine, risking everything to face the most powerful evil God in the universe to give all people a chance in the new world. Ultimately, she has ascended from being an anti-heroine from the first game into a true heroine.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: She's originally accused as being an evil savior by everyone when she first starts her quest in Luxerion, and Noel tries to kill her. Her heroic actions later change his and the others' mind.
  • Hidden Heartof Gold: She clearly wants to do the right things and help others deep down, even if she claims to only be doing it for her sister. Proven for certain at the end, as she risks everything to kill the evil God Bhunivelze who only wants to let people whom he deems worthy live in his new world and kill the rest, and take his place as a new Goddess whom will allow a new world for everyone.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Zigzagged. On the one hand some of her outfits are very skimpy and revealing with skirts, midriff-baring tops, and bikinis. On the other hand she can also wear more conservative and reasonable outfits that cover even more than her previous outfits.
  • Invincible Hero: It doesn't mattter if you throw a gigantic monster at her that had already killed a bunch of extremely strong warriors (which is actually a mission in Luxerion), or even the most powerful being in the universe (Bhunivelze). She'll take them all down all by herself without even breaking a sweat.
    • Further proven in that she's now able to take down any monster or opponent all on her own without teammates.
  • IKEA Weaponry / Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Her shield neatly unfolds and expands for combat, as the opening cutscene shows.
  • Jiggle Physics: In some of her outfits, mainly ones with bikini tops, to go along with her increased breast size, it's thankfully subtle, though.
  • Leotard of Power: Her default outfit, combined with Showgirl Skirt
  • Messianic Archetype: The savior of the world awakened from death to bring innocent souls to a new and better world.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Some of her outfits are extremely skimpy and revealing, to an almost absurd degree, specifically the Mist Wizard and Dark Muse garb templates. The X-2 Yuna cosplay garb and the Miqo'te cosplay garb are also notable in this regard, but there's plenty more as well, some even being bikini styled. It's also worth noting that most of her sexier outfits (such as Electronia, Witching Hour, Amazon Warrior, Rhapsody in Rose, etc.) have better stats than the other ones, further encouraging players to wear them.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Her weapons are not limited to just different types of swords, she can also wield clubs, fans, axes, staves, Double Weapons and spears.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Lightning continues to use her regular battle stance and wields her weapons one handed, even if the weapon in question is bigger than her. Though when she has Greatswords such as the Buster Sword, Caius's Sword or the Behemoth sword equipped she holds it in one hand, but when physically attacking she uses both, but at the same time there are regular swords that are just as big as the Buster Sword.
  • Opera Gloves
  • Pimped Out Cape
  • Rummage Sale Reject
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: She is quite gorgeous in the Midnight Mauve garb. Practically said verbatim by Director Sarzhak.
  • Showgirl Skirt
  • Shout-Out: She can wear the costumes of Faris, Locke, Cloud, Aerith, Yuna and female Miq'ote.
  • Sticks to the Back: Lightning has foregone her visible holster and her Hyperspace Arsenal and instead just has her swords hovering slightly above her back, akin to the MMOs in the series.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: A few sidequests relate to food, and Lightning mentions on several occasions she likes steak. Grilled Behemoth steak is also something she's quite good at cooking. Well, she admits to Chef Aryas it's the only thing she's good at cooking.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Lightning will have multiple costume choices as well as adornments for further visual customization.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: The garb design template which includes the Faris costume, the Red Mage costume and a couple men's suits give Lightning this vibe.
  • Wrecked Weapon: the Crimson Blitz's tip gets blasted off the sword in the opening cinematic. Unlike most examples of the trope, this doesn't seem to phase Light too much as she continues to use the busted sword.

    Snow Villiers 

Snow Villiers

Voiced by Daisuke Ono in Japanese and Troy Baker in English.

Snow is the leader of NORA, an armed neighborhood watch that fights local monsters. When the Purge starts, they rebel against the Sanctum. He is engaged to Lightning's sister, Serah. Snow fights with his bare hands and Ice magic. His weapon is a special coat developed by the government which can alter the strength of the wearer. His Eidolon is Shiva, which splits into two sisters, Styria and Nix. They transform into a motorbike during their Gestalt Mode.
General tropes and those present in the first game:

