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 morale 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Messianic Archetype: The savior of the world awakened from death to bring innocent souls to a new and better world.
Ms. Fanservice: At least about half of her outfits are extremely skimpy and revealing, to an almost absurd degree. The biggest one likely being Amazon Warrior. Other notable ones are Mist Wizard, Rhapsody in Rose, Witching Hour, and Electronica. The camera also seems to have no problem consistently making shots up her skirt in some of those outfits either. It's probably not a coincidence that the majority of these outfits are the ones that are most specialized for magical attacks.
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.
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 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:
Big Damn Heroes: During the climax on the Final Day he shows up to destroy the Holy Clavis so it won't destroy the souls of the dead.
Body Horror: When he fully absorbs the Chaos he kept contained within the Palace, he becomes a mindless Cieth-hybrid; crystals cover most of his left arm, tendrils snake up his shoulder and onto his face, and his eyes have changed...
Broken Bird: He used to be bold and cheerful—an eternal optimist. By the time of Lightning Returns, he's a broken man, having been looking after a dying world without hope for hundreds of years.
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.
Platonic Life Partners: Hope is Lightning's closest comrade for the entire trilogy. Dialouge from Lightning Returns implies Hope's side might not be as platonic as previously let on.
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:
Demonic Possession: 169 years prior to the final game, Buhnivelze 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.
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.
Mission Control: Hope helps Lightning with her duties though wireless communication from the Ark.
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.
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.
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:
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".
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.
" 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; he's a fal'Cie and the Sanctum and the party are his pawns unaware that he's manipulating them.
"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 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.
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 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!"
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.
Friends & Family Members
"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.
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.
Go Out with a Smile: The last thing the fake does before vanishing forever is to tell Lightning she loves her.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Lightning Returns he has awakened and chosen Lightning as the Savior to guide the souls of humanity to a new world he is creating, a task impossible for him because he cannot perceive the human soul.
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 169 years.
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.
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. * The English dialogue has him saying that he's planning to remake all of humanity's souls in general instead of singling out Hope.
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 angerand 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.
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.
Characters Returning from XIII-2
"Yeah, that's right! That prophecy? It has to be true!"
A mysterious youth from Gran Pulse who appears to protect Serah when New Bodhum is attacked by monsters. They set out together to find Lightning. More on that here.500 years later, Noel is suspected to be involved in a string of serial killings that have occurred in the city of Luxerion by the Children of Etro. Now known as the Shadow Hunter, he seeks to kill Lightning to avert a disaster he has seen in a prophecy.
Bolivian Army Ending: Shows up at the end of the game in Luxerion's cathedral. Initially the Secutors think he's on their side, but he cuts them down and opens a path for Lightning to get into the basement as he stays to fight two huge monsters alone. He most likely died, but his soul returned after Lightning fought Bhunivelze.
The Corruption: Early trailers & magazine articles hinted that Noel had been corrupted by Chaos since the events of XIII-2. However, this turned out not to be the case.
Enemy Mine: Assists Lightning in killing off the Children of Etro right before they can murder another victim.
Tragic Dream: He dreams of being reunited with Yeul, not helped by the prophecy he sees in the Oracle Drive. After you beat him, he elects to destroy the Drive and give up on his dream... but then, Yeul's spirit appears to tell him he made the right choice and that they will meet again.
True Companions: A flashback shows he was this with Hope & Snow during the 500 year interval since the second game.
Unwanted False Faith: Noel may accept being the Shadow Hunter, but he doesn't like being worshipped by fanatics like the Children of Etro.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's trying to kill Lightning because the prophecy in the Oracle Drive makes it look like she destroys the world as God's Savior.
"Time for some moogle magic. Kupo!"
Voiced by Sumire Morohoshi in Japanese and Ariel Winter in English.
A mysterious little creature, he makes himself useful by transforming into a weapon for Serah. No one knows much about this strange animal who calls himself her guardian. People were led to believe that moogles don't exist, and those who meet him for the first time assume he is merely a stuffed animal. Although shy at first, once he opens up, he is quite the chatterbox, teaching Serah and Noel all about the world and its history.
The Chew Toy: He seems to be Genre Savvy enough to recognise his status as such, particularly in the Paradox Endings.
