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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-2
aka: Final Fantasy XIII- 2
The game will include a system similar to Garment Grids

Pulse, Lindzei, and Etro are totally working together.
  • I posted this on the Gamespot forums, so I'll just copy and paste it.

Here's the theory; Etro and Pulse are totally working together. In fact, all three of the divine siblings are all in this to accomplish the same thing.

So, we know that Buniberzei created the three God'Cie, gave Pulse and Lindzei the sole purpose of uncovering a path to the invisible realm, and cast Etro away as an exile before sealing himself up in Crystal. Etro was obviously not happy about not being given a Focus; which will become relevant after she kills herself. When Etro dies, she inadvertently discovers that death is the only way to reach the invisible realm, and there, she beholds her mother - Buniberzei's sworn enemy - dissolving and dying right in front of her. Thus, inadvertently making the existence of Pulse and Lindzei completely irrelevant, since Buniberzei no longer has any reason to find a path to the invisible realm. So, this opens up two possibilities:

1. Pulse, Lindzei, and Etro don't WANT to ressurect their Maker, because that would deprive them of any purpose for existing, and Buniberzei might well discard them once he recognizes that they cannot continue to perform their intended function. However, they can't directly defy their programming, so they end up trying to wake him up anyway. Or at least, Pulse and Lindzei have to, because they can't defy their Focus. Etro, having no focus, has free will, and she's the key to whatever solution will enable her to free her siblings from their eternal slavery. This notion won't directly fit in with my theory; however, it could well lead to alternate theories.

2. The three of them DO want to ressurect Buniberzei, if only for the sake of loyalty to their creator and father figure. However, Buniberzei inadvertently made two mistakes; commanding his servants (via Focus) to not wake him until the invisible world was open, and secondly, creating them in such a way that they are unable to destroy either themselves or their own creations. The third problem here is that the siblings can't simply kill each other to reach the invisible realm, because it's a one way trip. Once they disappear, they can't come back to the physical realm where Buniberzei dwells. However, it is possible for Etro to communicate with her siblings across the barriers of space and time, as they probably share a metaphysical link of some kind, being born of the same maker's handiwork. The fact that Eidolons are capable of traveling back and forth across the interdimensional divide, and that Etro dispelled Ragnarok and intervened to save the party at the conclusion of FF 13, is proof that Etro does indeed have some limited ability to interact with the physical realm. So, we can assume that Etro and her siblings are on the same page at any given point in FF 13's overarching mythos.

See where this is going? Etro and her sibilings need that door open, and they need to figure out how to keep it open. Doing this will satisfy the conditions of their Focus and allow them to wake their master. So they come up with the notion that forcing a whole bunch of souls through the door all at once will keep it open long enough for them to awaken their master. They see that Etro's blood has spawned a whole race of fleshy beings, humans, who are easily manipulated and controlled. So Lindzei creates the paradise world of Cocoon, intended specifically for the "mass production of human thralls" (quoth Barthandelus) That's step 1. Step 2 is to blow it up once enough humans are produced; due to the limitations of their programming, they can't destroy anything they themselves specifically create, a limitation that extends to the creations themselves (i.e. the Fal'Cie) So Pulse decides to use Anima to find himself a couple of L'Cie that have the potential to unleash Ragnarok.

