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"You want her? Then you're gonna have to go through me!"
Voiced by Daisuke Kishio in Japanese and Jason Marsden in EnglishA mysterious youth from Gran Pulse who appears to protect Serah when New Bodhum is attacked by monsters. They set out together to find Lightning.
- The Aloner: In the time period he comes from he's the final human. He wandered Pulse without as much as a monster to fight before he was dropped in Valhalla.
- Bait and Switch: 90% of Sunleth Waterscape, 300 AF and related Crux destinations is Noel complaining about Snow's "hero" behaviour in such a way that you think he's just being a hypocrite. His last line in his argument with Snow after the flan paradox is resolved is a revelation that he sees himself as a Failure Knight; he hates Snow because Snow does exactly what he did and is successful.
- Bifurcated Weapon: Like most weapons in this series, his sword can combine/transform to create Blade on a Stick.
- Also, his sword "Flame Fossil" has a strong resemblance to Cloud's optional sword, Apocalypse.
- Bishōnen: His status as such is lampshaded by Ultros. It's now the page quote."What a pretty little girl! I do like 'em pretty! But look at this boy, he's even prettier!"
- Catchphrase: "Exactly." Most mundane catchphrase ever.
- Cool Sword: It is both stylized and powerful.
- Combat Medic: Noel specializes in the Commando, Medic, and Synergist paradigms.
- Deadpan Snarker: He makes light of the many odd and/or dangerous situations he comes across, but he can also be serious.
- Deuteragonist: He is this to Serah because they are partners and equally important in the story.
- Development Gag: Many suspect that he's derived from the original designs for Fang when she was a male. Noel also combines his weapons to form a spear akin to Fang's.
- The Dulcinea Effect:
- His Declaration of Protection to Serah came before formally meeting her, but it's justified in that he was specifically tasked with finding Serah by Lightning. He may have protected her immediately after meeting, but it was part of his job at the time.
- It's played with for Yeul. Although he already knew of his Yeul from the Dying World 700 AF, he was unaware of the existence (at first) of other Yeuls along the timeline. Technically they are different Yeuls, but Noel treats them all the same, even after her reincarnations are revealed. This is best exemplified with Noel's protective reaction for the Yeul in Academia 400AF, even though he knew she wasn't his Yeul.
- Dual Wielding: He wields two swords and all the swords he finds come in pairs.
- Elemental Powers: As a Ravager, he excels in ice and wind spells.
- Failure Knight: The Dulcinea Effect he displays upon meeting Serah is explained when we find out the people he wanted to protect before, including his Yeul, all died and he was powerless to stop it. This is also the source of his antagonism towards Snow.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: He comes from a Pulse that is centuries further ahead in time; 700 AF to be precise. Then he's dropped into 3 AF.
- Foil: To Snow (Failure Knight with a brighter outlook) and Lightning (Serah protector).
- Headbutting Heroes: With Snow. They don't get along because they're Not So Different and it annoys them to see a mirror.
- Hunter of Monsters: He is from a time where monster hunting is one of the only reliable ways of getting food.
- In the Hood: His Assassin's Creed DLC costume provides him with one.
- Javelin Thrower: His Meteor Javelin skill which shifts his swords to its spear form and throws it at the enemy multiple times. He will also toss javelins when he cannot reach the enemy.
- Last of His Kind: He was the last human born and is the last human alive in AF 700.
- Magic Knight: His primary weapons are his swords, but he is also skilled in magic; Ravager is one of his favored paradigms.
- Mythology Gag: His ultimate weapon, the Odinblade, is named after one of Lightning's level 100 exclusives in Dissidia.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Looks and acts like a young Tom Cruise.
- Nothing Personal: Said verbatim at times after landing a finishing blow.
- The Not-Love Interest: Both he and Serah have their own Love Interests in Yeul and Snow.
- Overrated and Underleveled: Downplayed. Despite being a monster hunter capable of taking out a behemoth all by himself in his backstory, Noel starts the game with two Lv.2 roles and one Lv.1 role, just like Serah. However, he does start off with slightly higher stats than Serah does, and the behemoth seen during his dreamworld sequence uses the model of one of the early-game Behemoths from XIII, rather than the Feral Behemoth that is the first enemy behemoth available to be fought.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Blue to Serah's pink.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Serah. They become very close over the course of the game, but they have love interests in other people.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: All of his people were hunters, and they built their culture around this sort of thing. Behemoth feasts for birthdays, for instance.
