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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Final Fantasy XIII
Brynhildr was a keyblade master.
  • At first when I saw her, the only thing that came into mind was transformers and left it and left it at that. But after playing Kingdom hearts final mix 1, 2 and Birth by sleep made me think otherwise. Keyblade masters have the ability to go to other worlds, So it could've been possible that she can end up at grand pulse through a black hole like the one used to get to hollow bastion. When Etro knew of her presence, she modified her to follow that place rules and use for her needs by using her armor and her vehicle as the basis for her main body with the soul inside as a sprit or a chip. Another hint is when her axe. It looks has a striking resemblance to one of terra's keyblade and riku's keyblade shows that they can lack keychains. she could've been around during the keyblade war or even before and could've been a master or at a high level at one point. She can morph her weapon like terra, She has as a core element, fire. her armor looks like the ones used in birth by sleep. Valkyrian Scythe looks like a combo that can be used with a keyblade. She can use her magic with her weapon. Finally at the Chocobo park Nautilus with Sazh on the ground are heart symbols close to the KH logo.
fal'Cie are also 'slaves'.
  • fal'Cie have Focuses as well. Notice how all the fal'Cie seem to have a 'purpose' both on Cocoon and on Pulse. Kujata runs Euride Gorge. Anima was (presumably) the protector of Oerba village. Phoenix is the sun on Cocoon. Carbuncle, Bismarck, Atomos, Eden: They all do something.
  • Presumably they were given these foci by Maker.
  • Or were they? Notice how only Barthandelus and Orphan display some kind of character? All the others are just powerful monsters. What if...the reason that the fal'Cie are like that is because they're Cie'th?
  • fal'Cie Cie'th. Here's the theory: At one point, every single fal'Cie had free will. Then, they were given their focuses by Maker. So they react similarly to the party. They try to challenge their fate, and very nearly every single one of them fails. Being fal'Cie, they don't turn into regular Cie'th: they are condemned to perform their set tasks as mere puppets, with no independent thought left. Orphan's cleverer than that, though. He doesn't rebel, but Eden does. Orphan's focus is to provide Eden with strength, so he just does that.
  • At this point, Maker ditches the universe, presumably to attend the post-creation afterparty.
  • So now Orphan's all alone. He's been left by his 'parent' as it were, and every single other fal'Cie in the universe is a mindless puppet. Of course, there are humans lying around, but who cares about them, right? Some fal'Cie keep on with a limited degree of free will, much like the Undying. Even so, the Undying aren't all that interesting to be around.
  • And Orphan is PO'd. He is having none of this. So he comes up with a plan. He's going to bring Maker back, and kill it. Much like the party planned to take down the fal'Cie after they turned into l'Cie. He sort of 'cuts off' a part of himself, which becomes Barthandelus. Orphan then lies dormant for some time. Barthandelus, as a part of Orphan, has a job to do. The plan is to summon Ragnarok. See, Orphan's Cradle isn't just Orphan's Cradle - the Tesseracts and Narthex Throne are actually Orphan itself. The gold wheel thing is its 'heart'. By summoning Ragnarok inside the Cradle, Orphan can assimilate Ragnarok, destroy Cocoon and then get his revenge by killing Maker. Once Maker is dead, Orphan-slash-Ragnarok can absorb its power and then remake the world where fal'Cie are no longer slaves. Barthandelus tries once, but (as we know) it doesn't work, and just makes a hole in Cocoon. So he gets patient. He pulls a Vestige from Oerba with the two l'Cie who were meant to become Ragnarok inside it, and then places the Vestige on Cocoon. This, he reasons, will make it easier for them to make their way into the Cradle and summon Ragnarok. He doesn't expect Lightning, Sazh, Hope and Snow and Serah to turn up, but hey, the more the merrier right? The more there are, then statistically the better the chance of them getting to the Cradle.
  • The practical upshot of this is that the entire game up to Orphan's first form is an extended fal'Cie-mediated grinding area. The l'Cie need to get powerful enough to summon Ragnarok, so Barthandelus throws gradually more and more powerful enemies at them. Occasionally he steps in and sets them in the right direction. When he thinks they're ready, he dumps them on Pulse. Then when he thinks they're ready, he lets them come back to Cocoon. He turns up inside the cradle, then Barthandelus merges back into Orphan.
  • Then Orphan's plan gets screwed over when the party decide not to summon Ragnarok, preferring to kick Orphan's ass instead.
  • So really, the game isn't about the party, but about Orphan wanting to build a better world at a massive price.
  • After all, he just wanted some friends to play with.

Fang will become Lightning's best friend, then die shortly before the final showdown.
  • Based on looks and personality, she's the distaff counterpart of Zack. And we all know what happened to him.
  • Sort of correct. Since they got crystallized together, does that mean Vanille is Aerith?