They find the perfect vessels of destruction, in the form of Vanille and Fang. But the God'Cie still haven't reached the quota of souls that they need in order to force open the door. So Ragnarok was never intended to destroy Cocoon at the time; in fact, the whole thing was an elaborate ploy to get Fang and Vanille inside Cocoon, and keep them there for the 500 years that it would take for humans to achieve the necessary critical mass. They partially fulfill their Focus, get turned into Crystal by Etro when they draw near the Door to the Invisible World, get sealed inside Anima, Anima is put to sleep, and Barthandelus and his Fal'Cie, acting under Lindzei's directive, pulls up a bunch of raw material to repair the damage caused by Ragnarok...conveniently picking up Anima along the way and hiding the seeds of Cocoon's destruction inside the town that would later become Bodhum. Pulse, meanwhile, gives his Fal'Cie the task of destroying humanity on Pulse, to avoid the possibility of them destroying Cocoon prematurely. Titan and his ilk do this by relentlessly Ciefying everybody, making Cocoon completely safe from outside aggression. Barthandelus, meanwhile, operating in various guises, whips humanity into a wild, deliberate paranoia, which would potentially make it easier for him to manipulate the "fear addled sheep" into slaughtering themselves later on. Fang and Vanille are intended to later become Ragnarok and kill Orphan, destroying Cocoon; however, it's possible that they won't be able to accomplish this goal by themselves, so Barthandelus keeps an eye out for other human thralls that have the potential to be made into Ragnarok.

Without any other direct goal to accomplish, Pulse and Lindzei destroy each other, getting Banished to the invisible world, and trusting their creations to orchestrate the plan to force open the door to the invisible world. Their purpose in doing this is to aid Etro in finding a way to weaken the barrier on the other side of the invisible world, and maybe enact a second plot that will accomplish the same goal.

The events of FF 13 happen. What makes this theory relevant is that Etro and Pulse were BOTH on the same page throughout the whole game; Pulse makes the party into L'Cie after instructing Anima to awaken Fang and Vanille, Etro helps the party along by giving them Eidolons and preventing them from succumbing to despair, and Barthandelus...well, his role needs no introduction. At the end of the game, everything happens exactly as the God'Cie intended; Cocoon is partially destroyed, and in the process, 1/3rd of the human race is killed off. Though less than expected, the quota turns out to actually be sufficient for their purposes, and the door is flung open anyway. IMMEDIATELY after this, Paradoxes begin appearing all over the world. This is a result of the invisible world interacting with the physical realm, as a consequence of the Door being flung open at the climax of FF 13.

Now...why did Lightning get sucked away to serve and protect Etro? It's possible that, having finally accomplished their Focus, Pulse and Lindzei are now preparing to awaken Buniberzei, but wish to destroy Etro in order to avoid incurring Buniberzei's wrath for having relied on the aid of an exiled, despised god. Alternatively, the threat repesented by Caius falls completely outside the dynamic of the three Fal'Cie. Or, better yet, either Lindzei or Pulse want to claim all the credit for opening a path to the invisible world, and seek to unmake their siblings in order to recieve the full blessings of their patron deity.

Thoughts?

Lindzei will be the Big Bad
Lindzei was something of a Bigger Bad in the original game and was heavily shrouded in mystery. It was considered to be the creator of Cocoon and the ultimate nemesis of the people of Pulse, and according to the Ultimania, Barthandelus revered it enough to fashion the female portion of the final boss in its image. Despite this, it is suspiciously absent during the events of the first game.

Considering that this game will (apparently) focus on the people of Pulse that survived the War of Transgression, it makes sense that the God of Evil they so despised would be the primary antagonist.

Vanille will actually be able to be interacted with even though she's a crystal
Time Travel has been explicitly stated to be part of the game, so may be you can actually TALK to Vanille as an NPC in a different time period?
  • Confirmed! Vanille and Fang help Serah snap out of her dreamworld, and one of the paradox endings has a crystallised Vanille in Oerba, pleading Serah to find Fang and reunite them.

Buniberzei will be the Big Bad
Instead of the above, Lindzei will be his Dragon.

Hope will attempt to follow Lightning on her journey
And one or several of these things will happen...

  • Lightning will get an Aesop Amnesia and rebuff him stating that she can't protect him.
  • He will become a Distressed Dude at some point.
  • He becomes a Party Member since he does showcase quite some skill with Pulse Machines, something that would obviously come in handy when exploring Pulse, despite his loss of L'Cie powers.
    • Keep in mind that this game will likely occur at least a few years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII, meaning that he'll be either in his late teens, or his early adult years. That being said, this game could show him a few years older, after he's had the chance to mature a bit.
    • The game apparently takes place 3 years later, so he's 17 in his trailer appearance.
      • Scratch that, he's 24. Serah and Noel meet him 10 years after the first game (yay, time travel!)