  • Always Save the Girl: Snow is very dedicated to rescuing Serah, to the point where he abandons the others to save her at one point.
  • Badass: Leads a rebellion against the Sanctum at the beginning of Chapter 1.
  • Barefisted Monk: Although it's obvious he relies more on brute strength than technique. There's some skill there though, just enough for him to be efficient about it.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Literally. Considering how much he loves being a hero this had to happen sometime.
    Snow: Did someone call for a hero? I thought so.
  • The Big Guy: At somewhere around 6'7", he's the biggest human PC in a Final Fantasy game yet.
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Before the L'cie did, anyway.
  • Companion Cube: Treats Serah's crystal tear as such, talking to it like Serah can hear him and encouraging the same from the other party members occasionally. It apparently worked, because in Episode i Serah confirms that, in her crystallized state, she could not only hear him, but also see the things he saw. She speculates it's indeed because he always carried her crystal tear with him.
  • Determinator: He never, ever, gives up. He never accepts his Focus or the idea of fulfilling it and vows that no matter what happens or what it takes, he will save Cocoon and bring back Serah. Lampshaded by Lightning, who mentions "He's too stubborn to die. And that's his best quality."
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Especially around Hope and Serah.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Sure, his claims that being a hero will save the world ultimately lead them to doing everything that Barthandelous wanted them to do... but his point about doing nothing doesn't help anything rings true (i.e. they are ticking time bombs... time isn't exactly on their side).
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Claims to be a traditional 'save the world' hero when all he's done is trounce local wildlife. After transforming, he tries to be the real deal. He was some sort of revolutionary before the game started, and while his tactics were questionable, he was charismatic enough to garner followers. Not exactly a hero, but probably where he got the idea that he was heroic.
  • Five Stages of Grief: While Lightning is trapped in the anger stage following Serah's crystalization, Snow is stuck in the bargaining stage. He is convinced that he can free her from her fate if he just sacrifices something, anything.
  • Gentle Giant: Jokes about his shoe size aside, Snow is a determined romantic who believes in doing the right thing as a self-designated hero. Also, he insists on calling Lightning 'nee-san/sis' even though he isn't married to Serah yet and Lightning hates him.
  • The Hero: Deconstructed. He identifies himself as one, but at first the world is just so crapsack that he mostly serves as a source of irritation for Lightning until Character Development happens. At which point, he's the one to set their long term goal and gets them to acknowledge how much of a team they've all become. While Lightning leads more often then him, he's more traditionally heroic and steers them towards helping bystanders (often to the other's exasperation).
  • Heroic BSOD:
    • Most pronounced after Barthandelus delivers a Break Them by Talking speech about Serah's Focus to the party after their first boss battle against him.
    • Before that, when Hope started to question his actions.
  • Hidden Depths: While he appears to be oblivious, arrogant, or thoughtless, he is in fact masking his intense fear of failure and guilt for those he's failed (Nora and Serah, in particular). Since he doesn't know how to make up for those deficiencies, he tries to be gregarious and active. He's so afraid that he'll never make up for it that he can't bring himself to apologize or acknowledge what he did that was wrong. Hope convinces him to be more mindful of his sins.
  • Hot-Blooded: He charges headlong into danger with nary a thought.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Compared to Serah, Snow is huge.
  • Hunk: Lampshaded by Serah in XIII-2.
  • Fearless Fool: He dives headlong into danger with only a basic plan.
  • An Ice Person: Like Lightning, his primary element is reflected in his name.
  • Ideal Hero: Leads to being an Idiot Hero, at first, since he doesn't consider anything other than ideals when trying to be heroic. However, as the most idealistic one in the team, he can also be the most clear-sighted, which becomes important after the Trauma Conga Line renders everyone doubtful and unsure.
  • Idiot Hero: Thinks he can save everyone with enthusiasm. His plans are never more complicated than: Summon Shiva, kick ass. He does show a practical mindset at times, but it's clear he tries to fight it.
  • Indy Ploy: He is quick on his feet, which is the only reason he gets away with the above.
    "Heroes don't need plans!"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's mostly arrogant, doing things without thinking, but he's willing to do anything whatever it takes.
  • Keet
  • Hurricane Kick: His version of Blitz is one.
  • Large Ham: Just listen to his shouts, boasts, and cries!
  • The Leader: He tries to invoke this trope at the start by being a Type IV, but he just annoys everyone.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Judging by his Shirtless Scene.
  • Megaton Punch: The Sovereign Fist.
  • Memetic Hand Gesture: Snow's "right fist punches left palm" motion.
  • Nice Guy: Never has a bad word to say about his allies or the people of Cocoon. Even if they punch him in the face or are terrified of him.
  • No Sell: One of the Synthesis abilites available to him through his Feymark/Soul Blazer can render him immune to magic attacks; unfortunately, it can't be used to heal him either.
    • A more conventional No Selling can be done through Paladin/Winged Saint, which increases the effectiveness of his Guard stances; the official guide claims in optimal conditions he takes 1% DAMAGE
  • One-Man Army: Not as much as Lightning, but still very much present.
  • The Paragon: He tries to be, and he can play the part, but by refusing to recognize his flaws or the challenges around him he endangers others as much as he tries to empower them. During his journey, once he actually thinks through his (rather dire) situation, he acts as one to the group, being the first to commit to rebelling against the fal'cie and by being continually cheerful in the face of the others' gloom. It pays off.
  • Perma Stubble
  • Paradigm System
    • Commando
    • Ravager
    • Sentinel. With the most support equipment for defending, he's got this role down pat; except he's missing Elude.
  • Roundhouse Kick: His version of Blindside are these.
  • Shirtless Scene: Snow is ripped.
  • Slasher Smile: Has one in the cutscenes leading up to the final battle.
  • Stone Wall: Has the highest HP of any character, but the worst Magic and only slightly above-average Strength. He is best in the Sentinel role.
    • Mighty Glacier: With a certain setup he can become a very powerful physical attacker by sacrificing some of his very high HP count.
  • Summon Magic
    "Cool them off!"
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Before he gets l'cie powers, he uses hand grenades to deal area damage.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Stands by Serah when she becomes a l'Cie, proposing to her shortly afterwards.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Refuses to believe they'll all either Cie'th or commit genocide; always knew they'd save the day.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He thinks he's a hero and if he makes the most heroic choices, everything will be fine. If he was in a Lighter and Softer RPG series, this would work, but not in this one...
  • You Are Worth Hell: Firmly believes that Serah is worth it, even if she's a l'Cie.


In XIII-2, Snow has put his marriage to Serah on hold while he looks for the missing Lightning at his fiance's request. He soon disappears altogether, having been whisked into the vortex of time.
Tropes present only in XIII-2:

  • '80s Hair: That is likely what it looks like without the hat.
  • Barrier Warrior: Like in the XIII, he's a Sentinel.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In a cinematic action, no less during the forest arc.
    • In one of the Paradox Endings, he bursts into the Academy HQ with the Time Police just in time to arrest The Mole and stop Serah and Noel from falling into a trap, then whisks Serah away on his time-travelling motorbike to fight Caius up and down the timeline.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: At least, not when Snow's wearing it. He's as heroic as ever.
  • Demoted to Extra: One of the main heroes now has only one area.
  • Disappears into Light: Fixing the paradox in the forest area means that the events leading up to his arrival there never happened and so he disapears.
  • The Fettered: He can't keep himself from challenging a much stronger giant flan because it's a danger to Vanille and Fang.
  • Guest Star Party Member: When in the Sunleth Waterscape he can help Noel and Serah.
  • Hero of Another Story: The fragments state that he is on his own mission to stop Caius and doing things elsewheer and elsewhen while Serah and Nole do their thing.
  • Palette Swap: Notable as Final Fantasy XIII is always praised for its visuals, Snow's overall appearance isn't changing much other than coloration and hairstyle.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As a Guest Star Party Member early in the game, he's pretty lame. However, as a DLC boss, his punches hurt like hell and he can easily wreck your team with his Sovereign Fist if you don't use the proper strategy.


After somehow making it out of the Void Beyond where he was trapped in XIII-2, Snow becomes the Patron of Yusnaan, described as the "City of Revelry" by becoming its protector as the last of the cursed l'Cie.

Tropes present only in Lightning Returns:

    Oerba Dia Vanille 

Oerba Dia Vanille

"Wishes can come true. But not if you just wait for miracles. Miracles are things we make for ourselves. Here, and now."

Voiced by Yukari Fukui in Japanese and Georgia van Cuylenburg in English.

A mysterious girl with red hair tied up in pigtails who, despite facing hardships, is an upbeat and caring person. Her weapon is a strange kind of fishing rod. Her Eidolon is the many-armed Hecatoncheir, and it transforms into a bipedal mech with four machine gun turrets in its Gestalt Mode. The resemblance to magiteck armor is a complete coincidence.

    Sazh Katzroy 

Sazh Katzroy

"You think you die, and that's that?! You think you die and everything'll be sugar and rainbows?!"