Disproportionate Reward: He swore fealty to Lightning because he lost to her... In a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. While this seems dispropotionate, you learn the full story in fragments. They explain that ever since Mog fell into Valhalla, he's been going with the 'weak obey the strong' rule there but he's been rejected and abandoned multiple times by many powerful opponents, who didn't want such a weak creature. When he ran into Lightning, and lost his game, he expected to be abandoned again... but she told him to come with her. It was this kindness that made him swear fealty to Lightning.
Big Bad: Described by the producers as the most powerful Big Bad in the history of the series. Considering he's immortal, knows everything that will happen in the past, present and future, controls an army of monster Mooks, wields the most powerful spells and Summon Magic in the series, finally transforms into three godlike Bahumuts which you have to fight simultaneously, and lastly succeeds in his Evil Plan to wipe out Time itself... they're right.
Blessed with Suck: He can't die. He's lived for all of recorded history, at the very least. Every 10-15 years, he has to see the girl he loves and has sworn to protect die, and he can't do anything about it.
Blood Knight: He enjoys his occasional battlestoo much. See the above quote.
Death Seeker: Not so much because he wants to die but because he feels that his death will save Yeul. When Noel proves incapable of killing him, he moves on to Plan D; forcing Noel's dagger through his heart.
Despair Event Horizon: He crosses it and comes out the other side with an Evil Plan — if Yeul keeps dying because of seeing the future and changes to the timeline, he'll just destroy time to stop it.
Determinator: He's been working on his Evil Plan for a long time. We don't know exactly how long but "all of recorded history" is a ballpark guess.
Dub Text: The Japanese version heavily implies that Caius loves Yeul romantically while the English language version makes their relationship more ambiguous. In fact, some scenes - such as his final confrontation with Noel on the beach in Valhalla - have Liam O'Brien play him as a Papa Wolf defending the daughter he never had.
Evil Plan: He has three of them, all with the same goal of opening the Door of Souls (AKA Etro's Gate) to cause a Time Crash. The first is to do the direct thing and slay Etro in Valhalla, which fails because he can't overcome Lightning. His second plan is to crash Hope's new Cocoon into the old one and thereby murdering the entire human race in one fell swoop much like Barthandelus's plan in the original, however Serah and Noel are able to overcome him and he is forced to flee to Valhalla. His final plan is to have Noel destroy the Heart of Chaos. This is the plan that works.
Evil Weapon: Less evil, more the result of some interesting design decisions, but the end result is the same. That massive, sinister-looking sword of his is the control mechanism for Bahamut Eidolith, the source of his immortality and, consequently, his insanity.
Expy: Every gaming outlet on the planet has compared the sword to the Soul Edge at some point because of its nature as a BFS, the fact that it has an Evil Eye, gives off some sinisterdark powers, has a semi-organic appearance to it. The only difference is that his sword isn't sentient.
Feather Motif: He shares this with Lightning (his are, of course, black, to contrast with her white).
Gravity Master: Outside of summoning comets, his favorite spell is Gravity; he spams it in every fight.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Yeul. To a lesser extent with Serah and Lightning, considering that Lightning is between 5'7" and 5'10" herself and she barely reaches his shoulder when they're standing back to back.
Lightning disgustedly remarks, during the Final Boss Preview upon the opening of the game in Valhalla, that Caius is going easy on her and Noel, and that he's only testing them. She's right.
This comes more into play with Serah and Noel since he uses few of the mind-boggling powers that he used to fight Lightning against them. In fact, whereas Lightning could give as good as she got... both Serah and Noel were shown to be 100% helpless when fighting him. Caius even condescendingly touches Serah's face when using time voodoo to show how helpless she is... before subsequently impaling her through the back.
He trains Noel as a student, and then repeatedly tries to get Noel to kill him and accept his power.
Morphic Resonance: Look closely at Jet Bahamut. On the left side of its head are a pair of white feathery things and something that looks like a string of beads, mirroring Caius' hair feathers and beads in his human form.
Noel calls him out for his actions in-universe; since he's gone from fighting for Etro to battling against her because of Yeul's constant deaths.
In a more meta-example of an inversion, it appears that Caius is just your typical Final FantasyOmnicidal Maniac during the prologue sequence but, as time goes by, it's later revealed that he's an Anti-Villain with a sympathetic motive and a morally grey end for his means.
Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Caius's Jet Bahamut form has four regular arms, in addition to the standard draconic wings from the shoulder.
Multiple Choice Past: His surname. Either it's a shortening of "Caius of the Ballads" or it's a name he took from a fallen man out of respect; both are used in canon. Although, considering the Timey-Wimey Ball in play in this game, it's entirely possible that both are true.
Named Weapons: The sword is called "Ragnarok", after the creature from the first game.
Not So Stoic: He's shown crying once, and goes batshit crazy during the final battle.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Sorta. His real first name is Caius, but Ballad is not his real last name. He took on the name after defeating a warrior who nearly killed him as a show of respect. Alternately, he was originally known by the epithet of "Caius of the Ballads", meaning that his great deeds were the subject of many songs, which then became Caius Ballad. The canon disagrees with itself on this.
Poisonous Friend: Most Yeuls would rather just live peacefully with the time they have. He... disagrees. This i because 'the time they have' is ten to fifteen years, and then they are reincarnated and do it all over again.
Purple Is Powerful: From his armor to his sword to his aura; it's all purple and all deadly.
Reality Breaking Paradox: When he dies, his death causes the goddess of death to die, which unleashes the chaos she was holding back which causes the world to reset to Valhalla, which means everything is both dead and not dead at the same time.
Scaled Up: He can transform into "Chaos Bahamut" to fight the heroes. In the final battle, he transforms into Jet Bahamut and summons Amber and Garnet Bahamut. You have to fight them at the same time.
Slouch of Villainy: Does so—on Etro's throne, no less!—in both occasions where he breaks the fourth wall to talk to the players: the secret ending and the scene when the opening cinematics are replayed.
Sticks to the Back: His sword has no sheath, possibly because he couldn't find one big enough.
Sword Beam: One of the peskier attacks he uses when you fight him.
Thanatos Gambit: He carries Etro's heart in his body, as shown in the normal ending. This means that in her weakened state, his life is tied to Etro's — kill him, and she dies, leaving the chaos of Valhalla to overflow into the real world... which would allow him to create the timeless world he wanted. His plan to destroy Cocoon, if it failed to open the Door of Souls, was supposed get Noel angry enough to murder him.
Gone Horribly Right: He succeeds in creating his timeless world, and preventing Yeul's reincarnation cycle. However, their need to be with Caius both saved him from his sacrifice, and continued to prevent him from dying, even if it's clear that he would really prefer to move on.
Time Master: He can jump back and forth through time and, because of Yeul, he knows every prophecy.
Utopia Justifies the Means: His guiding philosophy. The problem is that there's plenty of room for debate on whether what he's creating will truly be a utopia (the Lotus-Eater Machine element is creepy), and he refuses to listen to any of it.
Villainous Breakdown: Frequently, courtesy of the many deaths of Yeul - in fact, his despair and apathy is often the only thing keeping Serah and Noel alive. He gets a particularly big one in the ending, when Noel points out whyYeul keeps choosing to reincarnate, despite knowing she'll just die again: to be with Caius. He is openly devastated at the realisation but it changes nothing in the end, as he continues with his goal of destroying Etro regardless.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: One of the very rare Final Fantasy villains who has a sympathetic end to their evil means and doesn't just want to kill everybody for kicks. He's prepared to kill millions of people and/or the Goddess Etro in order that the countless billions of Yeuls (and everyone else, though that's very much a secondary concern) might live forever. The good news is that given what happens to him, the dead might not stay dead once reality collapses. The bad news is that eternal life isn't quite what it's cracked up to be.
The Extremist Was Right: Killing Etro and forcing the world to become Nova Chrysalis may have been better in the long-run by leaving Lightning and the others around to see to the creation of the new world, as opposed to the world dying due to passing of time as it was in Noel's time.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He watched his surrogate daughter die over and over again in the prime of her life because of a god-given superpower that he could do nothing about. It's hard not to feel sympathy for him even as he's working to destroy the timeline.
Worthy Opponent: Considers Lightning to be this and says so in the prologue. "The goddess chose well..."
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: No matter where Serah and Noel jump in the Historia Crux they don't find anyone else with purple hair.
"I saw death. If I were to live, it would bring contradiction to... to the timeline."
Voiced by Mariya Ise in Japanese and Amber Hood in English.