- Reverse Grip: His left hand sword.
- Screw Destiny: He wants to use the Historia Crux to prevent the extinction of humanity which happened in his home time period.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: His goal as the only survivor of a Bad Future.
- She-Fu: Another rare male example with the first being Tidus, he does a lot of backflips with his attacks.
- Summon to Hand: He has this ability, which is what allows him to perform the Meteor Javelin skill.
- Survivor Guilt: Carries this around, being the last human and all, although he hides it well.
- Sticks to the Back: Downplayed. There is a small, almost impossible-to-see hook that his swords attach to on his back, near his right shoulder.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Coming from a time where he was one of only three human beings left in the world, he refuses to kill any human life. He takes it quite seriously too; see XIII-2 Fridge for more on that.
- The Watson: His introduction in the prologue is so Lightning can explain a few things and give him a mission. Then he immediately inverts it, as he's the one explaining time travel stuff to Serah.
Tropes present only in Lightning Returns
"One more death on my conscience won't do anything!"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 (given how he didn't reach Lightning at the altar), but his soul returned after Lightning fought Bhunivelze.
- Blow You Away: More-so than in the previous game, as wind magic is his only magic.
- Becareful What You Wish For: In one of XIII-2's cutscenes in the Void Beyond, Noel says that "There's too much sadness in my world, your future. It'd be better if it never existed at all. Although it's ambiguous as to whether the apocalypse qualifies as a Time Crash or simply The End of the World as We Know It, the fact of the matter is that A Dying World -700 AF- has never existed... and few would say that it is better.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Absolutely thrashes the Children of Etro before they can commit another murder alongside Lightning.
- 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.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Not only does he get to survive in the end, but he also gets to stay friends with Caius on good terms, and succeeds in getting his Yeul with no hitches.
- Enemy Mine: Assists Lightning in killing off the Children of Etro right before they can murder another victim.
- Limited Wardrobe: Appears in the same costume from XIII-2. This means he hasn't bought new clothes in five hundred years.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Both he and Lightning are heroes in this setting and both of them are working towards a new world, however, Noel thinks he has to kill Lightning, the savior, in order to bring about this new world because of an oracle drive showing him a prophecy of it. He doesn't want to fight Lightning but feels he has no choice. Unknown to both of them at the time is that Lumina created a "pretty fake" to manipulate him.
- Paint It Black: The bright blues and reds of his outfit and swords have been replaced with black to better represent his darker and somewhat antagonistic stance here.
- Red Baron: The Shadow Hunter.
- 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; they did a three pronged fist bump to initiate their united stand against the chaos.
- 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 and Bailey Gambertoglio (Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII) 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.
- Berserk Button: Mog is not a stuffed toy, kupo!
- Butt Monkey: He gets poked, held, and thrown around.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Most of the Live Trigger options that involve turning to Mog for advice end up revealing a rather less-than-stable mindset. Unlike with Serah, there is nothing indicating this is strictly player-induced.
- 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.
- Exposition Fairy: Mog sure knows a lot about time travel and paradoxes.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Mog doesn't remember much of anything before Valhalla.
- Legacy Character: One of many Moogles in the series to be named Mog and play a larger role in the game than other Moogles.
- Living Weapon: He turns into Serah's bowsword.
- Made of Iron: Go on, throw him at anything. No matter what he bounces off or where he falls, he'll be fine."You guys play rough, kupo."note
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's a Moogle. Comes with the territory.
- Universal Translator: Communicates with monsters.
- Verbal Tic: Kupo!
"It's my friend's. She died here. Running from the Purge. And me? I'm one of those who survived."
Voiced by Yoko Hikasa in Japanese and Kim Mai Guest in English.One of the young Academy researchers. Bright and cheerful, she is a popular figure within the institute and the leader in Paradox studies. She is also a smart and canny scientist, and she has become Hope’s trusted assistant.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's very friendly when talking with Serah and Noel, even helping them with guard trouble in her introductory scene. Yet she's planning to stuff them into a Lotus-Eater Machine after believing their actions will make her Ret Gone.
- Buried Alive: She had a recurring nightmare that she died in the Purge this way. It's implied this is how she died in the unaltered timeline.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She clings to Hope's arm in 4XX AF.
- Custom Uniform of Sexy: All other female Academy members wear an off the shoulder dress similar to the shirt of the male uniform. Alyssa, however, wears a short sleeved top and short shorts.