Voiced by Masashi Ebara in Japanese and Reno Wilson in English.

A professional airship pilot from Cocoon, he tags along with Lightning so that he can confront the fal'Cie. His weapons are dual pistols. His Eidolon is Brynhildr, a female Fire-elemental, who can turn into a race car in her Gestalt Mode.


As the pilot for Blitz Squadron, Sazh and Dajh were sucked into a temporal distortion. The "Heads or Tails" XIII-2 downloadable content shows that after spending some time in the casino at Serendipity, a place that is beyond time, they then enter a time gate and wind up even further in the future, and he aids Serah, Noel, and Hope as an airship pilot.
Tropes present only in XIII-2:

    Hope Estheim 

Hope Estheim

"And what if that gets people around you involved? What happens when your actions end up ruining someone's life? What if someone dies? What then, Snow? How do you pay for what you've done?"

Voiced by Yuuki Kaji in Japanese and Vincent Martella in English.

A young boy originally from a high-class family. His mother was killed while volunteering to help Snow and NORA, so for that he bears a grudge against Snow. His weapon is a boomerang. His Eidolon is Alexander, which has the ability to turn into a fortress in Gestalt Mode.



In XIII-2, the 24-year old Hope is the director of the Academy, a scientific organisation born from the new provisional government of Cocoon. Together with his fellows, he is working on building a future for humanity based on human technology.
Tropes present only in XIII-2:

  • Adventure Archaeologist: He's re-introduced at an archeologyical dig by one-shotting a boss monster.
  • Badass Bookworm: The head of the Academy research group and still a monster buster.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saves Noel and Serah from a monster with just his boomerang. This is the previous game's Squishy Wizard, by the way.
  • Big Good: A more mundane version than Lightening. The Academy researches paradoxes and temportal energy and so provide assistance and direction to Serah and Noel.
  • Bishōnen: Now that's he's grown up, he definitely qualifies.
  • Broken Bird: Hope tells Serah that everyone he cared about, has left him for most of his life.
  • Call Back: A very subtle and easily-missed example. In XIII, in an optional cutscene, Hope tells Vanille that her smile makes him happy. In XIII-2, during one of his Live-Triggers, one of the options is that he misses Vanille's smile.
  • Emperor Scientist: As the Director of Academy Hope is the undisputed leader of humanity. His rise to power makes more sense when you learn that his father Bartholomew and Rygdea were the ones who set up the provisional government and Academy after the fall of Sanctum.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Serah's surprised by his appearance; in 10AF he's taller than her.
  • Improbable Age: At 24 he is the head of Academy as well as Academia the new capital of the world making him humanity's de facto leader. The game Hand Waves this ahead of time in NPC dialog as the Academy caring more about abilities than age.
  • I Will Find You: Poor guy has dedicated himself to bringing back Fang, Vanille, and Lightning. Don't think he's forgotten about his mother.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Strongly hinted to be the whole group, but most noticed with Lightning, Fang, and Vanille.
  • Meaningful Name: Snow lampshades it in a paradox ending; "The Future is Hope".
  • Mildly Military: Academy is said to work closely alongside the military but in the climax, Hope himself leads the charge against Caius's army of monsters.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Hope's team builds Augusta Tower in order to create a manmade fal'Cie...which promptly kills him, his team, and proceeds to wipe out humanity hundreds of years in the future. Though it wasn't entirely his fault, as the fal'Cie traveled back in time to achieve this due to the appearance of a paradox.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Archeology, engineering, computer science/design, temporal physics, magic...
  • Our Presidents Are Different: As the Director he is President Action.
  • Regent for Life: A benign version. After spending time in suspended animation Hope can come back in the future and still be unquestioned in authority. However, Hope limits himself to an adviser role, generally staying out of the way of much of the Academy's business in 4XXAF since he understands that others in the future see him as a relic from the past.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: His reasons for entering the Academy were to find a way to bring back Lightning, Fang, Vanille, and his mother Nora.
  • Supporting Leader: Leader of the Academy but the main spotlight goes to Serah and Noel.
  • Static Stun Gun: His new boomerang has an electromagnetic pulse which stuns paradox creatures.
  • Stepford Smiler: Implied when Serah and Noel meet with him at the Yaschas Massif, considering next to everyone he was close friends with has disappeared from his life. Even more obvious in Academia at 4XX AF where he travels into the future on a one way trip, remarking that there was no-one left for him in his own time after his father's death and so there was nothing holding him to that time and that the only people who know who he really is are Serah and Noel.


"Hope watches over Lightning from his base in the Ark, guiding the savior as she tries to carry out all-mighty Bhunivelze's divine mission. As Lightning's trusted partner, Hope provides key information throughout the quest. Mysteriously, Hope is no longer a grown man, but has instead turned back into the boy that Lightning first met."

Tropes present only in Lightning Returns:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Saves Lightning at the endgame, pulling her out of Chaos and leading her to everyone else's souls.
  • Demonic Possession: 169 years prior to the final game, Bhunivelze kidnapped him, tortured him, and reverted him back to his "innocent" form in preparation for serving as his vessel. Lightning frees his soul during the final battle.
  • Disappears into Light: When Bhunivelze discards him.
  • Exposition Fairy
  • Fountain of Youth: He has regressed to his fourteen year old appearance. This is because Bhunivelze wanted to return him to his "innocent" form in preparation for serving as his vessel.
  • Hope Bringer: Prior to his ascension to the Ark 169 years previous, Hope was the shining beacon of humanity that kept reason and order throughout Nova Crystalia. This attracted Bhunivelze who took him and groomed him as his vessel and used the anarchy that his absence caused to establish the Order of Salvation.
  • Mission Control: Hope helps Lightning with her duties though wireless communication from the Ark.
  • Non-Action Guy
  • Voice with an Internet Connection

    Oerba Yun Fang 

Oerba Yun Fang

"Let Cocoon get what's comin', better that than watch a friend go Cie'th."

Voiced by Mabuki Andou in Japanese and Rachel Robinson in English.

A mysterious woman from Pulse who grew up with Vanille. Her weapon is a double-bladed spear that can be split into a three-section staff. Her Eidolon is Bahamut, who has no element, which also turns into a flying dragon in its Gestalt Mode.


After Sazh rescued her and Vanille from the Crystal Pillar at the finale of XIII-2, Fang reappears in the Desert Dunes of Nova Chrysalia, now the leader of a brigade of thieves called Monoculus.