Lightning becomes Haruhara Haruko.
  • After the end of the game, Lightning gets crystallized for some reason, but without her Nakama. While under stasis, she is moved to our planet or simply awakes in the present day, in which most of the higher technology has been destroyed. To cope, Lightning gets an Important Haircut, a Vespa, a Rickenbacker bass guitar, gold contacts for the hell of it, and another name changeforgetting or just ignoring the fact that discarding her identity didn't really work the first time. This time, her mental strain is so great she becomes the exact opposite of her former personality: a mostly-insane, flirtatious, selfish compulsive liar. "Raharu" meets Amarao and completes a Focus shortly after that, giving people the impression that she's immortal after waking up twenty or thirty years later, and since it doesn't matter either way she makes no attempt to correct any rumors or bother with a real name change. Naota reminds her of Hope, and while she does sincerely care about him, she forgoes getting close to spare herself more suffering. Atomsk is a Fal'Cie who she's seeking out in an attempt to return to a normal life, but since nobody knows what that means anymore she just calls him a space pirate to sound cool.

Odin is the unicorn from Robot Unicorn Attack.

What kind of mecha warhorse doesn't have a mane? The kind that's trying to hide something. Due to having the same mix of badassery and femininity, the unicorn decided Lightning was the best possible rider. The rose is actually a many-pointed glass star the unicorn was trapped in, which also broke its horn off, probably.

Sazh's Chocobo is the true Villain of the Game.

Forget what the trailers show, no matter how prominent Jihl and Yaag might be, its just a big huge red herring. The real villain will pop out of nowhere and kill them both off in a matter of seconds (and nobody will care). Sazh's little Chocofro will transform into a fifty-foot monster of pure evil, then fuse with Cocoon to become a giant death star of evil energy, and try to existence. Most likely it will win too.
  • Corrolary: Sazh's chocobo is a Pulse Fal'Cie
    • One, it directs everyone in the party, like when Sazh says "The bird says 'no'"
    • Two, it isn't afraid of men with machine guns, it even attacks one of them in the face to break Sazh out of prison
    • Three, it isn't afraid of Sazh's eidolan proving it must be more than it appears
    • Four, it's too cute. Very suspicious.
    • Five, only a fal'cie can decrystalize a L'cie which explains why four of group thaw out in the ending.
    • Six, though Sanctum Fal'cie are the ones directing them, it is a Gran Pulse Fal'cie that transforms them and so the chick removes the brands ones Cuccon is destroyed

Menrva is the real form of Barthandelus.

  • Think about it - the bird is there during every battle and is usually shown just before his transformation from the Dysley guise into the actual fal'Cie form. Barthandelus doesn't merge with Orphan until Menrva flies into the...pool thing. You also get no CP from the fights with him - because you're not actually fighting him!
    • That makes sense! Also, Menrva can be seen in several scenes prior to actually even seeing SupahPope, I think even as early as shortly after the first train sequence. At the very least, that owl's an aspect of Ol' Bart.

Sazh's chocobo is also a l'Cie.
How else could he kick that soldier's ass in chapter 9? Any regular baby bird would have ended up like what happens when one flies into your windshield.
  • It could be, at the start of Chapter 11 when Hope gets injured, the bird flew back to the group trying to tell make it clear that Hope was in trouble, nobody was any the wiser until Vanille studied him, saw something that alarmed her and exclained "his brand!" meaning that the chocobo has a l'Cie brand, and it was doing something, most possibly it was the chocobo's Eidolon that came out and mauled Hope.

Pulse is the world of FF Versus XIII in the future
FFVXIII, FFAXIII and FFXIII are in separate worlds, right? What if SE lied to make the revelation that Pulse used to be quite advanced a secret?
  • Frankly that would be kind of awesome.
  • Frankly, that's fact as I recall. Versus XIII occurs on Pulse, but not in the future. It actually happens in the past, and the city-scape that's featured is destroyed over the intervening years.

The people of Gran Pulse is a One-Gender Race
Vanille and Fang are female. All the Cie'th stones you see have female parts and figures.
  • Wait what? If all of the people of Gran Pulse were female then how in the world did they reproduce?
  • Sadly, no; some Cie'th stones mention men.

The Chickobo is the Maker
It only makes sense - see the above WMGs about it. It guides the team, serves as Sazh' moral conscience, and subtly leads them all to the right course of action. There's only one answer that explains it all: It is God.
  • It even brags about it. When Serah and Dajh come walking out in the end sequence, it pops out with a distinctively proud noise, and acts all "Look what I did!"

Humanity is extinct on Pulse because Titan got bored and made every single one of them a l'Cie
The game hints at this already, and Titan's pretty much the god of survival of the fittest. So he made some humans into l'Cie and pitted them against random monsters. When those failed, he made more l'Cie. Eventually some powerful Cie'th turned up so Titan made more l'Cie to kill them. The Cie'th stones for the marks are simply the first ones to have failed at those specific tasks.
  • Actually, if you read the flavor text for the marks, you will realize that a few of them are people taking on a mark that somebody else failed at (notably, the Cie'th stone that gives you Mission 16 was after the same thing that the Cie'th that gives you Mission 14 was after). However, I do think the theory of Titan wiping out mankind in the name of "survival of the fittest" is extremely likely.
    • True. So either the Cie'th stones we see are the first ones who failed and weren't killed in the attempt, or the amount of time it takes to become a Cie'th stone is variable.
    • Don't forget the Goblin Chief marks. Titan didn't just test them. He made them compete against each other. Also, the C'ieth Stones in the Faultwarrens are suspiciously placed. They're l'Cie chosen by Titan to take part in his Trials, sadistically giving them tougher opponents so that when they failed they become the C'ieth Stone for that mark. Explains why tougher marks show up a lot more than the easier marks and how the Trials branch off.

