Characters / Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

A list of characters from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. For characters introduced in Final Fantasy XIII go here. Characters introduced in Final Fantasy XIII-2 are here.

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"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 her true motives are a mystery for Lightning to unravel.
  • 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's Evil 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.
  • For the Evulz: Willing enough to pull this off without a second thought.
  • The Heavy: She drives the story along, manipulating Lightning and the others to get them exactly where she wants them to be.
  • 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: On the Final Day, her desperate/tearful pleading for Lightning not to leave her alone is a stark contrast to everything she's said/done before then.
    • Hypocrite/Call Forward: She says she's completely fine all by herself, and she's willing to make her own amusement, but when everyone leaves her, she suddenly has to grow up and take it in? Now this is a clue she's actually Lightning. Bonus points for Lightning saying her final words when she gets stuck in the Chaos.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Due to their conflicting attitudes, Lightning sees her as a nuisance. Or, rather, she sees her younger self as a nuisance.
  • Red Herring: Her characterization and appearance are designed to give the impression she's Serah's Evil Counterpart. She's actually Lightning's.
  • Soul Jar: Though she is a manifestation of Lightning, she is also the container for Serah's soul.
  • Summon Magic: She uses chaos to summon monsters.
  • 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....

    The Speaker for the Dead 
Voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura in Japanese and Erik Davies in English.

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. To communicate with Lightning, it assumes the form of someone she knows, specifically Cid Raines.

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: He's not actually Cid Raines, but the representative of the dead who is using his form because it is a person Lightning knew (rather, remembers deeply) well.
  • Brick Joke: And how!
  • 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 if they simply never existed.
  • Mr. Exposition
  • 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.
  • Unexpected Character: No one expected this character to reappear.

"Honestly, I don't want to get blamed for spilling the wrong thing."

Voiced by David Lodge in English

Adonis is a member of Monoculus, a guild of thieves based out of the Dead Dunes. He hires Lightning to rid the desert of a nasty sandstorm, earning her a membership within Monoculus in the process.

    Dr. Gysahl 
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...
  • Cynicism Catalyst: When his daughter died nearly a century ago.
  • 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 6: 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.

    Director Sarzhak 
The man in charge of the "Legend of the Savior" play in Yusnaan. He's been putting on the same show for decades and is beginning to want a change in routine.

  • 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.
  • Screw the End of the World, We're Partying!: His attitude to the play. It's also why he has no problem blowing up the entire set: the world's about to end, so might as well make the final performance memorable.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Said practically word for word by him when Lightning shows up in the Midnight Mauve garb.
  • Trash the Set: He turns out to be surprisingly agreeable to Lightning & Hope's plan to blow up the statue of God with copious amounts of fireworks.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language:
    : "You've got chutzpah to spare, I'll give you that."

WARNING - the following profile has all spoilers unmarked, including those for the end of the game.



Voiced by Yuki Kaji in Japanese and Daniel Riordan in English

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

By the time of Lightning Returns he has awakened and is in the act of creating a new world for humanity to migrate to since the current one is almost destroyed. As he cannot see the souls of humanity, he awakens Lightning and makes her his chosen Savior to guide their souls to the new world for him. During the game Lightning learns he is planning to purify humanity's souls of emotion and to destroy the souls of the dead, erasing the memories of them from the living so they may live in blissful ignorance without knowing mourning or loss.

  • 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.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original Japanese, he originally possessed Hope so he could better understand humans and become a better (if still villainous) deity. The English version changed that into him wanting to remake humanity to his benefit, with Hope being his lab rat.
  • Big Bad: He's the main villain of Lightning Returns, planning to purify human souls of emotion and their memories of the dead to create his idea of a perfect world.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In order to make Hope an acceptable vessel, he reverts him to his childhood form and tortures him for 169 years.
  • Demonic Possession: Bhunivelze possesses Hope, whom he sees as his only suitable vessel.
  • Evil Mentor: He's secretly grooming Lightning to take Etro's place as the Goddess of Death.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Or rather, comprehend emotions. He doesn't seem to understand why his creations would rather live with all the negative feelings in the world instead of being empty puppets under his command.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Bhunivelze's philosophy goes down to this. By tasking Lightning with saving souls, he culls them to rid them of free will, making them nothing more but dolls, and even plans on robbing Lightning of hers, turning her into another Etro, a living balance between the worlds of the living and the dead. Alas, Lightning will have none of it.
  • Final Boss: Of Lightning Returns and the FFXIII series altogether.
  • Final Exam Boss: If you haven't mastered staggering and perfect guarding by the time you fight him, it'll be nearly impossible to do any real damage to his final form and his Heartless Angel will always reduce you to 1 HP, which is a major issue in a game with as few in-battle healing options as Lightning Returns.
  • God Is Evil: He's god and he's evil. Go figure.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Though he does not awaken until the final game, his actions in the past drive the entire series; most everything Pulse and Lindzei have done, including their creation of the fal'Cie and subsequent orders to them, traces back to Bhunivelze.
  • HP to 1: Bhunivelze is one of those Final Fantasy villains who, like Kefka and Sephiroth, has the dreaded Heartless Angel attack, which does this trope.
  • 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 and remolded it to suit his purposes as a vessel to dwell in as part of an attempt to better understand humanity.
    • Humanity Is Infectious: It's implied especially more clearly in the Japanese dialogue, that while he stole Hope's memories, he was also starting to become affected by Hope's emotions. Hence why after Lightning defeats him in the final boss battle, he begins to feel emotions, namely anger and despair, as it indicates Hope's soul is surfacing and is within reach for Lightning to save.
  • I Have Your Wife: He uses Serah's soul as a bargaining chip to ensure Lightning performs her duty as the Savior. But in the end, it turns out he never had Serah's soul as it was already lost in the Chaos. However, he did have another soul in his possession to manipulate her with: Hope's.
  • If I Can't Have You: As his final battle goes on, he goes from praising Lightning to being angered by her determination, deciding that since she won't become the new Etro, he'll just wipe her out of existence instead.
  • 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 saga.
  • Not Quite Dead: Lightning doubts that he actually died following the final battle, suspecting that he just merely fell into stasis again. But she is confident that humanity will be able to defeat him again should he return.
  • Oedipus Complex: A variant — he killed his mother to supplant her as ruler of the world, but believed she didn't really die and became obsessed with finding her again. It gets fully sexual in Lightning Returns, with the Japanese version having a lot of innuendo-laced dialogue about Lightning replacing Etro (who was said to look like Mwynn) by offering herself to him. This further goes to downright Ship Tease when you connect it to Bhunivelze possessing Hope as a vessel and the implication Hope's emotions are influencing him during this.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In the myth he defeated his mother, killed her, and banished her to the world of the dead.
  • Sinister Scythe: He uses a double edged one that's the fusion of Lindzei and Pulse.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Japanese version only. He spent the entire game watching everything Lightning did through Hope, after all.
  • 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.
  • Two-Faced: He has an angelic face in his front and a demonic face on the back of his head, they can rotate to suit his mood.
  • Villainous Crush: The Japanese version implies that he ended up being influenced by Hope's feelings for Lightning, developing a twisted and obsessive "love" for her.
    Bhunivelze: Submit to me and become my new goddess!
  • Walking Spoiler: He's the primary villain of the trilogy and the Final Boss of Lightning Returns. Though if you've been following the backstory and know what his children were up to in his absence, it isn't that surprising.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: He's mostly light-themed, but some of his attacks have dark elements in them. More notably is his Sinister Scythe, at least in terms of design, being dual-ended with a demonic face (Pulse) and an angelic face {Lindzei) on either end.