- Deus Est Machina: The Proto Fal'cie Adam she created carved itself a god-like role, similar to its predecessors.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: While not explicitly shown on-screen in Lightning Returns, Alyssa appears as a Canvas of Prayers requestee, as a soul inside the chaos. Given the way the game ends, it can be assumed that Alyssa's soul is one of the ones Vanille and Fang save, and she gets reborn in the new world.
- Freudian Excuse: Alyssa believes that she is only alive because of an anomaly in the timeline, and that if Serah and Noel correct the timeline, then she will be Ret Gone.
- Hot Scientist: She is a pretty cute young lady, and a scientist.
- Lured into a Trap: How she betrays Serah and Noel; a Time Gate with a booby trapped artefact.
- The Mole: You wonder just how long she's been working against Serah and Noel. She was the one who proposed the Proto fal'Cie Project, and it's implied by Hope that the rebellion of its AI was no mere accident.
- Ret Gone:She believes that her original fate was to die in the Purge, and that if Noel and Serah fix the timeline, then she will disappear. She may be justified in this: she is conspicuously absent in the 500AF Academia timeline when Hope is prominent, and if you speak to the Academy scientists in 4XX AF Academia, they've forgotten all but her name.
- In Lightning Returns, completing a Canvas of Prayers request from an 'A.Z.' reveals that her soul still exists inside the chaos, and still remembers everything, even though she's been forgotten.
- Sexy Secretary: She's Hope's, and so good at her job that he brought her to the future with him. He hired her for a paper she wrote about paradoxes and seems oblivious to how "sexy" she is or not.
- Teen Genius: She's an Academy researcher at the age of 19.
- Traitor Shot: She is given one that Mog witnesses once Serah and Noel unknowningly enter a sabotaged time gate.
- Walking Spoiler: If the above blanked lines didn't tip you off, she's far from the nice girl introduced at the beginning of the game.
- What Could Have Been: There was a planned Hope DLC involving Alyssa trying to kill him off in Augusta Tower. It was scrapped, and instead worked into one of the XIII-2 Fragments novellas.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: She does, but no one else does. See Custom Uniform of Sexy.
"Lose yourself in battle, and rejoice!"
Voiced by Hiroshi Shirokuma in Japanese and Liam O'Brien in English.A mysterious figure, said to be a rival to Lightning and shown to be an antagonist to Noel and Serah.
- Always Save the Girl: He wants to create a timeless world so Yeul no longer has to die from visions of the future. Saving her from death was worth destroying the world to him.
- Badass Teacher: He used to train Noel.
- The Bad Guy Wins: A first for the series. Despite everything the heroes do, their efforts ultimately amount to nothing in the face of Caius's Evil Plan.
- The Battle Didn't Count: Constantly, and Justified in game mechanics by giving him the Auto-Raise status.
- Big Bad: He's the primary antagonist of XIII-2; his goal is to destroy all of time in retaliation for the repeated death of his surrogate daughter(s). Stopping him is why Lightning sent Noel to fetch her sister; she needs help foiling his other plans.
- BFS: The biggest one in the game.
- Blessed with Suck: Stated as much by Yeul herself. 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.Yeul: He has been gifted with the curse of eternity.
- Blood Knight: He enjoys his occasional battles too much.
"Lose yourself in battle, and rejoice!"
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- Upon obtaining all 160 fragments and witnessing all Paradox endings, Caius is shown in an alternate ending where he is seemingly talking to the player.
- He talks to the player the first time the player replays the opening battle in Valhalla.
- Brought Down to Badass: He was formerly a l'Cie before Etro gave him her heart. From what can be seen, he didn't need the l'Cie power.
- Colony Drop: He favours the Meteor spell, and his Plan B for destroying reality involves smashing the new Cocoon into the old one. Whilst everyone's inside.
- Curtains Match the Window: Has purple eyes and purple hair.
- 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.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: Physically, he's nigh-invincible. Mentally, he's a traumatized wreck.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Thanks to the Heart of Chaos, he's no longer an ordinary warrior.
- 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 murder 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, i.e. Etro's heart. This is the plan that works.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He's voiced by Liam O'Brien, after all.
- 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 contains his Eidolith for Bahamut, 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 sinister dark powers, and 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). Both of them are connected to Etro, after all.
- Gravity Master: Outside of summoning comets, his favorite spell is Gravity; he spams it in every fight.