The people from Cocoon don't last long after the end of the game.
See above. Did you think Titan was done?
  • This might actually be the reason why, from what is seen of XIII-2, the Cocoon denizens are trying to rebuild on Cocoon while some (mostly people from Bodhum) decide to brave Gran Pulse. Hearing of the Trials from Snow, Hope, or Sazh (sans Lightning for obvious reasons) and explaining the vast appearance of the C'ieth stones in the Archylte Steppe, much of Cocoon would have become too scared of that gigantic thing that eats monsters and spits them back out to make stronger ones turning them into l'Cie. In the E3 demo, when viewing the map of Bresha Ruins there are C'ieth stones in the area. Now that's odd... those weren't there five years prior...

Dajh's Focus was actually to find Vanille or Fang specifically.
He didn't need to capture Pulse l'Cie, he needed to capture the Pulse l'Cie that actually threatened Kujata. When he found Vanille with Sazh, his Focus was considered complete.
  • Pretty sure this is the canon of what happened.

Humans are now useless to Fal'Cie as tools.
Why do Fal'Cie use humans? Because Humans Are Special and can rise beyond their limitations - like their Focus. The Fal'Cie think that a l'Cie must fulfill their Focus because that's all they know, and l'Cie believe it because it's what they've been told. But just like how extreme shock can instantly turn you into a Cie'th, a supreme act of emotional strength can turn you into crystal, seal your brand or turn you back human. Now humanity has four people that can say - "Hey, this whole Focus thing? Is bullshit. It's what the Fal'Cie want you to think, and you have the power to defy your fate. We turned back from being Cie'th by willpower alone because that's humanity's special power." Sure, one or two weak-willed humans can still be turned into Cie'th, but anyone powerful enough to be a decent l'Cie are strong enough to save themselves.

The main characters will always be social outcasts.
Okay, they saved Coccoon from certain death. But they still killed countless soldiers who were trying to stop them and indirectly caused the deaths countless civilians. Even if their story is believed, not a whole lot of people are going to forgive them. Lightning, especially, will probably never be able to work in the military again considering that she's decimated it.
  • Lightning quit anyway, why would she want to join again?
    • Because Serah is safe now. Also, there is a huge power vacuum in the military and the rest of Cocoon society so she might want to become a leader to make sure they get on the right track.
    • It doesn't even stop with the deaths of the soldiers. I mean, for one thing, did any of the civilians even SEE the main characters stop Barthandeleus? Did they even know that he really was the main problem? These people have been forced out of Cocoon... In fact Cocoons basically a big crystal ball now, and they now have to live in world chock full of dangerous monsters without any of the benefits the Sanctum Falcie gave them at Cocoon. And for all we know, they're probably still worried that the person next to them could very well be a L'cie. That's what they believed the "relocation" was for in the first place. I'd say it's very easy to imagine that the main characters would be resented for a very very veeeeeery long time..Someone even wrote a fic about it http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6297621/1/
  • This is pointed out in the epilogue novella, Episode -i-. When reuniting with Serah and Dajh after awakening from crystal stasis, the remaining party see the Cavalry forces land on Gran Pulse and tell them to hide while they evacuate the people of Cocoon. Only Bodhum was affected beyond repair by the advent of Ragnarok, and the Purge ironically saved the people who were there, while every other city was spared—albeit severely damaged and on par with our world's worst natural disasters. During Hope's focus in the novella he knows that they've all killed countless soldiers that would have affected their families and had to be patient before being able to reunite with his father. XIII-2's demo, however, shows the Cocoon NPCs either bemoaning the loss of their paradise or are actually happy despite all that's happened (one NPC recalls forgetting how real rain felt like. Another talk in disgust about people from the Academy that claim their lives are ruined because of the l'Cie). Facts about Serah and Noel being able to access l'Cie powers and paradoxes are still in the air, but PSICOM gladly accepts their help when dealing with Paradox Alpha in the Bresha Ruins.
  • Wait a minute. Didn't Lightning say that the purpose of the Purge was to kill off everyone and NOT to take them to Pulse? I figured that Psicom actually started seriously trying to save everyone after Yaag called the Purge OFF right before the end of the game.
    • Yes, Yaag called off the hunt and perhaps, behind the scenes, the remaining Cavalry revealed the truth to PSICOM and after Ragnarok destroyed Cocoon that's when they initiated the disaster relief. They may be social outcasts-not by people still hating them, but because people will be alienated by them. Should have pointed that out when I made my post about XIII-2's stuff. There will be people who are more than interested to hear the story straight from the l'Cie themselves, while others still need just a little bit more time to get over the shock of the big changes in their lives. The l'Cie are like war veterans, fresh from the battle field. If anything they'd be given some space. 5 years is a long time. Perhaps by then, the people will be more willing to accept the truth (paradoxes and time anomalies not withstanding, of course).

