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 transforminggunblade 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 JobIce 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:
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 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.
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.
Good Is Not Nice: She's a cross between a type IV and type VI. While she shows a large capacity for gentleness and kindness, 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 moral is low or when someone meets her high standards... However, some of her more harsh tendencies (i.e. pushing Hope to the floor) 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, which is why she is also in the Type VI category.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After the events of XIII-2, which detailed the rather brutal outcomes and who needs to be stopped, she crystallized herself for three 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 this game.Tropes present only in 'Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII:
Ambiguously Human: Lightning is unsure whether she's still human after her crystallization.
Apocalypse Maiden: The people of Novus Partus view her as the harbinger of the impending apocalypse.
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.
Wrecked Weapon: the Crimson Blade'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 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.
Empowered Badass Normal: Twofold for Snow, since he clearly knows how to fight, the bullet proof strength enhancing coat lets him make the most of it. Being turned into l'cie with magic powers is just the cherry on the top.
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."
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 determinedromantic 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Vanille: My name is Oerba Dia Vanille. I'm a l'Cie, from Gran Pulse. And to everyone on Cocoon... evil.
The Call Knows Where You Live: Vanille keeps silent and is willing to turn into a Cie'th rather than put Fang and the world in danger, and she unwittingly sucks the other four members of the cast into being L'cie themselves.
The Chick: Female, cute, cheerful, and tries to support everyone.
Combat Medic: Vanille is the best Medic in the early and middle stages of the game, but is eventually outpaced in terms of raw healing power by Hope. To compensate, her HP is considerably higher, improving her survivability. She is also capable of acting as a fairly good offensive mage and is the best debuffer in the game.
Death Seeker: After Jihl shows Sazh that Vanille and Fang are responsible for Dajh being made a l'Cie, Vanille begs Sazh to shoot her.
Fish out of Temporal Water: She, along with Fang, was crystallized five centuries ago and was just brought back to life 13 days before the beginning of the game.
Faking Amnesia: Vanille pretends that she's forgotten a substantial plot-relevant swath of memory in order to avoid having to share her Dark and Troubled Past (and its ramifications for their current situation) with the rest of the party. Her partner Fang, who really has forgotten, eventually tricks her into admitting it by pretending that she's also been faking her own amnesia.
Genki Girl: Consistently cheerful and energetic despite how long they march.
Ms. Fanservice: While everyone else's l'Cie brand is on a reasonably harmless position (except for Lightning's), hers is right on the side of her rear end, meaning she has to lift her skirt to see and check it. Wonder why that is.
As a more meta example, her design in general, considering that Word of God says her outfit is based on Namibian Himban women. For anyone who doesn't know what the average Himban woman wears, it's...very revealing.
Reality Is Unrealistic: There has been some complaints about how fake her Australian accent is, even though Georgia von Cuylenberg is actually Australian (and for one based abroad for so long, retains her normal accent). A likely reason is that she seems at times to be trying for the Hollywood Australian accent rather than her own authentic one, leading to Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping — by contrast, Fang's accent is unauthentic, due to her voice actress being an American, but it's consistent.
Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Fang. As behaviour typically seen in younger girls, it's a sad reminder of how fractured their childhood and development has been, living in war-torn Oerba as orphans, being forced to rely heavily for emotional support (Vanille more so than Fang), not to mention having a Focus that demanded they wipe out thousands to millions of lives.
Stepford Smiler: Type A. Vanille's cheerful attitude is just her way of running away from the fact that she knows that it is her Focus to destroy the world. Despite being always upbeat and positive, she has an authentic death wish and blames herself for everything that has happened.
Token Nonhuman: Vanille serves as this for the first two chapters, being the only l'cie out of the playable characters. She loses this role when everybody else becomes l'cie.
What Could Have Been: According to the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega, the development team at one point considered making Vanille the official main character of the game, but dismissed the idea as they had already released a trailer and art featuring Lightning in that role.
She also would have been a shade of blonde if they went through with it.
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.
Ace Pilot: He was a civilian pilot before the plot kicked off, but his skills are definitely top notch.
Action Survivor: Early cutscenes would seem to imply that he just picked up the guns somewhere and had no real familiarity with them. Meaning he had no combat training or experience. The description of his pistols claim they are emergency weapons assigned to pilots in case of crashes in the wilderness.
Death Seeker: Slips into this briefly in chapter 8, accepting that he'll be executed if he turns himself in but being willing to do it if he can see Dajh as a last request. Then goes over the Despair Event Horizonhard when Dajh turns to crystal before his eyes and Jihl reveals Vanille was the one who caused him to be branded. He puts his gun directly to his head, but can't bring himself to end it.