Tropes present only in 'Lightning Returns:

  • Benevolent Boss: She's the leader of a group of thieves.
  • Guest Star Party Member: She and the Angel of Valhalla are the only party members who fight alongside Lightning in battle.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Aside from Lightning and Snow, who seem to get differing wardrobes in each game, she's got the same attire as she did in XIII and XIII-2.
  • Outlaw Town/Thieves' Guild: Runs one.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Monoculus really isn't a band of thieves so much as they are treasure hunters, searching the desert for relics.
  • Really 1521 Years Old: Chronologically speaking. Lampshaded in-game when she states she "did the math" and notes this means she's "the oldest hag on the planet".

Friends & Family Members

    Serah Farron 

Serah Farron

"The point is, I have people I can count on. I'll make it through."

Voiced by Minako Kotobuki in Japanese and Laura Bailey in English.

Lightning's younger sister and Snow's fiancée, Serah was branded a l'Cie by the Pulse fal'Cie Anima prior to the game. Her Focus is what draws the party together, setting the plot in motion. Along with Dajh, she is revived from crystal stasis at the end of the game.

Living with the rest of Team NORA in New Bodhum (Snow off searching for a way to free Vanille and Fang), Serah's world is shattered when monsters attack the village. Noel saves her, handing her a weapon so she can fight.

The two then set off to investigate Lightning's fate — everyone believes she's dead, but Serah's memory shows the opposite. What is behind these strange events?
Tropes present only in XIII-2:

  • Action Girl: Believe it or not she kicks a substantial amount of ass as the game's heroine.
  • Apologetic Attacker: She sometimes does this after killing an enemy.
  • Ascended Extra: Downplayed, but present: she goes from supporting character in XIII to playable character and heroine in this game.
  • Badass: After being separated from Noel, Serah runs into Caius. Knowing she can't win, she fights anyway and all with just one monster. She loses but Caius compliments her for doing a much better job than Noel did!
  • Badass Adorable: Possesses fighting skills on-par with the original party members now, but she's no less cute while doing it. Her victory pose is catching Mog and giving him a hug. Aaaaaaw.
  • Badass Teacher: She scolds a school of miniflan into submission.
  • The Beastmaster: As with Lightning, she can collect crystals of monsters and raise them akin to Pokémon, the datalog explains this is a lesser form of Summon Magic.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Among her students she has a reputation as a strict teacher and both Snow and Noel comment she is like Lightning when she is angry.
  • Black Mage: Serah specializes in the Ravager, Sentinel and Saboteur paradigms.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: They're technically the same weapon, but the effect remains.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Some of her Live Triggers can invoke this, regarding her cat Snow. Because the cat is her only family!
  • Cool Sword: A shapeshifted Moogle
  • Combat Pragmatist: One of her specialities is sabotaging the enemy to given herself an advantage. When a monster is staggered, she shouts "Go! Go! Go!" to make sure her teammates hit them harder.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Saw Noel in her dreams before she met him.
  • Elemental Powers: As a Ravager, she learns all of the fire and lightning spells.
  • Empathic Weapon/Equippable Ally: Mog transforms into both her sword and bow.
  • Energy Bow: Sort of, it fires physical arrows that don't exist till after they've been fired.
  • Fangirl: Of Snow. Best demonstrated in an optional Live Trigger where Noel asks her what Snow means to her where she goes into a rapid rant about how awesome he is as seen here.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Although she has never fought before in her life, she is just as useful as Noel, who has been fighting monsters all his life, from battle one. However, it was mentioned that she learned how to defend herself, which makes sense as she and the people of Bodhum chose to go off into the wilds of Pulse in search of a beach. Being a teacher by profession instead of a hunter, it doesn't come up as often.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: The developers have stated they wanted Serah's sword to turn into a bow to preserve her femininity.
  • The Heroine: XII-2 is her story of tracking her sister through her time and helping people along the way.
  • The Hero Dies: During the ending, she has a vision that kills her.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Many of her outfits are skimpier than before.
  • I Regret Nothing: Even when she discovers that changing the future will eventually kill her, Serah remains unwavering and continues on her journey. Later after her death she reappears to Lightning and says she had no regrets because she made a promise to keep going on until they were reunited.
  • In the Blood: Takes charge after Lightning goes missing.
  • Mage Marksman/Magic Knight: Her specialty is magic but is also skilled at archery and swordplay.
  • Ms. Fanservice
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: As any real-world archer will tell you, it takes a decent amount of strength and stamina to pull a bowstring properly and effectively enough to use it as a weapon. Serah's arms don't look muscular in the slightest. However, The "bow" is just Mog shapeshifted. It's likely Mog used some kind of magic to enable Serah to operate him as a bow effectively. Also, look at how the bow is constructed, it has more in common with a NERF bow blaster than a traditional bow.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: In the words of Noel she is an "angel hiding an ogre."
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: Many of the time periods she visits have guns as commonplace but she uses a bow. Justified as her bow is not a normal bow and her archery specific skills wouldn't work with a gun.
  • Stern Teacher: Her students in New Bodhum call her "Meanie Miss. Farron."
  • Stripperific: Her outfit in XIII-2 shows significantly more skin than her one in XIII-1.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Mog, which can transform into a sword or bow.
  • Took a Level in Badass: From Distressed Damsel in the original game and at game open to full-blown Action Girl by Chapter 2.
  • Transhuman: After the fall of Cocoon, Serah is one of the few who have developed natural magical abilities; by Noel's time this is said to be the norm.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Delivers one to Caius
    Serah: "I know the truth, Caius. I know that every time I change things, I lose a part of my life. But don't you see? I don't care. I'm here to protect the future. And I will.

Tropes present only in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII:

After the brutal end of Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning is now working as God's savior, holding on to the promise that Bhunivelze will bring Serah back to life. Occasionally when Lightning returns to the Ark, a ghostly form of Serah will appear and talk to her.

  • Becoming the Mask: She may be a fake, but she states at the end that her attempt to think and act like the real Serah caused her to come to love Lightning as an older sister for real.
  • Break Them by Talking: When Lightning refuses to be honest in the end and keeps trying to justify becoming the new Goddess of Death, the fake Serah then reveals to Lightning that Lumina is the manifestation of all the weaknesses she forcibly tore away from herself when she was young, then tells her she deserves to be abandoned in the Chaos forever. This is what spurs Lightning to cry out for help.
  • Cloning Blues: The "Serah" that talks to Lightning whenever she returns to the Ark is a fake that was created by Bhunivelze. The real Serah does not appear until the very end of the game.
  • Death Is Cheap: The real Serah died in XIII-2, but is back by the end of LR, and is in college in the new world
  • Go Out with a Smile: The last thing the fake does before vanishing forever is to tell Lightning she loves her.
  • Walking Spoiler: Partly due to the fact that she truly died in the previous game and the one presented here is a fake created by Bhunivelze.