- Guttural Growler: Downplayed, but it's still there, courtesy of Liam O'Brien.
- Hair Decorations: Beads and feathers and headbands galore.
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Serah and Noel have to win the 'boss fight', but storywise he will always survive and trash them later because he has Auto-Raise from the Heart of Chaos.
- Heartbroken Badass: Watching Yeul die over and over again hits him hard.
- 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.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Only his successor as Guardian, Noel, has the ability to bypass the immortality granted by the Heart of Chaos and kill Caius. As it turns out, that's exactly what Caius wants.
- Immortality Inducer: The Heart of Chaos makes the True Guardian immortal.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: What he does to Noel and Serah, and how he kills himself in the end, with Noel's sword. Too bad that this accomplished his goal much the same as killing Etro herself.
- The Juggernaut: Nothing will stop him. Even Lightning has trouble with him, and he trounces Serah and Noel with no problem at all. It takes four battles for Serah and Noel to finally bring him down.
- Just Toying with Them:
- 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.
- Kill the God: His central game-plan, though he's moved past mere Physical Gods and is now onto personifications of abstract concepts. He succeeds, too.
- Lightning Bruiser: He is fast and he hits hard. Each and every time.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: From his perspective, the problem isn't that he's immortal but that nobody else is. He fixes that.
- Love Makes You Evil: All of that chaos and destruction just to keep Yeul alive.
- Magic Knight: He is lethal with that sword and has access to both projectile magic and summoning magic.
- Manipulative Bastard:
- Mayfly-December Romance: A harsh example; Yeul is in love with him in every reincarnation save the last, and Caius grows increasingly broken as a result.
- 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.
- Mr. Fanservice: Tall, wickedly powerful, deep voice, and the camera takes several opportunities to emphasize his long legs and almost pointlessly form-fitting armor to make it even more obvious.
- 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: 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. To a lesser extent, although he was born on Gran Pulse and raised from before Cocoon's fall, he never uses the Pulsian naming fashion (Hometown-Clan-Given Name, i.e. Paddra Nsu-Yeul or Oerba Yun Fang), instead opting for the Cocoonite form (Given Name-Surname). When replaying Yaschas Massif 1X AF, Hope does mention reading scriptures of "Paddra Ballad-Caius", but it is never used again.
- Overprotective Dad: Taken to its logical extreme concerning Yeul, for whom he fosters a Protectorate. Problem: Surrogate daughter keeps dying. Solution: Time for some god killing.
- Papa Wolf: Seriously, do not mess with Yeul when he's around. That includes you, universe and you too, Etro.
- Parental Substitute: The best way to describe his... complicated relationship with Yeul. Someone has to raise her every time she's reborn.
- Playing with Fire: His Bahamut forms use this, although it ultimately counts as Non-Elemental for tradition's sake.
- Poisonous Friend: Most Yeuls would rather just live peacefully with the time they have. He... disagrees. This is because 'the time they have' is ten to fifteen years, and then they are reincarnated and do it all over again.
- Punctuated Pounding: During the cutscene on Valhalla's beach, before he transforms into Jet Bahamut.I've known and protected hundreds of Yeuls! Though they had the same soul, every one of them was unique! A Yeul who dreamed of travel! A Yeul who loved to sing! A Yeul who collected flowers...
- Purple Is Powerful: From his armor to his sword to his eyes, everything about him is some shade of purple.
- Reality-Breaking Paradox: When he dies, it 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.
- Recurring Boss: You must fight either him or one of his transformations no less than eight times in the main storyline alone — if you're after 100% Completion, you'll have to fight him an additional three times.
- The Rival: To Noel. Ideally, he was to be succeeded by Noel, but Noel refused to do the Klingon Promotion.
- 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. In these scenes he casually mocks the player for their foolish attempts around his evil plan.
- Sticks to the Back: His sword has no sheath, possibly because he couldn't find one big enough.
- Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Part of his Evil Plan calls for Noel killing him. Destroying Cocoon, claiming he killed Lightning, attempting to murder Serah in front of him, it was all to goad Noel into killing him.
- Summon Magic: Notable for having a very different kind of summon magic than everyone else in the series; his eidolith manifests Bahamut in his body, which makes this a case of One-Winged Angel as well. Backstory explains that this kind of 'incarnate' summoning usually takes his life, but then the Heart of Chaos happened and now he can just kinda shift back and forth as he so pleases.
- 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.