Lightning has hunted, killed and plucked a white chocobo to make her Showgirl Skirt as a Gran Pulse coming of age rite.
It's how Vanille aquired her bear-skin skirt/blanket after all.

The original party members are still being hunted by the people of Cocoon.
Cocoon falling must have killed at least half the people there. And it's technically the party's fault that happened. Pretty sure anyone still alive would be pissed about that.

Lightning has fallen for either Fang or Vanille
Thus why she can't just let them in that eternal sleep and has set out in this journey. It might come up as a big reveal at a climatic point in the story.

The other party characters' role in this will mirror the former party characters in X
Serah and Snow will take a role similar to Lulu and Wakka; Serah will be expecting and Snow will angst that he won't be a good dad. Sazh will take a role similar to Brother and Buddy, he'll have the airship and fly Lightning around. Hope will be like Rikku; going from a Adorably Precocious Child to straight up Bishōnen and will dress provocatively.
  • Bouncing off of this, Fang and Vanille could take Tidus' role, and possibly return to life at the end of the game.

After tying the knot with Serah, Snow will leave NORA in Hope's care

The dark haired man Lightning was fighting in the trailer is an older Noctis
  • And the fact that Final Fantasy Versus XIII taking place in a different world is a case of Lying Creator in an attempt to make it more of a twist.
    • Or maybe by "Different world" they just meant Gran Pulse, since most of Final Fantasy XIII takes place in Cocoon.
    • Jossed—turns out the guy's named Caius and he's the main antagonist.

The world Lightning finds herself in is the world of Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Either it's Tenebrae, where a legend exists where those who see the light gain powers (why Lightning can summon Odin while losing her l'Cie powers), or Noctis' kingdom. Or a location victimized by the war to obtain the last crystals. With a massive city in ruins devoid of any life, the world either became the victim of an Apocalypse Wow, or war. Since Square's not too eager to spoil anything from Versus XIII, this will be beyond that of Noctis' time and will have several Foreshadowings of what's to come for Versus XIII.

Dissidia's Lightning is from this game
and as a result the hero of the game will be changed part way through due to her dying
  • Hmm...the whole "Lightning is dead" thing actually makes sense in context when you put it that way: the original Dissidia was the thirteenth cycle. Given Square's track record, a Lampshade Hanging wouldn't even be surprising.
    • OP here. It's starting to become more likely. The only screenshots of her they've released so far deal with the Chaos Bahamut fight (either during or around it). They could easily be hiding something, but I'm getting worried. Especially how Noel is described as "the last human" (Granted, he in game phrases it as "the last human born" and we don't know if Lightning is considered human anymore but still...)

Lightning's new suit of armor is actually her skin.
Or it was a suit of armor, but fused with her skin after she started serving Etro. Since higher powers in this world are a mix of technology and flesh, and Lightning is apparently becoming a higher power, who's to say she wouldn't start physically changing?

Noel is the child/descendant of one (or more) characters from the original game.
With the recent revelation that Noel is a time-traveller trying to change his Bad Future, his design being a carry-over from/reference to Fang's concept art might be a hint.
  • The risk of torches and pitchforks by pairing Fang up with a man would be too great. More likely he's descended from Serah and Snow. That's why Serah dreamed about him before they even met, and why Snow is not the least bit threatened by his fiancee/wife running around with another man.
  • He's totally the love-child between Fang and Vanille. Come on, he looks like the male version of Fang and according to new rumours, Vanille's supposed to have some connection to Noel. They've stretched much more in the Final Fantasy continuum so I refuse to believe a love child isn't possible. I don't even call him Noel in my head, He's the Oerba lovechild.
    • While it is theoretically possible for two women to have a biological child together, there is no way for the child to be male, which Noel is.