Lindzei is actually Barthandelus.
The Analects mention that Lindzei convinced many people to migrate from Gran Pulse to Cocoon. Barthandelus wanted to make a huge human sacrifice by destroying Cocoon, so he would definitely want to lead people there. The Analects also mentioned that Lindzei eventually left, abandoning the people he lured to Cocoon. However, this Analect could be referring to the time when Barthandelus became Dysley and no longer revealed his Fal'Cie form to others (until Lightning and co. showed up).
  • Not just Dysley: he could have assumed a human form long before becoming Dysley. Taking one shape for around/over 500 years would be too suspicious, so way before becoming Galenth, he transformed into someone else, got elected Primarch, resigned and appointed someone else, then using his fal'Cie powers, turned them into unrecognizable Sacrifices and assumed that person's form, keeping himself as Primarch every couple of years/decades before repeating the cycle and therefore ensuring that the myth about Pulse being Hell was perpetuated. Until Lightning and Co. showed up.

The Goddess is the Maker.
The Fal'Cie all assume the Maker is gone. Maybe the Maker just changed its appearance, and none of them realized it. The 13th Analect even mentions that the Goddess Etro is through the same Door that the Maker is believed to be through.
  • The Maker and Etro are two different beings. Plus Etro is the one humanity was created from. The Maker is the one who made Pulse Fal'Cie

Barthandelus is the one who actually put Fang and Vanille in their premature crystal sleep.
When Vanille refused to join with Fang to form the full-powered Ragnarok, Barthandelus realized they would not be able to destroy Cocoon as he desired. Since they had the power to become Ragnarok, he knew they were too useful to let die, so he put them in a crystal sleep until there would be a better opportunity for them to destroy Cocoon/Orphan.
  • This one is clearly canon. The cie'th stone Vanille reads after the second fight with Bart pretty much spells it out.

Barthandelus manipulated Orphan as part of his plan to create an enormous human sacrifice.
When Cocoon was created, Barthandelus placed Orphan as the power source and programmed him to desire death. This would make it easier to destroy Cocoon when the time came.

Orphan is manipulating Barthandelus as part of his plan to die.
Orphan is obviously a very powerful Fal'Cie. As such, he is able to plant ideas or suggestions into the minds of other Fal'Cie. He made them think that a large human sacrifice would bring back the Maker, thereby convincing them to try to destroy him (since by destroying him, they could destroy all the humans of Cocoon).

The Fal'Cie of Pulse went on a l'Cie-making rampage to try to create their own large human sacrifice.
Similar to how the Cocoon Fal'Cie are trying to destroy Cocoon to create a large human sacrifice, the Pulse Fal'Cie used l'Cie brands to wipe out most of the population of Gran Pulse. Apparently, the sacrifice didn't bring back the Maker.

Lindzei is not only Barthandelus, Lindzei is Satan.

Lindzei is a Smug Snake who lied his ass off to lure people into (rather than out of) "Paradise", served as a "god" of a world of his own fabrication with the intention of leading the people in it to ruin, tried to discredit the very God he was intitially serving in the first place by imitating Her, deceived the 'true believers' (the people of Pulse) into thinking he had left their worlds entirely (or very well never existed), whose forms grew increasingly angelic in each battle. How is he not some form of Satan?
  • In addition, I believe the Datalog mentioned Lindzei being associated with serpents.
  • Aha! So he's a literal Smug Snake!
    • God in this series is male and named Buniberzei. He created the first three Fal'Cie Maker/Hallowed Pulse, Fell Lindzei, and Etro which are worshiped as Gods and Goddesses by humanity. He also went into a dormant state out of fear of death.

Snow is really from Gran Pulse.
They never tell us any details about his early life, only that he 'grew up' in Bodhum with Lebreau and Gadot and they made NORA. Snow seems like the kind of person that could survive pretty well on Gran Pulse, AND he's an orphan who (supposedly) doesn't remember his family very well. Perhaps his parents were the last inhabitants of their village on Pulse, and they realized that keeping themselves and Snow out of danger in friggin' Pulse was way too difficult to do and they'd be wormfood if they kept this up. Despite their distaste with the idea, they decided to go to Cocoon. Either they both died on the way through the gate or got shot down in Cocoon for being from Pulse, leaving young Snow all on his own either in or near Bodhum. He probably made up his name, since his real one he either forgot or wanted to leave behind.

The game is a far future sequel to Final Fantasy IX
There are several shout outs, such as to Lindblum and so on. The Maker of the Fal'cie was either Garland or Necron, which is why it isn't around anymore; they were released into the world upon its death.

Orphan had some kind of mind-fogging power or power of compulsion, which it used to cause those near it to lose their full grasp of what was going on and just act instinctively.
Hence the party destroying Orphan while in their normal form despite the logical issues with that approach. When they killed it, its influence on them lingered briefly, thus allowing Vanille and Fang to transform to Ragnarok and save Cocoon, because they became Ragnarok before they could think about it, and their thought process was still vague enough that it didn't occur to them that they couldn't simply use their power to catch the falling world. Doesn't the end of the game make more sense like that?