- 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 is creating a world without death and pain. 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 why Yeul 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.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Can transform himself into Bahamut.
- 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.
- What the Hell, Hero?: 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.
- 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..."
- Xanatos Gambit: Either his plans to destroy Time succeed (by killing Etro directly, or by forcing open the Unseen Gate), or the heroes kill him... which would destroy Time as 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.
Tropes present only in Lightning Returns500 years later, Caius mysteriously survived the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and now lives in the ruins of Etro's Temple in the Wildlands.
- And I Must Scream: Has been trapped inside Etro's Temple for 500 years by Yeul and is completely incapable of dying or leaving the ruins.
- The Atoner: An implied reason why he has no qualms about staying behind with Yeul in the dying world is that he feels guilt for what he did in the previous game.
- Back from the Dead: Pretty literally, since Yeul is capable of resurrecting him regardless of what he tries.
- Character Development: Noticeably more subdued than in the previous game, and lacks most of the hostility he used to have toward Lightning.
- Death Seeker: Even more so than in the previous game, and Yeul absolutely refuses to let him die.
- That One Boss: Can be for the unprepared, retaining most of his abilities from the previous game and adding powerful area-of-affect attacks. With the help of Bahamut, he is also quite capable of oneshotting the player, as well.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: A more indirect than usual example of this trope, but he ultimately becomes the replacement for the goddess whose death he arranged.
- When He Smiles: Smiles for real, for the first time, in the ending of the game before letting Noel and Yeul leave the chaos. (though it was trimmed in the English version, making it a lot less noticeable)
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: He considers his current life to be without meaning. Even though he technically achieved what he wanted, he finds no satisfaction or enjoyment in the company of the Yeuls that don't want him to die.
"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.
- Apocalypse Maiden: Lightning Returns reveals that she is responsible for everything that goes wrong from XIII-2 onwards. She forced immortality onto Caius so that she would never lose him, eventually driving him insane with grief. The combined despair of the infinite reincarnations of Yeul created the Unseen Chaos, a natural disaster that destroys the world entirely. Then because no singular Yeul can control the Hive Mind of the Unseen Chaos, there is nothing any of them can do to stop it: if one Yeul attempts to do something, another Yeul (from a different reincarnation with a different personality) will override her. Lightning is outraged with this revelation.
- Blessed with Suck: Like Serah, she was blessed by 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.
- Compressed Hair: The device on her head is able to compress her hip-length hair.
- Creepy Child: Every version that is not the sweet little girl Yeul, including the various 'Black Mist' versions seen in Snow and Lightning's DLCs. 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.
- Death Is Cheap: Again, sort of; Yeul is eternally reborn but each Yeul is distinct; same soul but different personality.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Three times on screen and many more off-screen. Though it's not the same Yeul each time.
- Emotionless Girl: Her voice doesn't change much from her normal monotone. She seems to feel normally, though her expressions are a bit limited.
- Face Death with Dignity: She always knows when and how she is going to die but refuses to change it. Instead she calms faces it. If only Caius would face it as well as she did...
- Fate Worse Than Death: Though she can die, her soul is forever reincarnated, being born into the Farseer tribe again and again. Whenever the future changes, her lifespan is depleted, causing her to die in her teens over and over. In addition to retaining the memories of the other Yeul's, she is capable of seeing her own death and, at one point, she allows a monster to fatally injure her in order to prevent a contradiction in the timeline. She is forbidden to meddle with the timeline (doing so doesn't work out too well for one of her incarnations) and she's forced to be a puppet being thrown about time forever. It is revealed in Lightning Returns that she's the Unseen Chaos, a hive mind composed of thousands of reincarnated Yeul's, each one filled with despair due to her fate.
- Flower Motifs: She is often seen with a daisy; a pretty flower that blooms and fades quickly.
- God Of Human Origin: At the end of Lightning Returns, she takes Etro's place as Goddess of Death, Ruler of the Unseen Realm. The new world will not live or prosper without someone to breath life into new generations and restrain the Chaos. Caius stays with her as her guardian.
- Go Out with a Smile: Often, usually if she notices the timeline changes (that kill her) are for the better.
- Green Eyes: They make her seem cold and distant. Noel finds that hot while Serah thinks she looks angelic with them.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The tiny girl to Caius's huge guy; the height difference contributes to the Caius-as-Father-Figure idea.