A young girl seen in the company of Caius. She seems more friendly towards Noel and Serah than he is. If her name is any indication, she was the author of some of the Analects from the first game. States that Serah is like her, as the latter's psychic dreams would indicate.
A Child Shall Lead Them: Long ago, she was a theocratic ruler. The ruin that Hope investigates? That was her palace.
Blessed with Suck: Like Serah, she was blessed with Etro with the Goddesses' eyes. Also like her, she is killed by her visions.
Born-Again Immortality: Sort of. While she is reborn every time she dies, each Yeul has a distinct personality.
Cassandra Truth: She warns our heroes that facing Caius for the final time won't go well. If you want to finish the game, you have no choice but to ignore her.
Cleavage Window: A very small one, that while showing much more stomach than chest, still qualifies.
Creepy Child: Every version that is not the sweet little girl Yeul, including the various 'Black Mist' versions seen in Snow and Lightning's DL Cs. Thanks to various sources and LR, all of these versions are either illusions (such as before Caius attacks and stabs Serah), manifestations that simply took her appearance, or the spirits of dead Yeuls intermixed with Chaos itself.
Legacy Character: Through reincarnation. Ironically, there is a "real" Yeul. It's the Yeul that ends up in Valhalla after dying. She chooses to become her own Legacy Character in order to be with Caius again — and because living in Valhalla is not actually "living".
The Lost Lenore: For Noel. "His" Yeul, the one he grew up with and fell in love with, dies pre-story and wrecks him emotionally. Everytime he sees another Yeul, it's like re-opening a wound.
Mysterious Waif: A fragile young girl who appears before Serah and Noel in many different time periods and dies each time. Unlike other examples, she does not serve as The Herald.
One True Love: The collective incarnations of Yeul are all in love for Caius and keep him anchored to them through the Chaos preventing him from dying even though he no longer has the Heart of Chaos, that is all Yeuls save for the final incarnation who loves Noel instead.
Really As Old As Humanity: Fragments After, a compilation of tying up loose ends within XIII-2, states that the original Yeul was the blood of Etro after the latter spilled to get the attention of Bhunivelze. Simply put, Yeul was the first human.
Reincarnation: When one Yeul dies, another identical girl named Yeul is born — although she will have a unique personality.
Seer: Her prophecies were mentioned in many, many datacores in Final Fantasy XIII. One of them flat out spells out the plot for XIII-2.
Waif Prophet: Unlike Serah, she truly has been a prophet to a civlization.
Wise Beyond Their Years: A teenager with the grace and wisdom of an old age. This is because she is an old sage, sort of.
Cloud Cuckoolander: Aside from her odd costume, she never seems to grasp the seriousness of the current situation, almost always staying peppy and cheerful even when a giant, rampaging robot is on the loose. In Academia 400 AF, however, she is openly distraught by the events going on around her, which makes the situation all the more jarring. She also notes in Academia 500AF how determined Noel and Serah look, as if they were getting ready for a big battle ahead. This is effectively her way of queuing the player of the memo "You are in the Final Dungeon, prepare yourself."
No Hero Discount: She claim she has "every day low prices" and informs you that there's no haggling. However, there are fragment skills that lower the price and raise the sell price.
Shapeshifting: It's implied in-game that she literally is the Sexier Alter Ego of Dajh's Chocobo chick. This is later confirmed in Sazh's DLC. As it turns out, Chocolina got caught up in the distortion with Sazh and Dajh and wished to help others like Sazh always helped her, so Etro gave her a human body and the ability to be everywhere at once.
The Pollyanna: Downplayed. While she is normally cheery despite the monsters and paradoxes and stuff, 400AF depresses even her.
Took a Shortcut: She's always ahead of you, all set up and ready to do business, whether it's across the map .
Introduced in Lightning Returns
"This savior... What is she about, anyway?"
Voiced by Kanae Ito in Japanese and Jessica DiCicco in English
A capricious young girl who resembles Serah. She has a reputation for being a nuisance to all who encounter her, made worse by her ability to withstand and control Chaos. Despite this, it's unclear whether she considers herself an enemy of Lightning or merely causes her trouble as a form of entertainment.
Altum Videtur: Her name is derived from the Latin word for light. It's a Meaningful Name, too: she's an incarnation of Lightning, whose real name is Claire, which means "light".