Phineas is Hope
One day, Phineas and Ferb tried creating a way to go through alternate demsions. Phineas tested it out and well it worked but he couldn't go home because Doof's-intvention-of-the-day managed to "clean-up" the boys object much faster. Somehow, Phineas' appearence was altered to fit his new home better. He was found by Nora and she took him in. Phineas lived a few peaceful years in this world, learning all he could in hopes that one day he could go home. (Meaningful Name much?) Unfortunitly for him the grownups here DO care if a kid builds omething like a rollercoaster downtown. (There's a quote on the quote page of Despair Event Horizon that pretty much sums it up) He coped by putting his faith in his new mom. But think of how his old family and friends are coping.

Yes, yes this was based solely off of his voice actor.
  • This makes Lightning comment about names hit harder than it should.
    Lightning: I had to be strong for Serah so I thought I needed to forget my past. I became Lightning. I thought that by changing my name, I could change who I was. I was just a kid.

Lightning is a lesbian.
At no point in the game does she show any attraction to a guy, first of all. In Palumpolum, in the oft-cited Les Yay moment when Fang tries to get a look at her brand, Lightning is visibly embarrassed. Some have written this off as Lightning being uncomfortable with physical contact in general, except about three scenes later she Glomps Hope without a problem. It would be totally in-character for Lightning to freeze up around someone she finds attractive, even in a general "Damn she's hot" way. Also, in Episode Zero when at her iciest, she still notices LeBreau's outfit (or lack thereof) in a way no other character seems to do. It just kind of makes sense.
  • "Straight and not interested" seems a very likely explanation. Think about it - for one thing, she's busy fighting all the time. And, throughout the game, her possibilities are rather thin on the ground. The guy that she hates who's engaged to her sister? The widower? The angry boy?
    • I mean if you read that part of the story you will see Lightning also commented on Yuj's clothes, that mean she has the hots for him? She was saying they were amateur fighters and the attire would impede them in a fight, nothing Freud about it. Also that scene with Fang, she was getting her temper under control by that point of the story and not blowing up over stuff like that, it was part of her development. She glomps Hope because he saw her as a mother substitute and was trying to help keep that image up.

Vanille's actress wasn't slipping on the accent
Vanille realized that speaking with a Gran Pulse accent would be a great way to get herself killed fast, so she tried to cover it up, but wasn't as good at it as she thought. Fang didn't even bother trying to hide it, probably because anyone who tried would get their asses handed to them.

Serah, Lightning, and Snow are alternate incarnations of Tohru, Kyo, and Uo of Fruits Basket. In that order.
Snow/Arisa is totally fine with the trade of sister/husband roles. Kyo/Claire, less so. By extension, Sazh is Shigure, Hope is Yuki (who hasn't realized just who he's crushing on), Vanille is Momiji, Fang is Hatsuharu, Cid is Akito (internet! find me Sazh/Cid slash, stat!), Nora is Kyoko, Dajh is Megumi (thus the creepiness), Rygdea is Kakeru, the Farrons were Saki and Kazuma (finally made him call her mother), etc.

As a corollary, Anima made sure to give Serah a Focus that would immediately leave her encased in crystal and out of the way because it knew that if left free with the task of destroying Cocoon she would find some way to make it all end with everyone hugging, the opposite of what it wanted.

Square Enix will release a DLC containing a rehashing of the removed content from the origional game
With the massive amount of content that Square Enix removed in order to fit the game on to one disk it would be stupid not to recycle that content in some form. Most likely it will be in the form of a DLC that will be a prologue about fang and vanille when they first became l'cie.

Barthandelus's familiar, Menrva, is none other than Lindzei.
Sounds far-fetched, doesn't it? Menrva's just Barthandelus's owl familiar that follows him around, right? But the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega states that the Cocoon L'Cie brand is Lindzei's symbol, and if you look carefully, you can clearly see it branded on Menrva's wing. Menrva's obviously not a L'Cie, otherwise Barthandelus would've used it to destroy Orphan, so what else can it be? The Ultimania Omega also reveals that Menrva's a kind of fal'Cie, which makes sense- right after Barthandelus sinks into Orphan's pool, you can clearly see Menrva fly in, then, and only then, does Orphan's trinity form rise up.

Orphan's left form, according to the wiki is supposed to represent Lindzei. But only two fal'Cie, at first glance, were absorbed- if you're not counting Menrva. If you are counting it, then Orphan's trinity appearance makes a lot more sense. And as for why Lindzei would be helping Barthandelus with all this in the first place, why wouldn't it? Pretty much all of the fal'Cie long for death; by taking Menrva's form and helping Barthandelus, Lindzei is "laying low" and avoiding detection while helping Barty bring about Cocoon's destruction.

The Maker is the same person as The Creator from Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
Cocoon and Pulse were another experiment just like Final Fantasy IV's world was; clearly one with a much higher alteration variable(comparatively speaking, FFIV's world was practically in the control group, as far as experimental interventions go). The Fal'Cie's attempt to summon him would have failed regardless of saving Cocoon, as Cecil and Co. had already killed him. Depending on the timescale, however...

The plot is ultimately caused by Cecil and co killing the Maker in The After Years
Assumes the above guess about the same Maker/Creator being true. Coccoon and Grand Pulse were next on his list of experiments to check up on after the FFIV world, and the Fal'Cie knew when he was scheduled to stop by. When Cecil and friends caused him to come down with a sudden bout of deadness and so he missed his appointment, the Fal'Cie freaked out, not having any programming or instructions for such a scenario, and came up with the "sacrifice Cocoon" plan in a desperate attempt to summon the missing Creator. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.