Hope's new outfit will give him a logical place to store his boomerang.
Seeing as there were a lot of complaints that his battle-ending animation showed him shoving it down the back of his pants (and a lot of hysterical laughter).

The Crazy Red Chocobo is Dante
Its been said that a "troublemaking" red chocobo will appear in this game. Combine this with the Crazy Chocobo theme being sung by Shootie HG, and that Dante, who has a Superpowered Evil Side, often appears wearing red, my guess is that the Time Paradoxes transcended the FF multiverse, dragging Dante out of his universe and somehow morphing him into a Red Chocobo in the world of FFXIII.


'Spoilers untagged at this point!

This game will be about Setting Right What Once Went Wrong
Merging my three WMG s about Noel being from the future and the fate of the original and remaining party after the events of the first game. The E3 goodies on the game are filled with references to Time Travel and Paradoxes, though of what kind we don't know yet. Noel wants to prevent a bad future, aiming for "a future where everyone lives". When Lightning's scenes come up in the E3 trailer we see billowing smoke towers in the background during her fight against Chaos Bahamut, and during the final Cinematic Action sequence in the demo presentation near the end of E3 shows her and Odin riding up along a metal section of a building in a massive ruined city. When Lightning went off to search for a way to save Fang and Vanille she entered a paradox and ended up in a bad future. If this event affects all of the l'Cie, then Hope, Sazh and Snow will be with her, as being the last l'Cie after all the fal'Cie die will be very significant. The future Noel aims for will be a future where the four of them live as they may be the only ones to prevent the bad future from happening. Something happens that leads to the bad future. Lightning and the gang see the aftermath of the event, while Noel lived through it before going back in time to help Serah find Lightning (and maybe the rest of the gang if they shared a similar fate). This means that Noel is from the original altered timeline where the paradoxes began to affect the past, as the deaths of Lightning and the others would have already happened. This works as people believe Lightning is dead, despite Serah knowing that Lightning is still alive (and she was a l'Cie as well, so the paradoxes aren't affecting her). The original XIII timeline responds to this by sending the party to the bad future and will help Noel by investigating the event that led to the bad future and will attempt to send him the information needed to stop the bad future from happening (case in point: the sudden appearance of the machine that weakens Paradox Alpha).

Noel's design was based off of Fang's original design
Fang was originally going to have been a guy, explaining the Les Yay between her and Vanille. Noel, who's design is simmilar to Fang's may possibly be what she may have looked like if she ended up being a man.

Noel is Fang from an alternate reality
Gameplay footage is raw with references to paradoxes (ie, to access Temporal Rift gates it is said to unlock them something that comes from another time is needed as the 'key'). Noel is technically Fang before her gender-lift during XIII's development... story-wise, he could be an alternate version of Fang, just with a different name (or a pseudonym used to prevent confusing Serah). Of course, this is just to play on the Development Gag of Noel being pre-gender-lift Fang in XIII's early development.

Expanding on the above WMGs, XIII-2 is not a sequel per se, but is part of a duology similar to Persona 2.
In other words, those who played the first game will only notice the references made in this game. See One Degree of Separation on the main page for a reference.

Short: XIII-2 is an Alternate Timeline.
  • It may be possible given the use of time travel. When trying to avert a bad future, the result will inevitably create an alternate timeline of some sort, especially since the whole plot relies on Noel going back into the past to help Serah find Lightning, as she is key to preventing the bad future from happening.

"Blinded by Light" will play in Lightning's parts of the story.
In this video, you can clearly hear a different battle theme. Since Lightning's theme and "Blinded by Light" have similarities, it would be appropriate to used the old battle theme with Lightning.
  • The exclusive presentation demo (as in, not available to the public) showing Lightning and Odin fight against Chaos Bahamut has the battle theme rendition of the music heard in the official trailer from E3 2011, and the tune of Blinded by Light can be heard in the new track.