    Team NORA 

Team NORA

Left to right: Gadot, Yuj, Maqui, Lebreau.

"The army's no match for NORA!"

Gadot: Voiced by Biichi Satou in Japanese and Zack Hanks in English.
Yuj: Voiced by Wataru Hatano in Japanese and Jeff Fischer in English.
Maqui: Voiced by Makoto Naruse in Japanese and Daniel Samonas in English.
Lebreau: Voiced by YūAsakawa in Japanese and Anndi McAfee in English.

A team of rebellious monster hunters from Bodhum. The name is an acronym for "No Obligations, Rules, or Authority" in the English version, but is a play on the word "noraneko" in Japanese (meaning stray cat). When the Purge breaks out, they become La Résistance to combat PSICOM and protect the Purge victims.


    Dajh Katzroy 

Dajh Katzroy

Voiced by Shotaro Uzawa in Japanese and Connor Villard in English.

Sazh's young son, he loves Chocobos, and Sazh purchases the Chocobo Chick for him as a gift. Showing extreme maturity for his age, he comforts his father over the untimely death of his mother. Shortly before the game started, he was branded by the Cocoon fal'Cie Kujata and was taken by Jihl Nabaat into PSICOM custody. He completes his Focus and is crystallized a third of the way through the game, nearly prompting Sazh to commit suicide. Along with Serah, he awakens from crystal stasis during the game's ending.


    Chocobo Chick 

Chocobo Chick

A baby chocobo Sazh bought for his son Dajh at Euride Gorge. It has human intelligence and frequently stands in as a physical form of Sazh's conscience.


    Nora Estheim 

Nora Estheim

"Moms are tough."

Voiced by Komina Matsushita in Japanese and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn in English.

Hope's mother.

  • Action Mom: She volunteers for Snow's militia and even saves Snow at one point.
  • Mama Bear: She covers for her son and goes out with a bang by virtue of saving Snow's ass with a bazooka.
  • Sacrificial Lamb

Sanctum Officials

    Galenth Dysley 

Primarch Galenth Dysley/Barthandelus

"Without our help, death is all of which you're capable. You saw the fools. A mindless mob drunk on fear of a few l'Cie."

Voiced by Masaru Shinozuka in Japanese and S. Scott Bullock in English.

The Primarch of Cocoon, he is revered and loved by his people as a wise and fair old ruler that protects them from the horrors of Pulse, even if it means Purging cities at times. However, he is much more than he seems to be, as the party discovers.


  • Authority Equals Asskicking: How wrong you were if you thought he was a harmless old man...
  • Badass Longrobe
  • Badass Boast: Combines this with "The Reason You Suck" Speech, making for a truly awe-inspiring monologue when reveals his true nature to the heroes when they confront him for the first time. The Oh Crap looks on the faces of the party are amazing.
    " I am fal'Cie. My name is Barthandelus; voice of the Sanctum, and Lord-Sovereign of the Cocoon fal'Cie. Your kind feared the darkness, so we gave you light. You begged us for the Purge, and did it not come to pass? Now you spurn our counsel? You must learn your place!"
  • Batman Gambit: Once he reveals his true hand in the game's events, he spends the rest of the game tricking the party into doing what he wants by playing to their sense of righteousness, such as relying on them to return to Cocoon to try and protect it when he tells them he's set it up to be destroyed without them.
    • Xanatos Gambit: And the reason they follow it is because they know he has other pawns he can use and will explore other methods to destroy Cocoon if they don't cooperate.
  • The Battle Didn't Count
  • Big Bad: One of the two, that is.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: His hair is even long under his headdress, according to his artwork.
  • The Chessmaster: Notably, everything went according to his Evil Plan, but didn't get his goal anyway.
  • Climax Boss: In all of his incarnations.
  • Death Seeker: "Release... at last, release!" Like his ally Orphan, Barthandelus never intended to survive his plan.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Although he doesn't physically appear until the third chapter, he can be heard speaking to the Purge victims at the very beginning of the game.
    • There's also a literal bird cameo as his Rukh Menrva shows up very early in the game.
  • Eldritch Abomination
  • Establishing Character Moment: His entire confrontation with the party aboard the Palamecia, but especially this exchange, his first words to them.
    Snow: "Monster! People are not yours to use!"
    Dysley: "What else does one do with tools?"
  • Evil Is Hammy: Particularly notable as his appearances in public portays him as a perfectly sane and competent leader. When he's alone with the party, all that slips away.
  • Evil Laugh
  • Evil Mentor: Has shades to the party. They got as far as they did because he was pulling strings to allow them to, and when they confront him he spells out plain for them that their Focus is to destroy Cocoon by becoming Ragnarok. Then he sends them off to Fifth Ark to train them up for the job by pitting them against the enemies within.
  • Evil Old Folks
  • Evil Plan: Manipulate Pulse l'Cie into destroying Cocoon. This was supposed to summon The Maker and kill him.
  • Familiar: His Rukh, Menvra.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • Femme Fatalons: Even though he is disguised as a guy, those are some insanely long specimens.
  • First Church of Mecha: The Sanctum Government worships the fal'Cie like gods.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: His main attack method.
    • Beam Spam: In fact he never stops attacking with them. And then there's Thanatosian Laugh and Thanatosian Smile, which truly exemplify this trope.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: Leader of the Sanctum and most powerful human in Cocoon answering direct to the fal'Cie. His true form initially subverts this when it first appears, almost entirely black with little gold and white, then plays it straight when his later two fights have him appearing as white and silver with more gold.
  • Go Out with a Smile
  • Humans Are Morons/Humans Are the Real Monsters: "What can mere men do? Without our help, death is all of which you're capable. You saw the fools, a mindless mob drunk on fear of a few l'Cie."
  • Human Sacrifice: Created Cocoon for the entire reason of breeding humans to be the ultimate sacrifice to bring the absent Maker back to the world.
  • Kick the Dog: Constantly and fearlessly, in order to keep pissing off the party or drive them further into despair, either way making them easier to manipulate. At the end of the game he orders the Calvary into Orphan's Cradle to protect Orphan from the party, then turns them into Cie'th. The party speculates this is just a reminder from him that their time as l'Cie is almost up and they'd better give in to their Focus soon.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Killing Jihl Nabaat earned him a lot of goodwill from players. Of course, he proceeds to totally squander it afterwards by being such a Manipulative Bastard.
  • Kill Steal: Ganks Jihl Nabaat before you get a chance to.
  • Large Ham
  • Leitmotif: Notably the only character outside the main cast (and Serah) with one.
  • Light Is Not Good: No, it definitely is not.
  • Loophole Abuse: The reason his entire plan hinges on manipulating the party into doing his work for him instead of doing it himself. As a fal'Cie he is bound by his own Focus to serve Cocoon and lacks the willpower to defy his Focus, but humans are not so restricted.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Master of Illusion: Presents himself to the people of Cocoon as an old man, but is really a multi-faced fal'Cie. Also presents himself to the party as Serah at one point.
  • Mechanical Lifeform
  • My Name Is Barthandelus
    • The Red Baron: Voice of the Sanctum, and Lord Sovereign of the Cocoon fal'Cie.
  • Nice Hat
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: His battle theme.
  • Ominous Owl: Has a robotic and terrifying pet owl.
  • Physical God: Comes with being a fal'Cie.
  • President Evil: As seen above, the Primarch is an elected position.
    • The Emperor: On the other hand, seeing as how he's been planning things out since the War of Transgression, it's likely that every Primarch over the centuries has been him changing forms to keep up the Masquerade and using his powers to manipulate the Sanctum to ensure he keeps getting into office.
  • Purple Is Powerful
  • Recurring Boss
  • Running Gag: Whenever he encounters the party, Snow tries to throw a punch at him and gets thrown back by a barrier.
  • Sinister Minister: In the Japanese version his title is Great Pope.
  • Slasher Smile: How he always looks in his true form.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Some fans romanize his real name as Baldanders, a mythological shapeshifter. The Spanish translation has that romanization as canon.
  • Staff of Authority: Although it seems to be just a badge of office it also doubles as a Magic Wand, although he doesn't ever use his human form to battle you.
  • Title Drop: When disguised as Serah, he recites the lyrics to his battle theme, "Fighting Fate".
  • Transforming Mecha: Though it's likely an extension of his powers as an overall shapeshifter.
  • The Unfettered: He's been waiting a very, very long time to put his plan into motion. though how long it's been for a fal'Cie, probably not as long as it seems to us.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Invoked when he tells the party that after centuries of Cocoon prospering under fal'Cie rule, who are they to suddenly start questioning their government and being indignant about the fal'Cie controlling things? But considering they nurtured Cocoon to prepare for the day they destroyed it, he's just being a dick about it.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The party assumes he's just a puppet ruler doing what the fal'Cie tell him. They couldn't be further from the truth; he's a fal'Cie and the Sanctum and the party are his pawns unaware that he's manipulating them.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: If only the adoring public knew they were being bred as human sacrifices for his grand scheme.
  • Visionary Villain: Is out to see the world reborn by sacrificing all the fal'Cie and humans alike.
  • Walking Spoiler: Anything aside from the fact he's evil is off-limits for those wishing to be unspoiled.
  • Wham Line: "Why don't you leave, Jihl? Or rather, take your leave? Humans have no business here."
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He mercilessly slaughters Jihl Nabaat and his staff prior to revealing his true identity to the protagonists.