Humanity is the Maker.
Gran Pulse was a planet that was supposed to be colonized by humans from some other planet, but not completely fit for them to immediately settle in. So they started a slow process of terraforming the planet, using some bio-mechanical devices known as Fal'cie. With time, technology keeps advancing and Fal'cies become more and more efficient and complex, like the Fal'cies seen on the surface of Pulse. But nevertheless, big chunks of Gran Pulse remain unfit for humans, so a group of them decides to create Cocoon, an artificial world made from scratch using only the basest materials from the surface of Pulse and putting there the modified Fal'cies who should not terraform pulse anymore but just maintain Cocoon. Centuries go by, and between the slow progress of Pulse's terraforming forcing the people down under to put a lot more effort in their survival than in the preservation of their knowledge and the people of Cocoon living contented stagnant lives in their artificial paradise, the more advanced technological knowledge (especially concerning the building of Fal'Cie) is forgotten and myths and religious faith eventually become the accepted explanation about the mysteries.

But what about the immortal Fal'cie? Well, while they are more durable than humans, their ability to retain memories is not perfect: either there is a limited amount of information they can safeguard, or their memories get corrupted with time (or both), and eventually, they end up believing the creator myth as well. (and maybe even the fact that some of them have personalities is not an original feature but a glitch produced by the slow degrading of originally incredibly complex but non-sentient machines) Having forgotten their origins, they now only have bitterness toward their "focus", in other words, toward the fact that they are mere tools of mankind: which is especially hard for the Cocoon Fal'cie: they don't have a grand project to work for like the terraforming of a whole planet: they are merely automatic glorified nannies, the great irony being that by killing the humans in Cocoon, the Fal'cies are actually about the destroy the very "Maker" they are trying to summon.
  • The lore states that humanity was born from Goddess Etros blood when she sacrificed herself and entered the land of the dead. The Maker is the God Hallowed Pulse and Fell Lindzei is the 'Maker' of Cocoon.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 spoiler: But in FFXIII-2, it turns out that humans are indeed capable of building completely functional fal'Cie, including the power to turn humans into l'Cie and Cie'th. And apparently humanity is at least sometimes inclined to do so. So even if contradicted by canon, this possibility is physically possible and in my opinion far more interesting.
  • Honestly that's what I thought when I first played the game, before X-2 came out and some of the Wordof God about canon came out. My own theory was that Gran Pulse was Earth, but in the very far future, while the fal'Cie, magic, and the like were the products of human-developed nanotechnology not even the fal'Cie fully understood anymore even though they instinctively knew how to "infect" humans with the nanotech, creating the l'Cie.

Pulse is the land of Panzer Dragoon in the past.

Just look at the opening cinematic's, or any other cinematic showing Pulse, look at the wide variety of creatures, the nature of machinery and the 'Towers' littering the land. If the Fal'Cie can control so many things, as well as one large 'worm like' Fal'Cie that resides within and controlling a tower, it just makes sense that they would eventually hide as towers themselves to remain in control of the world. Technology would obviously be lost thanks to the lack of Fal'Cie to cater to the people, and everyone would be reduced to medieval style standards, with lost technology littering the world. Pulse already has ruins that fill the land, a few hundred years more with knowledgeable people concerning survival skills and the technology in place would ruin the land further. The 'ancients' could have been the first of the humans to come to Pulse, using what technology and knowledge they have to enhance their lives to a level near what they were once given, with disastrous results (leading to the dragon program, based on Ragnarok). Drone's are very likely made up of C'ieth and attempts to recreate L'Cie. Augusta Tower which features in XIII-2, with the ability to manipulate the world to a large degree as well as create all kinds of creatures. This is very reminiscent of the Towers from the PD universe, and considering it made everything worse to almost apocalyptic levels, it fits the theme of the origin to Panzer Dragoon.