Lightning will get a canon Love Interest in this game
What? I know what you're thinking, but the first XIII-2 character they revealed was the yet-unamed purple-haired man who will be Light's rival. Since he'll go out of his way to interfere with her mission, despite both of them having similar goals, for a good chunk of the game these two will be teeming with UST. This troper's predicted formula? If they get over the UST, it'll be Belligerent Sexual Tension —> Will They or Won't They? and the eventual Slap-Slap-Kiss —> Relationship Upgrade —> Battle Couple (inevitable and Badass).

Of course, this being a Square Enix game and a Final Fantasy to boot, it may not be so simple. For all we know those two will get Strangled by the Red String, which makes sense since the game (as we know so far) switches back and forth between Noel and Serah's story and hers. Perhaps the purple-haired man will come in and save Lightning and/or vice-versa and it's after that they realize their true feelings for each other. With Lightning's characterization as someone who's been too busy with work for a normal life (and seems to not converse with anyone within her job except for Amodar), preceded by a ruined childhood after taking on parental responsibilities before hitting her teen years, the girl will run into trouble when it comes to the romance department. A big factor in this comes from the epilogue novella: everyone has loved ones to return to, be it a lover or family. Lightning has no one except Serah, who she places in Snow's care now. This game will cut her some slack and give her the lovin' she deserves. And if the devs decide to keep her single forever the fans'll ship 'em anyway. Adding this to the long list of every other fandom shipping out there.

Of course, in the event that this WMG comes out true and something happens to Light's man... well, bring on the Tear Jerkers

Noel is an older, more matured version of Hope
After losing his home, as well as almost everybody he cared about, Hope had to start over, and create a new identity. In the E3 trailer, Noel talks about how he wants a future where everybody lives, in contrast to how he lost both his parents, as well as Fang and Vanille during the course of Final Fantasy XIII.
  • IGN just leaked the PAX trailer. Hope saves Noel's and Serah's asses from a boss fight. With his fancy boomerang.

Sazh will appear, but won't be a party member
He was the Ensemble Dark Horse of the first game, that has to constitute at least a cameo. As for why he wouldn't be playable... I'm not sure, it's kind of a case of expecting the worst in hopes of being pleasantly surprised.
  • Confirmed! He flies a ship to help Noel and Serah fight Caius in the form of Chaos Bahamut.
    • And partially Jossed, in the best way possible. DLC adds Sazh as a Synergist to your roster upon completion. It's not ideal, but it's better than no Sazh!

Etro will appear and be voiced...
By the same woman (Veronica Taylor) who played Cosmos. Because, why not? Given the apparent similarities (both being dead in their respective games, as well as Goddesses of Death) this Troper feels that makes sense. Also...
Etro will be the Big Good...
Owing to the fact that she's the only good God in the series (Buniberzei's to afraid of Death Lindzei is Satan and Pulse...was indisposed by Lindzei, and given that Etro created humanity through her own death...this Troper believes that she sorta would have to be a Good God.

Snow and Hope will form Lightning's party.

Snow and Hope will join Serah and Noel.
Given that Lightning is apparently somewhere the other characters can't reach (at least early in the game), Snow and Hope will eventually team up with Serah and help search for Light themselves. After all, Snow and Serah are engaged (or already married, depending on how long has passed since the first game), so he'd want to tag along and keep her safe.

Feral Chaos will make an appearance.
Oh, c'mon, you don't want that to happen?

The final party will be Serah, Lightning, Noel, Alyssa, Snow, Hope, and Sazh.
And after beating the Big Bad, they'll save Fang and Vanille.

Gadot, Yuj, Lebreau, and Maqui will be playable.
If only temporarily.

Lightning and her rival
They said he's more rival than a true villain, right? Well, we found out what Lightning's doing and where she is (to a point). The purple dude's probably been tasked to protect Etro's temple just like Lightning is and the two will definitely butt-heads while on the job (as Lightning will probably be newer to the job than he is).