    Jihl Nabaat 

Lieutenant Colonel Jihl Nabaat

"Your son's a hero. We'll erect a memorial for him on Eden... and put his crystal on display!"

Voiced by Mie Sonozaki in Japanese and Paula Tiso in English.

A colonel in charge of running the military division PSICOM (Public Safety and Information Command) which are charged with the handling and containing Pulse activity, and as such opposes the party.

Is available as DLC for FF XIII-2's coliseum.

    Yaag Rosch 

Lieutenant Colonel Yaag Rosch

"Tell me, do you really think your life is worth more than the lives of millions of Cocoon citizens?"

Voiced by Hiroki Tochi in Japanese and Jon Curry in English.

Jihl Nabaat's second-in-command, Rosch is a field commander and regularly participates in battle alongside his troops, hence the scar on his forehead. Rebels against Sanctum in the end, presumably after learning of Bart's human sacrifice plan. He dies by blowing himself up to kill two King Behemoths.


    Cid Raines 

Brigadier General Cid Raines

"The public fears what it doesn't know... Strike down the phantoms before their eyes, and they sleep like babies."

Voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura in Japanese and Erik Davies in English.

A Brigadier General who runs a fleet of airships called the Cavalry. Cid, however, has secret machinations of seizing power in Cocoon and giving rule to the people rather than the fal'Cie, and helps the party in order to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, he is really a l'Cie and only helps the party on the orders of Barthandelus. He asks his Number Two to 'cut his strings' and kill him.

    Amodar 

Lieutenant Amodar

"Listen up, Farron! Your mission is to dominate this field of battle! I wanna hear that blade sing!"

Voiced by Yuji Ueda in Japanese and Dave Wittenberg in English.

A lieutenant in the Bohdum Security Regimen of the Guardian Corps and Lightning's immediate superior and mentor.

    Rygdea 

Captain Rygdea

"Damn idealism! Ya feed it blood and it howls for more!"

Voiced by Yasuyuki Kase in Japanese and Josh Robert Thompson in English.

A soldier in Cid Raines's airship fleet, he is Cid's right hand man and aids the party at his request.

  • The Captain
  • Head Swap: His model is a slightly modified version of the standard Cavalry trooper.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He got his difficult to model hair for this reason.
  • Mercy Kill: He performs this for Cid.
  • Number Two: To Cid.
  • Rebel Leader
  • Satellite Character: Although supplementary materials expands his behind the scenes role as one of the co-founders of Academy along with Hope's father Bartholomew.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The game does not elaborate to his fate after he mercy kills Cid. It was implied that he is among the men made into Sacrifice cie'th in Orphan's Cradle just prior to your arrival, but the sequel then implies he survived somehow.

Lore Characters

    Mwynn 

Mwynn

The first god, and the mother of Bhunivelze. She was killed by him so he could Take Over The Mortal Realm.

  • All There in the Manual: She's never mentioned in the games proper with the exception of a single Fragment in XIII-2. In the Japanese version of Lightning Returns, Bhunivelze makes off-hand mention of her to Lightning as the world's destroyer whom he defeated, but never says her name.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Got offed by her boy.
  • Death by Origin Story: She was dead long before the events of the trilogy even started.
  • Death of the Old Gods: Her death paved the way for Bhunivelze to become the Top God of The Verse.
  • Meaningful Name: The word Mwyn means "gentle" or "kind" in Welsh.
  • Not Quite Dead: Bhunivelze always suspected that she wasn't dead yet, which was why he tasked Pulse to find the Door of Souls that led to the Unseen Realm. Turns out Etro found Mwynn first (thanks to her committing suicide & being sent to the Unseen Realm) and discovered Mwynn was still alive... of a sort. She got devoured by the Chaos, but managed to give Etro one final task.
  • Order Versus Chaos: She tasked Etro with preserving the balance between the two Realms, and if this balance should ever be broken, the universe would end. This was absolutely proven right when said balance was shattered at the end of Final Fantasy XIII-2.