The game takes place in Spira.
Think about it the Fal'Cie are rather reminiscent of the fayth, the L'Cie are summoners. and Ragnaork is a new form of Sin
  • The Archylte Steppe was always reminiscent to the Calm Lands, indeed. And when you move from there, you reach the mountainous, snowy Oerba, roughly where the Gagazet mountain might have been.
FFXIII is a distant prelude to FFVII
Lightning doesn't act like Cloud, Cloud is descended from Snow and Serah. Snow never takes off his bandanna to prevent everyone from seeing his spiky hair and figuring it out. Jenova's meteor wasn't big enough to create the northern crater, it smashed through the Cocoon spire and Cocoon's belated impact caused the crater. Cetra is a corruption of Cie'th, and everyone forgot about L'Cie. Oh, and the WEAPONS are all fal'Cie. The Cetra evolved from the cocoon survivors too.
  • The only thing confirmed is that Snow does have spiky hair (in XIII-2).
Lightning suffered a bout of tuberculosis a few years before the story
Or at least some form long lasting weakening illness, I mean think about it,at fully maxed stats she only has a little more health than Hope, you know, pampered kid from a well-off family in his early teens, didn't do physical anything until the l'cie mess probably, and she's just barely a better Sentinel, only able to dodge attacks and the only other character to not get the Adrenaline ability. Also she has Medic as one of her Primary Roles, completely at odds with her otherwise offensive fighting style with Staggering and raising the chain gauge being her forte. Battle-wise it makes her a balanced character but not too overpowered, but is segregated from the back story of her being a supersoldier in the GC and having more stamina than most of her peers, outlasting them in long marches. So my explanation to myself is she got sick as a kid and is still feeling it now, thus the lack of endurance during fights and the need for medical skills. Just makes her more badass if so seeing all she did if she does have a debilitation.
  • The GC aren't super-soldiers, but aside from that I think it kinda makes sense, but you ignore the fact she has quite a good Strength.
Location of l'Cie brands is related to handedness
Lightning, Hope, Snow, Serah, and Vanille all have their brands appear on the left side of their body, and all appear to be more-or-less right-handed. Sazh dual-wields, implying he's ambidextrous, and has his appear right in the center of his chest. Fang is usually holding her spear in her left hand, and has her brand on her right shoulder.
The fireworks display was just a simulation.
You know how a lot of people are berating Snow and Serah for going into the fireworks display where they could easily be blown up and stuff? That used to be my train of thought too.. But then I thought back to a time when I was younger and went see to a fireworks display with my family at the beach. During that display, I saw a glowing rock ( or something ) coming towards us from the sky. There was a thin later of smoke tailing it, and one of my friends rolled out of the way to avoid it. Would I be wrong to say that it was one of the sparks from the fireworks? Would I be wrong to say that the sparks of real fireworks are supposed to be hot enough to burn you skin? Because when Snow and Serah went into the orb, they went right through a bunch of those little sparks like they were nothing.
Anima was against Orphan and Barthandelus.
Anywhere ranging from a minor adjustment of their plan or just flat-out trolling them by letting their plan succeed but for not long enough to matter. The hazy glimpse you get upon being branded? It's not only Cocoon getting destroyed, but also Ragnarok saving it. However Bart and Orphan weren't aware of that being part of the focus and therefore never mentioned it. This would explain why it took until after Ragnarok saved Cocoon upon its descent that you all turn to crystal.
The Cocoon fal'Cie insignia represents The Maker.
  • In the last room in Orphan's cradel when you warp in, there's a statue you come across. It has mishapen curved arms and an enormous headdress. If you look, the pose it's in clearly replicates the symbol the Cocoon fal'Cie and l'Cie both are branded with. So the statue/mark is what the Cocoon fal'Cie see as their Maker.

All the games in the Fabula Nova Crystallis are gonna have major Downer Endings
This is based on the original 13, 13-2, and Type 0. Versus may or may not Joss this when it comes out.
  • To add to this, the endings of the Fabula Nova Crystallis seem to be getting progressively worse.

Final Fantasy 13 had a Bittersweet Ending, with the Crystallization of Fang and Vanille, the deaths of several people on Cocoon, and a the fact that the survivors were stuck in what was essentially a Death World. Type 0 had a major Downer Ending, however there was a possibility to Earn Your Happy Ending in a New Game+. 13-2 has Multiple Endings, all of them downers, and actually Retcons the ending of the first game into more of a Downer, what with the whole, "Lightning erased from history" thing.

All of Versus' trailers have been rather dark, chances are the trend is either going to continue, making it the single most depressing ending out of all of them, or make it the happiest ending as a subversion.

Ragnarok is a form of Cie'th
During the ending, when Fang turns into her half of Ragnarok, her brand unfreezes and reaches it's final stage (the one where the "eye" is open and the pupil is white). Ragnarok also looks sorta like a Cie'th, in the way it's crystalline and animalistic.

Serah was working with social service.
Considering the fact that Lightning has becoming more obsessed with her job and distanced herself from her, it definitely does make sense. She has contacted and told them that story, including the part where Lightning threatened her. They planted a wire on her to keep an eye out on Lightning's behavior; the plan is to make sure she doesn't do anything bad that if she commits three strikes, they'll gonna have to transfer Serah's custody over to Snow, whom she's planning to get married to. Because of the wire, the social service found out of Lightning punching Snow after Serah gets crystallized; this is her strike one. With Serah under this condition, they have backup of using Hope to keep track of her, promising him that if he does their work, they'll hand Snow over to him even if they don't want to; it is because they know he has a vendetta towards him. What else is that they made a deal with PSICOM into keeping Serah into their custody until it's over. Like her, Hope is also planted with a wire to keep track of Lightning's behavior. They manage to find out she summoned Odin because of her resentful towards Hope; this is her strike two. It would appear that her strike three is slapping Fang, but since Hope is not with her, they didn't noticed that. Because Hope was wearing the wire at this entire time, they learned that Lightning has apologized to both Snow and Hope for her behavior. At the endgame, when the two sisters reconcile, the social service decided not to have Serah's custody go to Snow.