Alyssa's friend who died running from the Purge is in fact Vanille.
Square Enix flat out describe Alyssa as being similar to Vanille, and considering she died in the last game...
  • In that case, wouldn't Alyssa believe Vanille actually died during the events at the beginning of the first game, based on the fact that they never got to meet after that, even though NORA saved most of those people? She would believe that Vanille ACTUALLY died, when the "Turned to crystal" reality is rather different.

Hope is the head of the exploration team.
An NPC in the Bresha ruins mentions that the head of the team is about Alyssa's age. That seems like pretty ample foreshadowing.
  • If this is 10 years from Final Fantasy XIII's future, it may be Hope, who is aged 24 in his grown-up appearance, and said to be head of some scientific investigations group, according to Famitsu.

Paddra-Nsu Yeul is somehow related/connected to Vanille.
This or she's just a foil to Vanille. Starting with the similarities: They share a somewhat similar clothing style, with the beads and jewelery. They both have Green Eyes, they both know more about what happening around more than anyone, (Vanille experienced them, Yeul is a Seer), they both keep a lot to themselves. Contrasts: Yeul is reserved, Vanille is energetic, Yeul has Blue Hair, Vanille has Red Hair (which reflect their personalities) so they kinda have a Red Oni, Blue Oni sort of relationship.

Chocolina saves everybody in the DLC.
She seems to be able to survive a damn time void where nothing exists.

The ending is setting things up for a massive Stable Time Loop.
In the ending, Hope says that the new Cocoon is named Bhunibelze. In FFXIII's Analects, Bhunibelze is the god who created Pulse, Lindzei, and Etro. Immediately after the new Cocoon launches, Etro's gate opens and the world is transformed into Valhalla, where time doesn't exist. It's not too big of a stretch to think that restoring things to the way they were may mean reviving Etro and recreating Gran Pulse, and that maybe this process will involve Bhunibelze!Cocoon in some way...

The DLC will involve Final Fantasy Versus XIII somehow.
  • According to Word of God, Versus XIII happens to take place in a similar continuity—or at least all the deities are the same, and the setting happens to feature Fal'Cie. And since everything seems to have gone to shit by the end of XIII-2, it's not as though things could get any worse for everyone involved unless Pulse flat-out exploded beneath their feet in every timeline.

The Diva that narrates FinalFantasyType-0 is [[spoiler: Lightning, post Final Fantasy XIII-2
After getting Taken for Granite at the end of the normal ending, she saw that world in the form of illusions. And through the eyes and power of Etro, she was given a physical form in that world. That and she has the same voice actor as Lightning.
Final Fantasy 13 and 13-2 are prequels to FF7, set nearly 26000 years before.
There seem to be a lot of shout outs to FF7, such as Caius' transformations, similarity in appearance to Vincent Valentine, the Heart of Chaos (proto materia?) and the development of magic in normal people.

The game is a stable time loop.
This has been speculated greatly already, but I think I should explain my theory on this. You know how after the final dungeon, you can go back to Valhalla? Well, there actually was a gate in Academia 500 AF that would take them to Valhalla (not the portal they go through during the final boss). Serah was so close to reuniting with Lightning, but she couldn't survive to meet her. Noel goes through the gate as chaos is being consumed, which takes him to Valhalla while Lightning is fighting Caius, before Valhalla consumes the world.

From here, the events play out like in the prologue, with Lightning rescuing Noel. While Noel supposedly went to Valhalla for the first time when he was the last human alive, the dialogue in the prologue is very vague and he could have "lost hope" when Serah died and the world turned into Valhalla in 500 AF. He loses his memories like the first time he went to Valhalla, and is sent to bring Serah to Valhalla, just like the intro. From there, the events of the game play endlessly over and over again.
  • The only thing that seems to put a dent in this theory is that if this were the case, Caius would likely not be as satisfied as he is in the secret ending...
    • Word of God stated in an interview that Caius, although knowing that he'll die, is glad that Etro will die along with him, and is determined to see it to its conclusion.