    Etro 

Etro

The Goddess of Death who is said to be the creator of the human race, and one of the remaining fal'Cie. Etro does not actually appear within the series in person, but plays a very prominent role in the back story.

  • Character Death: As of the ending of the second game, her heart is pierced, causing the Chaos to flow between worlds and creating the setting for the final game.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The pictures of her in Final Fantasy XV has her in all black, but she, inadvertently, created humanity and gave them their heart. Mind you the powers she may elect to further bless humanity with aren't all that great.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Being powerless compared to Pulse and Lindzei as well as thinking of Mwynn caused her to cross it in the myth.
  • Deus ex Machina: Specifically, her Deus Ex Machina actions at the end of Final Fantasy XIII break the laws of reality, which causes a Time Crash and unleashes Chaos into the world, which Etro must attempt to seal at the cost of her life.
  • Divine Intervention: She often takes pity on humanity in their struggles. Final Fantasy XIII-2 confirms that the ending of Final Fantasy XIII, in which the party members were de-crystallized and had their l'Cie brands removed, was the direct result of her intervention. This intervention came with a high price...
  • Driven to Suicide: Thanks to her Despair Event Horizon where she tore at her own body but thanks to that humanity was born from her blood.
  • Enigmatic Empowering Entity: She has gifted Lightning with godlike power, as well as granting Yeul and Serah with her eyes allowing them to see the future and Caius with her heart; granting him immortality.
  • God Is Good: Her mercy is frequently commented on and Yeul says that, unlike the Fal'cie, she grants super powers without turning people into slaves. The Cast from Lifespan aspect is not her fault.
  • God Is Inept: She tries to help but has a hard time doing anything without breaking reality, as shown by her Deus ex Machina at the end of the first game.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: Inverted. Etro causes problems by being too active. Saving the heroes from their crystalized fate and reuniting them with their loved ones at the end of the last game distorts the 'true' timeline which directly leads to the death of Yeul. She is a seeress whose visions shorten her life span and the distortions in time increase the frequency of her visions which leads to a premature death. This motivates Cauis to become the game's Big Bad. The power to see visions was given to her by Etro to better govern her city. The only thing she did that did NOT backfire was choose Lightning to be her champion.
  • Guardian Entity: Etro's duty is to watch over the Door of Souls.
  • Identical Grandson: Etro is said to be identical to her creator's mother Mwynn.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Like Lindzei we never see Etro, only a painting of her in Final Fantasy XV.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Etro broke the timeline when she awoke the main party from crystal stasis at the end of the original game.

    Lindzei 

Lindzei

The deity who is said to be the creator and master of Cocoon. He is the creator of the world in which the games take place and is such worshiped by the fal'cie of Cocoon.

  • Abusive Parents: He was a parental figure to the Cocoon fal'cie and abandoned them long before the game begins.
  • Ambiguous Gender: This varies depending on the language. The English version of Lightning Returns always refers to Lindzei as male, but his gender remains unspecified in the original Japanese. In addition, many of the representations and descriptions of Lindzei in the original Final Fantasy XIII describe Lindzei as a motherly figure, implying a female gender.
  • Final Solution: Lindzei and his Fal'Cie children Barthandelus, Orphan, and Gala seem to like commiting mass genocide. While Lindzei's reasons are unknown the others attempted it to open the Door of Souls.
  • Guardian Entity: According to the mythology, Lindzei was made to be the protector of Pulse. One can only wonder what the hell happened.
  • Have You Seen My God?: His disappearance is what drives the antagonists actions.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: We never actually see Lindzei, although it's represented by a symbol and various statues.
  • The Maker: He created Cocoon, the Cocoon Fal'cie as well as humanity itself out of his sister Etro's blood.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Why did Lindzei abandon Cocoon? Doubles as a bit of a Driving Question, especially to the Cocoon fal'Cie. Whether or not Lindzei is The Maker is also a bit of a puzzle.
  • Sigil Spam: Lindzei's mark is prominent throughout Cocoon, such as the head Dysley's Staff of Authority as well as Dajh and Cid's l'cie brands.
  • Satan: To the people of Pulse, at any rate. The viper comparisons really drive it home.

    Pulse 

Pulse

The deity which the land Gran Pulse is named after. Appears in one scene where he turns the party except for Vanille into l'Cie.

    Orphan 

Orphan

"You overreach yourselves."

Voiced by Hiro Shimono in Japanese and Michael Sinterniklaas in English.

The fal'Cie powering Cocoon hidden within the capital city, He is in stasis while the other fal'Cie draw upon his massive power to cater to the whims of Cocoon's inhabitants. He is in league with Barthandelus, wishing himself destroyed to release himself from the eternity of servitude he was created for.

  • And I Must Scream: It wasn't until Barthandelus's death that Orphan was truly "born", until then he existed in a sort of in-between state, aware but unable to take action as the other fal'Cie took their power from him.
  • BFS: Its shell is one, and it rises up into the air to use it for Merciless Judgment.
  • Bigger Bad
  • Clipped Wing Angel: In comparison to his monstrous first form, his true form is quite tame.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Tortures Fang and Vanille to provoke one into become Ragnarok. Even worse, it heals them each time so it can do so again.
  • Creepy Child: Has a childlike face in the middle of an angelic wheel. Word of God says when he was designing Orphan, one of two guidelines he had was that its true form have such a face.
  • Death Seeker: And unlike Barthandelus, it has a few centuries of existing in purgatorial un-life adding onto its misery after the Maker left the world.
  • Eldritch Abomination
  • Evil Orphan
  • Eye Beams
  • Fan Disservice: He has a creepy giant, serpentine woman caressing him through the whole final battle.
  • Final Boss
  • Gold and White Are Divine
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Luckily he gets mauled another cutscene later.
  • Holy Hand Grenade/Light Is Not Good: Like Barthandelus, his powers are light-based.
  • I Am Legion: When fused with Barthandelus and a representation of Lindzei.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The premise. If he could, there would be no need to train l'cie, the main party, into killing him. So there would be no game.
  • Jerkass: In just one scene, he manages to give Barthandelus a run for his money!
  • Meaningful Name: As invoked by Orphan himself, he is the Abandoned One, created by the Maker to power Cocoon and then left in a state of un-life and forgotten about. His design was also made to invoke the idea that when his shell is destroyed and you face his true form, his "parents" in the shell have abandoned him to fight alone.
    • Orphan also ties into the "Ophanim", singular form "Ophan", a class of angels also known as Thrones for they carry the throne of god, and are depicted as giant flaming wheels covered in eyes.
  • Mechanical Lifeform
  • My Name Is Orphan: "Our name is Orphan! By our hand, the world shall know redemption!"
    • Additionally, the very impressive music that plays when he appears for the first time has an extremely big, dramatic, and loud opening, and the translation of the choir's Latin is "My name is Orphan! ORPHAN!"
  • No Sell: He's completely immune to all damage in his final form, until you Stagger him.
  • One-Hit Kill: His final form has only one attack besides Doom, which he casts at the beginning of the battle, and repeatedly casts Death.
    • Also, it's possible to slaughter him with Vanille's Death if you're lucky.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Easily the most angelic-looking of the fal'Cie, as much as he can while still clearly being a Mechanical Lifeform anyway.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: He is the forsaken child powering Cocoon. Which is why he is out to destroy himself.
  • Slasher Smile: Right before the final battle.
  • Straw Nihilist: As noted by Lightning, it gave up on living before it was even really alive.
  • Timed Mission: Casts Doom on the party leader in the final battle, though with a much higher timer than usual.
  • Voice of the Legion: His shell speaks in male and female voices in unison, and refer to themselves in the plural.
  • Walking Spoiler: Isn't even mentioned until two thirds of the way in, and it isn't until he awakens that we learn he's a Death Seeker.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: His first form is encased in a shell made of a light and gold image of a female Lindzei on the right, and a dark blue and black image of Barthandelus on the left. He also has the debuffing skill Consummate Darkness and the buffing skill Consummate Light.