Master of None: His Strength and Magic stats are both below average; they become the worst of all six characters in the postgame. On the other hand, he has the second-highest HP and compensates for his lack of power by Dual Wielding with a ranged attack and being the earliest character to get offensive Status Buffs. With a maxed Crystarium and Ultimate weapon, he can hit a single enemy up to 18 times, making him stronger than Snow.
Team Dad: Takes it upon himself to look after Hope and Vanille, and, to a lesser extent, Snow and Lightning.
Token Minority: Sazh and his son are the only black members in the cast of XIII.
"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.
Cannot Spit It Out: For a good portion of the game, Hope cannot bring himself to say something about Snow's responsibility for the death of his mother, Nora.
Casual Danger Dialogue: Once he gets his head on straight, he starts doing this a fair bit, from summoning Alexander with "Need your help, big guy!" to dropping into the middle of a racetrack directly in front of an oncoming enemy mech which skids to a halt right in front of his face and saying nothing but "Hey there." He's clearly taking a leaf out of Fang's book.
Child Mage: (Eventually) the most powerful one; by end-game, the only magic class where he's weaker than Vanille is Saboteur, and only because she's got the Deathspell.
Death from Above: Hope's signature skill, Last Resort, also has elements of this trope.
The Load: Played with. How competent or not Hope is depends on how the player uses him, but in the story he knows he's much less capable than Lightning, Snow or Sazh, and if he wants to survive and confront Snow he has to toughen up and learn to not be this. With Lightning's help training him, that's just what he does.
Magikarp Power: Some players dismiss Hope as an inferior medic to Vanille because he doesn't get the higher-level healing spells until later in development. However, his magic power ultimately outstrips Vanille's.
Revenge Before Reason: He blames Snow for his mothers death more than the Psicom soldiers that actually killed her, despite that she joined his revolt completely of her own volition. Understandable in that he's still a kid who just suffered a series of traumatic experiences, and he does get better as his character develops.
Red Mage: Hope will out do any characters magical abilities in any role with the exception of Vanille in Sabetour.
Squishy Wizard: By far outstrips the other characters in magic, having the highest Magic in the game and being the only character to learn all four Cure spells, all four "-ga" spells, and he learns all but four Synergist buffs. However, his HP is the lowest in the game.
Tagalong Kid: Along the other five, he was in Bodhum for a vacation. In other words, the wrong place at the wrong time.
Whole Plot Reference: His circumstances and costume are largely modeled on Tidus from Final Fantasy X, from color scheme and daddy issues to adjusting to being taken out of his comfort zone and having his hometown blown up and separated from his parents by an evil government.
"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:
"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.
Muscles Are Meaningless: Slightly more built than Lightning, but her arms and legs are still surprisingly thin despite all the physical feats she can accomplish.
Mythology Gag: Has quite a few; her specialty skill Highwind resembles the signature command of the Dragoon Job and is named after the surname of many of the series' previous dragoons like Ricard, Kain, and Cid. Her ultimate weapon is Kain's Lance, and she even rides a Dragon as a mount like Ricard did.
No Sell: The straightest example; while not as resiliant as Snow, she can reduce damage quite a bit as a Sentinel, and has access to Dragoon Lance/Dragonhorn and Shamanic Spear/Heretic's Halberd, which can make Physical and Magical attacks respectively completely ineffective; she's the only one who can nullify both.
Sticks to the Back: Her spear curiously does this while most other weapons have carrying cases. There are straps near her waist, but they aren't large enough to keep the spear from jiggling everywhere.
Younger Than They Look: Completely ignoring that she's five centuries old Fang has the physical attributes of someone several years older (With her features, demeanour, height- not to mention the scars on her right arm-, would you believe she's only 21?).
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:
"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. In reality, however, he is really the fal'Cie Barthandelus, leader of the Cocoon fal'Cie who pulls the strings on Cocoon while secretly plotting its destruction. Much of what happens in the game is according to his plans, including Vanille, Fang and Anima being brought to Cocoon 500 years ago, setting the stage for the day when he can use Pulse l'Cie to act against Cocoon in his stead.
" 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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 FFXIII-2's coliseum.
Glasses Pull: Jihl does this a few times to punctuate particularly callous lines. Later, she whips off her glasses and crushes them in a fit of abject rage and frustration, then gets killed a few minutes later.
Karmic Death: She holds the belief that people only live to serve a use to more important people. Cue the last seconds of her life where she realizes that she has that exact same role placed on her by her boss.
The Unfought: She was willing to try and give it a go, but was struck by Dysley's magic instead.