- Humanoid Abomination: As revealed in Lightning Returns, the accumulation of her other selves, which continuously are reborn and die, became this by becoming the Unseen Chaos that is destroying the world. See Apocalypse Maiden for details.
- Implied Love Interest: To both Caius and Noel. Although it is only the Yeul from the Dying World that Noel has a fixation on. Caius certainly loves her but whether this is paternal or romantic love is fluid.
- 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.
- Morality Chain: She kept Caius in "heroic warrior mode" while she lived, but after humans stopped being born anywhere he slips his leash.
- Mysterious Waif: A fragile young girl who appears before Serah and Noel in many different time periods and dies each time after speaking of time and prophecies. Unlike other examples, she does not serve as The Herald.
- One True Love: Lightning Returns reveals this regarding her and Caius. The collective incarnations of Yeul are all in love with 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.
- Protectorate: Both Noel and Caius have goals involving her well being.
- Rapunzel Hair: Yeul's hair reaches to her butt and she was a originally a ruler of people, which is why she could afford to have this.
- Really 700 Years Old: 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 it 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 in the Farseer tribe — 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 civilization and a fragile one to boot.
- Walking Disaster Area: In Lightning Returns, she is the only soul in all the world who cannot be saved because she is the Unseen Chaos. The poison that is currently killing the world will follow her. Before, Etro kept in check but since she's dead it can flow freely.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: A teenager with the grace and wisdom of an old sage. This is because she is an old sage, sort of, since each Yeul has the memories of all previous Yeuls. However, she even matured beyond her teens and this becomes a problem in Lightning Returns. All the Yeuls fuse into a Hive Mind but cannot agree on anything nor can they allow themselves to separated from Cauis despite the harm it does to him and the world.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Like Caius, it is an odditity.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Her visions tell her precisely when she will die and this is a fact she has come to accept as an inevitability.
"The beauty's all mine, but the products can be yours—but only if you show me the money!"
Voiced by Seiko Ueda in Japanese and Julie Nathanson in English.A quirky traveling merchant dressed in a costume that looks like a red chocobo. She sells a wide variety of equipment to Serah and Noel during their journey.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Describes herself as a "time travelling temptress" in Academia 4XX AF, and invites the player to peruse her "charmingly cheap chest of charity" on the Archylte Steppe.
- Animal Motifs: The chocobo. Fitting, because she is one.
- 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."
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Averted. They're closer to Morphic Resonance to her true form, a chocobo.
- Genki Girl: She always greets Serah and Noel with some peppy sales pitch or other and sometimes strikes a pose.
- Intrepid Merchant: She appears at least once in most of the timelines and even a Lotus Eater Machine designed as a 'no exit trap' by Caius.
- No Hero Discount: She claims 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 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.
- Stripperific: She's certainly showing a lot of skin. Given she's truly a chocobo, she likely has No Nudity Taboo.
- 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 or across timelines.
- She's set up shop in Oerba 200AF despite the dimensional flux.
- She's even set up shop in Fake New Bohdum, a dream world, of all places!
Valfodr, The Arbiter of Time
"You seek a harder path..."
Voiced by Tomomichi Nishimura in Japanese and Steve Blum in English.The keeper of the Coliseum, where he handles the downloadable content fights and gives a background story to each enemy. Originally a knight of Valhalla serving the goddess Etro, he will test Serah and Noel's strength upon defeating Snow in the introductory coliseum fight.
- An Axe to Grind: Wields a massive one in his right hand, and it's his primary weapon for the boss fight.
- Artificial Limbs: His left arm is an Arm Cannon that fires like a machine gun. His overall centaur design also looks mechanical.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Mog's records state that Valfodr is one of Valhalla's most powerful warriors, and, having been granted the title of "Arbiter of Time", he's able to round up characters from different dimensions and put them in battle against each other.
- Badass Baritone: Both his voice actors provide him with a deep, sinister voice that's put to good use in his boss battle.
- Blood Knight: He seems to enjoy the battles taking place in the coliseum, and often teases Serah and Noel with taunts of cowardice should the player refuse to fight in one of the DLC battles. He's also ecstatic when the party wins against him, saying it's been a very long time since the last time he stood grinning after a defeat.
- Bonus Boss: After Snow's fight in "Perpetual Battlefield", he takes the center stage and fights you right away as a superboss. Each subsequent fight against him raises his power and changes his abilities, up until level 99, where his HP rivals Vercingetorix's.