WARNING — The following profile contains unmarked spoilers for Lightning Returns.

    Bhunivelze 

Bhunivelze

Voiced by Yuki Kaji in Japanese and Daniel Riordan in English

The god of the Final Fantasy XIII universe. He defeated his mother Mwynn in the past, believing that death was a curse upon the world. In order to find the Door of Souls (Etro's Gate) he created Pulse, Etro and Lindzei. He gave Pulse the purpose of tracking down the Door while he went into Crystal Stasis until the day the door is opened, and Lindzei the duty of protecting him while he slept.

By the time of Lightning Returns he has awakened and is in the act of creating a new world for humanity to migrate to since the current one is almost destroyed. As he cannot see the souls of humanity, he awakens Lightning and makes her his chosen Savior to guide their souls to the new world for him.


  • Abusive Parents: In the myth he created Pulse, Etro, and Lindzei solely to find the Door of Souls. Out of fear of Etro due to her resemblance to his mother he decided not to give her any purpose or power, which lead to her suicide.
  • Acting for Two: In Japanese, he still has Hope's voice in his true form, just pitched a lot lower. The English version used a completely different voice actor.
  • Big Bad: The main villain of Lightning Returns.
  • Bigger Bad: Though he does not awaken until the final game, his actions in the past drive the entire series — particularly his creation of Lindzei, who would go on to destroy Pulse and make the Cocoon fal'Cie.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In order to make Hope an acceptable vessel, he reverts him to his childhood form and tortures him for 169 years.
  • Demonic Possession: Bhunivelze possesses Hope, whom he sees as his only suitable vessel.
  • Evil Mentor: He's secretly grooming Lightning to take Etro's place as the Goddess of Death.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Bhunivelze's philosophy goes down to this. By tasking Lightning with saving souls, he culls them to rid them of free will, making them nothing more but dolls, and even plans on robbing Lightning of hers, turning her into another Etro, a living balance between the worlds of the living and the dead. Alas, Lightning will have none of it.
  • Final Boss: Of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Final Exam Boss: If you haven't mastered staggering and perfect guarding by the time you fight him, it'll be nearly impossible to do any real damage to his final form and his Heartless Angel will always reduce you to 1 HP, which is a major issue in a game with as few in-battle healing options as Lightning Returns.
  • God Is Evil: He's god and he's evil. Go figure.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Because human souls are invisible to him, he has a very limited understanding of what makes us tick. In fact, in the Japanese dialogue, when he slashes up Hope's soulless body in the finale, he explicitly states that he possessed Hope's body, then remade & remolded it to suit his purposes as a vessel to dwell in as part of an attempt to better understand humanity.
    • Humanity Is Infectious: It's implied especially more clearly in the Japanese dialogue, that while he stole Hope's memories, he was also starting to become affected by Hope's emotions. Hence why after Lightning defeats him in the final boss battle, he begins to feel emotions, namely anger and despair, as it indicates Hope's soul is surfacing and is within reach for Lightning to save.
  • I Have Your Wife: He uses Serah's soul as a bargaining chip to ensure Lightning performs her duty as the Savior. But in the end, it turns out he never had Serah's soul as it was already lost in the Chaos. However, he did have another soul in his possession: Hope's.
  • Immortals Fear Death: According to the myth he views death as a curse created by his mother, seeking the door of souls to put an end to it.
  • Light Is Not Good: The God of Light turns out to be the biggest villain in the series.
  • Not Quite Dead: Lightning doubts that he actually died following the final battle, suspecting that he just merely fell into stasis again. But she is confident that humanity will be able to defeat him again should he return.
  • Oedipus Complex: A variant — he killed his mother to supplant her as ruler of the world, but believed she didn't really die and became obsessed with finding her again. Gets full sexual in Lightning Returns, with the Japanese version having a lot of innuendo-laced dialogue about Lightning replacing Etro (who was said to look like Mwynn) by offering herself to him. This further goes to downright Ship Tease when you connect it to Bhunivelze possessing Hope as a vessel and the implication Hope's emotions are influencing him during this.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In the myth he defeated his mother, killed her, and banished her to the world of the dead.
  • Sinister Scythe: He uses a double edged one that's the fusion of Lindzei and Pulse.
  • Taken for Granite: He put himself into crystal stasis until the door of souls was opened.
  • Top God: The God who defeated his mother and made the three major Gods that created humanity and Fal'cie.
  • Walking Spoiler: He's the primary villain of the trilogy and the Final Boss of Lightning Returns. Though if you've been following the backstory and know what his children were up to in his absence, it isn't that surprising.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: He's mostly light-themed, but some of his attacks have dark elements in them. More notably is his Sinister Scythe, at least in terms of design, being dual-ended with a demonic face (Pulse) and an angelic face {Lindzei) on either end.
  • You Don't Look Like You: His in-game appearance is very similar to the artwork above, but his face has some striking differences. It looks much more demonic in the game, fitting his true nature. In fact, his face is very similar to Lindzei's in the Orphan battle.
Final Fantasy XIICharacters/Final FantasyFinal Fantasy XIII-2

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