The Atlas Boss Battle is supposed to be a giant Take That at ATLUS.
The main reason being that ATLUS are renowned for making games with excrutiatingly painful bosses, and Square wanted to take a jab at that. Hence why the boss has a rather similar name; and if you choose to face him straight on, then the boss is near impossible (there are some videos on Youtube of players managing to beat him at full strength).

Lightning turning to crystal is meant to keep the goddess (barely) alive
In all likelihood, when Etro pulled her into Valhalla to be her guardian, Lightning was given the Heart of Chaos, especially as a means to counter Caius' immortality. After her fight with Caius, she was near death before turning to crystal, which is what enabled Caius' plan to pull through. In her crystal stasis, Lightning is barely keeping Etro alive, like a machine pumping oxygen into a comatose brain, enabling some means to counter Caius' Time Crash in the sequel—which is probably some telepathic link much like how Vanille and Fang were able to reach Serah in the Void Beyond sequence. This goes in line with Serah's line of thinking earlier in the game, where she ponders why Lightning is only contacting them through their dreams.

All the playable characters from XIII will be able to be recruited as DLC Feral Links
It's already possible with Lightning (as Rav) and Sazh (as a Syn). And SE's stated it'll release more DLC, about once a month. They'll have their FFXIII renders, so this means no adult Hope or Red!Snow. All their Feral Links will be their ATB skills, just like Lightning and Sazh.

Snow will be a Sentinel, Hope a Medic, Vanille a Saboteur, and Fang a Commando.
  • According to the press release, Snow gets the Commando role in his DLC.

Alyssa might not be as bad as we think
Think about it. She gives you the rigged Artefact in the "normal" timeline, which causes the time gate to malfunction. She says that she gave it to you because the future that you made is a future that she is not in. However, in the Paradox timeline, Snow busts in with the time police and arrests her before she can give you the Artefact. Snow then says to Hope "I hate to break it to you, but you're going to be assassinated in three days." What's the difference between the normal and the paradox timelines? Alyssa remains able to stick with Hope in the normal timeline. I'm betting that she kicked the bucket while saving Hope from the assassination attempt. Also remember, that Caius gave her that rigged Artefact, and odds are he said something along the lines of "If Serah and Noel succeed in their mission, you will no longer exist", but didn't give the reason why she would no longer exist. I still think she's a massive bitch for blowing up the time gate on Serah and Noel, though.

Caius just woke up Bhunivelze
In the Mythology, it is said that Bhunivelze will sleep until the end of time. Caius just ended time. Seems simple enough.

Caius has been played like a fiddle.
His entire plan to save Yeul will have succeeded... until Yeul perishes again, leaving him horrified. And then the REAL orchestrator of the events of the game reveals himself to be Young Xehanort. In 3D, Xehanort mentioned that you had to cast yourself away and cease to exist in order to travel through time initially. So, in order to get better time control. Xehanort splits a portion of his heart into Yeul and nearly beats down Etro. Yeul's body dies in order to try and resist. Caius goes through with his plan and crosses the Despair Event Horizon once more... allowing Xehanort to make the Guardian of Time into his REAL potential vessel. What do you think?

Yeul is a Deathless and an X-Rounder.
The "original" Yuel can't truly die, but has an unstable Quantum Identity Pattern, hence her dying every so often. She has visions of the future because she has an overdeveloped X-Region in her brain.

The ending of 13-2 is setting up the elements of 7.
There are plenty of elements that seem related to FF7, and the last time a game in the series had a sequel labeled -2, it was revealed to be connected to 7. So, a breakdown of possible elements:
  • Valhalla = Promised Land? It seems possible, especially as Valhalla is called the unseen world.
  • Farseers = Cetra? Mystic people that wander the earth, and have special powers? check. Also, the whole fallen civilization thing. Brings up the possibility of Aerith being a seeress too, which would explain the vision WMG well.
  • Caius = Chaos? The protomateria could be the heart of chaos, and Vincent Valentine is widely associated with both Chaos and turning into monsters. Both characters are associated with rectifying something, and share a voice actor.
  • Could the ending of 13-2 be setting up for the lifestream? Something's going to happen with all that chaos muddling about...
Additional connections, if you've spotted them, please.