- Breaking Speech: Gives a pretty epic one as soon as Noel and Serah defeat Snow in "Perpetual Battlefield".Valfodr: "Foolish children of Man. The crime you commit is grievous indeed. The Arbiter of Time serves the Goddess of Death in all her merciless splendor. All mortal beings stand as equals when they receive their ultimate judgment. Only the most powerful is chosen to pass the sentence. (Voice suddenly deepens) Your sin is your arrogance. Such hubris, to think you could challenge me! Drown in seas of blood, writhe in infernal flames and and suffer eternal torment! YOUR PUNISHMENT AWAITS!"
- Damage-Sponge Boss: He has the highest HP count in the game, topping at 15,516,000 in his level 99 incarnation. He's also able to heal himself (something which is emphasized upon with the summoned Cactuaramas at level 45), and has very high resistances.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: Upon defeating him, you get a chance of obtaining his monster crystal, although the drop rate percentage is proportional to the level you fight him at. It's also worth noting that the Coliseum can be unlocked early on in the game, potentially turning him into a Disc One Nuke instead. Just like Twilight Odin, however, you'll need to level him up from 1 to 99, and beating him sometimes means there's not a lot of challenging enemies left afterwards.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": It's just "Arbiter of Time". His actual name is only mentioned in the game's text and never said on-screen.
- Flunky Boss: In every iteration of his fight save for level 99, he summons various rare monsters, of which Serah and Noel can capture their crystals if you're lucky with the drop rate. From the Golden Chocobos to the Cactuaramas and Chichus, they'll often pose as much of a threat as himself. He conspicuously ditches this ability in the ultimate difficulty setting, instead bombarding Serah and Noel with increasingly heavy attacks.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Flashes yellow ones in the level 70 and 99 versions once you bring his health down to half.
- Graceful Loser: He takes no offence should Serah and Noel defeat him, even going as far as saying he thoroughly enjoyed the battle.(When first defeating him): "Travelers of time, your skills at arms is unrivaled. You have earned the right to declare yourselves as the ultimate victors. Go now. May the light of your spirits guide the progress of time, and give rise to a new future."(When beating his level 99 version): "Incredible! The Arbiter of Time, bested by mere mortals? Long has it been since I stood thus, grinning on the precipice of oblivion!"
- Guardian Entity: Watches over the Coliseum, and wanted Serah and Noel to leave once they entered his domain. He does not take it well when they come back in the downloadable content, prompting him to challenge them.
- The Grim Reaper: He is "a servant of the goddess of death", with a long polearm weapon, though not a scythe.
- Large and in Charge: He absolutely towers over Serah and Noel at roughly twice the duo's height and scorns them for thinking they could challenge the Coliseum's master.
- Large Ham: He's very bombastic when describing the bosses. His voice is also thundering when he fights the heroes."UNWORTHY FOOL!""THIS IS YOUR FATE!""REJOIN THE VOID FOR ETERNITY!""KNOW YOUR FOLLY!""COWER!""PERISH!"
- Leitmotif: The unnamed Coliseum theme when speaking to him normally for other DLC fights; "Time's Master" for his proper boss fight, which is shared with Caius (the first of the last three fights).
- Lightning Bruiser: He executes multiples attacks in quick succession, notably "-ga" spells followed by either his axe swings or Arm Cannon. On top of those, he'll start casting even more powerful spells like Gagnrath and Ultima at higher levels.
- Magic Knight: He's able to cast powerful spells and debuffs throughout his fights, on top of his two main weapons.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: His battle form is that of a mechanical centaur with Artificial Limbs.
- Recurring Boss: An odd variant, since all battles happen in the coliseum. He is fought at different levels, starting with level 1 right after you defeat Snow. Subsequent fights with him raise his level to 15, 45, 70, and 99, with increasing difficulty each time.
- Red Baron: "The Arbiter of Time".
- The Social Darwinist: While's not a villain per se, the law of Valhalla states that the "the weak serve the strong", and he certainly adheres to that, smiting down any enemy no matter how weak they are. The only exception he made was with Mog, rejecting him instead of taking him under his wing with the excuse that he's "too weak".
- Staff of Authority: Sports one in his normal form as "The Arbiter of Time".
- Turns Red: On his level 70 and 99 versions, he will start using Gagnrath and Quasar, both of which will deal heavy damage to your party unless they're in the Tortoise paradigm, with the latter also causing Wound damage.
- Vader Breath: His breath seems to echo throughout the entire coliseum chamber.