Ambiguously Evil: She's said to "wreak havoc everywhere she goes", but descriptions have been vague on if she's an ally or enemy yet.
Enemy Without: She's the embodiment of Lightning's repressed childhood emotions given form.
Evil Twin: Though she's not truly evil, she's built as an antithesis to Serah, trolling Lightning and making fun of her, and referring to her as a sister. She's actually Lightning'sEvil Twin, though, her playful and joking demeanor sharply contrasting Lightning's stoic and serious attitude.
Figure It Out Yourself: At one point, when Lightning tires of her riddles and wordplay and outright asks Lumina what the hell she's talking about, Lumina's response is that Lightning has to figure it out herself or else it won't mean anything.
Identical Stranger: Despite her looks, she doesn't have much in common with Serah as far as personality goes.
Literal Split Personality: She's the manifestation of Clair Farron's repressed childhood emotions that she cast off when she "became" Lightning.
Manipulative Bitch: While she can be described as playful at best, it's clear that she's not above arranging for the deaths of any characters just for her own amusement. In fact, while she says it was nothing personal setting Noel up to kill Lightning was clearly just for a few shits and giggles.
Meaningful Name: Lumina's name is Latin for light. More than that, her name is actually derived from the Latin plural form, so it's actually lights. Lightning's real name, Claire, is French for light, and she's another Lightning.
Not So Stoic: Her desperate/tearful pleading for Lightning not to leave her is a stark contrast to everything she's done before then.
The Trickster: All information so far describes her as being unpredictable and mischievous, and she enjoys playing with people like toys.
Troll: She'll show up unexpectedly most of the time just to toy with Lightning or any of her friends, though it ranges from light teasing to emotional blackmail to get them to do what she wants them to. Which, considering who she's a Literal Split Personality of, may have some interesting implications as to what the younger Claire Farron was like....
He makes a single appearance as the representative of the souls of the dead who are lost in the Chaos to enlighten Lightning of the true nature of the Soulsong. It's not what Vanille thinks it is...
A Form You Are Comfortable With: He's not actually the Cid Raines, but the representative of the dead who is using his form because it is a person Lightning knew well.
Cessation of Existence: Explains that the souls lost in Chaos will continue to exist as long as they are remembered by the living, but the corrupted Soulsong that the Order of Salvation plans to have Vanille perform will wipe out the dead souls, which will in turn erase the memories of them from the living, and be genocide on an unimaginable scale. It will be as they simply never existed.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Asks Lightning to make sure that the Soulsong Vanille is set to perform on the final day is the correct one that will lead the souls to a new world, and not the corrupted one that will wipe them all out.
A chocobo doctor who lives and works out of Canopus Farms in the Wildlands. He has been chasing the legend of the Angel of Valhalla for over a century.
The Chosen One: He heard "a maiden's voice on the wind" that told him to seek out the Angel of Valhalla and ride to the Temple of the Goddess. However, subverted because there have been multiple people who have heard the same voice and no one has managed to find the Angel, let alone reach the Temple. Then Lightning comes along...
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's pretty brusque and rude towards strangers, but his demeanor completely changes once Lightning reveals she too has heard the voice and is seeking the Angel of Valhalla.
Kindly Vet: He's certainly nice to the chocobos he treats. All the same, after he treats the Angel's wounds, he can't get it to accept food and drink because it's too proud to take help from a human, and is understandably exasperated at this.
Mythology Gag: He's named after the favorite food of chocobos across the entire Final Fantasy franchise.
You Are Number Six: He can't be bothered to remember the names of all his assistants, so he simply assigns numbers to them. Turns out that's not the case; he does remember their names, but he keeps himself emotionally distant as he has seen too many people and animals die over the years.
Allergic to Routine: Starting to feel this way by the time the game takes place. The main reason he's so willing to help Lightning is because he's "bored spitless doing the same play over and over and over again."
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his eccentricities, he knows how to manage a stage extremely well.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may not be the best boss in the world, but he did care enough to reduce the amount of fireworks Lightning set up to ensure that the explosions will not harm the audience. Not too much, though; there was still enough kaboom packed in to make Hope's plan go off without a hitch.
Prima Donna Director: His subordinates, especially the fireworks boss, find him incredibly difficult to work with and prefer to just let him do his own thing.