The game takes place in the same universe as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

One of the main themes of the game is never giving up, you have to always keep going forward and pursue a goal, never give into despair and hopelessness. Orphan's statement that humans can achieve the impossible through sheer willpower and determination is very reminiscent of spiral power. The fal'Cie in turn are incarnations/servants/aspects of the Anti-Spiral created to control humans, their personal growth has stalled and they cannot move beyond their set programming. Barthandelus wants to call back the Anti-Spiral by killing all humans because with no humans left in the world, the purpose of the fal'Cie is done and they will be taken to another world for a new purpose, and if the fal'Cie just die, they will still be released from their existences deprived of their creators's presence. Just like Gurren Lagann, the party calls them out on wishing for death and despair over seeking hope and life and declares that to try and make others suffer for that goal is selfish and cowardly. Gurren Lagann's theme is combining, Final Fantasy XIII's theme is transformation, shown in the characters's weapons, the Eidolons (which "coincidentally" are giant robots in this game), and the shapeshifting powers of the fal'Cie.

And of course, the game is a World of Badass that largely runs on Rule of Cool. Lightning's declaration of "We live to make the impossible possible" all but makes this theory canon.

Pulsian Morphology
Two theories on the analysis of "fal'Cie", "l'Cie", and "Cie'th":

  • First: "Cie" means "magic". "l'" is a prefix meaning something like "with", so l'Cie are those "with magic". "fa" or maybe "fal" means "master", so "fal'Cie" means either "master of magic", of "master of the l'Cie", depending on whether the "l'" prefix is in there or if the "l" is part of a separate morpheme. Inspired by the Japanese version, "'th" means "corpse" or "zombie", perhaps originally a larger word like "tho" which got shortened, so "Cie'th" is "magic-using zombie".
    • This theory implies that people discovered l'Cie first, and the trait they first noticed was that they used magic. Fal'Cie were encountered later, and first associated with being masters of the l'Cie. This implies that the fal'Cie at first hid their presence from humans, contra their overt involvement with the government of Cocoon. It also implies that Cie'th weren't recognized at first as deriving from l'Cie, and simply noticed for also using magic; this makes sense given their grotesque appearance and lack of their former selves' personalities.
  • Second: "Cie" alone carries the meaning of "fal'Cie"; the "fal" is some sort of honorific prefix, meaning "royal" or "honored" or the like, or some other type of grammatical morpheme. The language forms its genitive case by truncation, so "l'Cie", is a rule-based shortening of "fal'Cie" and so literally means "of the fal'Cie", i.e. servant of them. As before, "'th" means something like "corpse", but here "Cie'th" then means "fal'Cie-related corpse".
    • This theory has the advantage of respecting the relationships involved; fal'Cie are primary, and l'Cie and Cie'th are derived from them. But it does require some mysterious processes and meanings.
  • Either way, these come from an ancient language no longer used, at least by humans. They carried the words into their current language (the one represented by English in the English version), but are most likely no longer aware of their structure.
L'Cie sometimes turn directly into Cie'th stones
...without a wandering Cie'th period between. Specifically, perhaps that is what happens when a l'Cie dies; this would explain why the Cie'th stones in the Faultwarrens are so close to their marks; the l'Cie who originally entered the contest fought and were killed by their marks. Also, since it is stated that the more stress and dispair a l'Cie faces about their focus, the faster they become Cie'th, perhaps some l'Cie who forsake their focus calmly, like the one for Mission 33 (unlike the Undying who forsake it angrily), do not have the regrets at failing that other l'Cie have and so do not become wandering Cie'th, but go right to Cie'th stones too, maybe after a relatively long life for a l'Cie. There's very little support for this idea in canon but it would be a nice small power that humans would have over the fal'Cie bullies. This does not however explain the many l'Cie that seem to have fought and been defeated by their marks but nonetheless have Cie'th stones rather far from them.
Gran Pulse is Earth in the very distant future
once the tectonics revert earth majorly to either a pangea like continent, or something similar, and life evolves to the point of giving us some of those monsters, while others are Science Gone Horribly Right. Some machines have become sentient, and the one who created the first Sentient Machine was Genre Savvy enough to program it to make itself revere him/her as a god, making them The Maker. these machines are the Fal'Cie, who are capable of these feats through their engineering behind them. the L'Cie brand is the result of the Fal'cie attempting to put these powers into humans, while the Focuses are a way to try to make sure these powers aren't abused. Cie'th are what happens if they don't finish in time, and when this happens the cybernetics inside the human take over the host body entirely, forcing the sentience out. The Undying are humans who were stubborn enough to keep their sanity when they turned. When the Maker realizes pulse is a Death World, s/he brings a select population who have also realized this but are too stubborn to leave, or those who insist that the world is inhabitable.
Everyone is wrong (or lying) about the party's Focus (i.e. to destroy Cocoon).
The actual granting of the Focus is very vague, and it's clear that nobody understands Anima when she gives it out (as the party spends multiple chapters trying to figure out their Focus). The only source for the idea that the Focus is to destroy Cocoon is Barthandalus, and he's noted as constantly trafficking in Blatant Lies. The actual Focus is probably closer to being "Stop the plans of Barthandalus and Orphan", or maybe "Keep the fal'Cie from murdering humanity" - both of which the party accomplishes handily in the ending.
Final Fantasy XIIWMG/Video GamesFinal Fantasy XIII-2

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