She's available for a thrashing in the DLC of XIII-2, though.
Unwitting Pawn: She didn't even know that the Primarch was only using her until he tells her, just a few seconds before he kills her by shooting his magic in her back.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: As a gameplay mechanic in her boss fight, she has the ability Sacrifice Pawn where she sacrifices any allies you haven't killed yet. Depending on the type and number of allies she sacrifices, she gains various effects: PSICOM Wardens restore her HP, Nightblade Pumas cast Daze on your party and Azure Behemoths allow her to use her Limit Break and if none are present, she instead sacrifices a large chunk of her HP to use it.
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.
Ace Pilot: Has his own transforming mecha/airship called The Proudclad which he challenges you in.
Anti-Villain: The party has his sympathies, but he does what he thinks is best for Cocoon.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Played straight in an interesting way. He has the best intentions for the people of Cocoon, and he feels that the governance of it should be left to them. However, he is afraid to speak out against the fal'Cie for fear of the retribution that may befall the citizens he's sworn to protect, so he shuts up and does what he's told.
Mythology Gag: The Proudclad is a reference to a giant robot with a similar name in Final Fantasy VII (the imperfect English translation for VII rendered it "Proud Clod", when it should have been "Proud Clad"). The first form of the machine also resembles the Final Fantasy VIII monsters Elvoret and Elnoyle.
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 then 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.
Adaptive Ability: Notably because he, like you, uses Paradigm Shifts to change his fighting style to better suit the battle.
Screw Destiny: He turns his back on his Focus in order to stop you, but...
You Can't Fight Fate: He becomes a crystal for his efforts and is later revived, but still kept under Barthandelus' control.
Shadow Archetype: He can easily be described as the Anti-Snow. He's idealistic, but it was turned against him. Wants to defy his fate, but is forced to follow it. Fights with his fists. The only thing missing is a short fiancée.
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.
"The point is, I have people I can count on. I'll make it through."
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.
Body to Jewel: She sheds a crystal tear which Snow keeps with him for the duration of the game.
Demoted to Extra: She was originally meant to be the seventh party member, but problems with her implementation led to her being made an NPC, which resulted in Lightning's more serious personality and Fang's Gender Flip.
Gadot Voiced by Biichi Satou in Japanese and Zack Hanks in English.
Yuj is Voiced by Wataru Hatano in Japanese and Jeff Fischer in English.
Maqui is 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.
The Cavalry: The whole team in Chapter 12. Triples as a Crowning Moment of Awesome and a Crowning moment of Heartwarming when they tell Snow that they don't care whether or not he's a l'Cie, they're still a team to the end.
Development Gag: During the demo stages, the art team couldn't decide what hairstyle and colour to give Yuj so they made him look like a random NPC. They went on to lampshade this in his bio, saying that he went to Eden to get a whole new look.
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.
Killer Rabbit: Its entry in the Datalog implies it. The fact that it took on a armed PSICOM soldier and won confirms it.
No Name Given: The chick is unnamed. The implication is that Sazh wants Dajh to have the honor of naming it. In Episode Zero, Sazh declares that he'll give it a name "as soon as they get back" and wants to give it a "cool, cute name".
In XIII-2, Dajh named her Chocolina, as it turned out she was a girl. Yes, the same name as the merchant.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
Nietzsche Wannabe: As noted by Lightning, it gave up on living before it was even really alive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parental Neglect: Pulse was a parental figure to the Gran Pulse fal'Cie and abandoned them long before the game begins. His reasons for doing so are unknown.
Riddle for the Ages: Like Lindzei he disappeared from the people of Gran Pulse. Though what his goals are is unknown, his servant Arecia Al-Rashia attempted to open the Door of Souls using special souls.
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 of Pulse, Etro and Lindzei. He gave both Pulse and Lindzei the purpose of tracking down the Door while he went into Crystal Stasis until the day when the door is opened. By the time of Ligtning Returns he has awakened and chosen Lightning as the Savior
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.
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 nearly two centuries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Others in Lightning Returns
"This savior... What is she about, anyway?"
Voiced by Kanae Ito in Japanese and Jessica DiCicco in English
A young girl who resembles Serah. She be said to appear to Lightning several times during the game, but it's uncertain if she's a friend or foe.
Evil Twin: Whether or not she's truly evil, she does seem to be an antithesis to Serah. At the least her appearance is designed to invoke this, with her outfit inspired by Serah's original clothes, but with a black gothic feel, and having a ponytail tied on the left side of her head like Serah. There's also a couple hints so far she may actually be Serah somehow.
Identical Stranger: Despite her looks, she doesn't have much in common with Serah as far as personality goes.