FF 13-3 will happen.
. The Arbiter of Time, if my memories serve me right, said that there would be a great battle at the end of time. So after the "event," the warriors and gods of history would duke it out. Also the B-whatever-guy would be the final boss.

Mog is from Final Fantasy: Unlimited's Windaria
Windaria was a village referenced in that series that had a lot of moogles and where Moogle Kupo was swept away from. Maybe that happened to Mog as well?

Hope is capable of magic just like Serah is.
He just chooses not to use it. Serah has learned to use magic, and she barely had time to learn/use her l'Cie powers before she crystalized. It makes sense that Hope, who eventually became the strongest Ravager in the original party, would also learn how to use magic naturally. However, the use of magic reminds him of the fal'Cie and their machinations. In keeping with his focus on establishing human technology, he chooses to fight with human weapons (like his EMP-enhanced boomerang) rather than rely on magic.

A Dying World is the XIII equivalent of Type 0's Time of Finis
The end of the world where practically everyone is dead, under a blood red sky? Given the mythology connections, it would make sense.

Bhunibelze will become Cocoon in the future
Lightning Returns will end with Bhunibelze being partially destroyed and becoming Cocoon, setting up the events for Final Fantasy 13 in the future. The whole story will be a Stable Time Loop.

Snow is Cauis' good twin and just as powerful
For every age there is a Yeul and this Yeul is supposed to have the same face every time. Yet we have Serah as the odd one out. Likewise there is a Cauis in the past, present and future. The odd one out is Snow. Let's compare the two; Cauis is a mighty warrior and The Leader of local community of warriors that lives to protect a young seeress and travels through time on her behalf to ensure her survival. Snow is a mighty warrior, The Leader of local community of warriors that lives to protect a young seeress and travels through time on her behalf to find her sister. This Cauis (Snow) has a similar goal as the other one; living happily ever after with his charge. The difference is that this one lost its memories due to the Timey-Wimey Ball and settled in Coccon where it met Serah. It has all the same advantages in terms of time travel and knowledge of the timeline (Shiva is a time machine!) but has a great deal more in terms of hope. We see this in Paradox Ending 5 where Snow exploits Cauis' Booby trap plan to ditch Noel and take Serah on an adventure through time. What we don't see is Snow punching Cauis out with Sovereign Fist and then freezing him solid with Shiva's magic, thus stopping him without killing him.

Lightening is the new Etro and Serah is her champion
Caius is still alive in Valaha and Valaha is where the Yuels go when they die. Thus Serah is there in the Void Beyond with Cauis and is the one he is talking with during the Secret Ending; we only think he's talking to us, the player, because of a Fourth Wall Pysch. She will fight Cauis in Lightening's place to prevent him from shattering Lightening's crystal form.

Final Fantasy VIII and XIII-2 are connected
The Sorceress' from Final Fantasy VIII become the seeress' (Yeul) from XIII-2 and are the result of the Sorceress' ensuring that another Ultimecia doesn't happen. Time Compression in VIII would have knocked out the heroes from history; Etro intervened and saved the protagonists so they can fight Ultimecia and ensure the proper future occurs. Rinoa, the Sorceress for the majority of FFVIII's descendants are the seeress' and the Guardian Forces eventually became the fal'Cie of Fabula Nova Crystallis legend as well as Eidolons. The fal'Cie were actually created by the humans turning the Guardian Forces into guardians to ensure that the seeress continues to protect the timeline and seek out l'Cie that could potentially take Etro's Heart and protect the seeress and in that sense; not only is Yeul Rinoa's descendant, but Caius is related to Rinoa and Squall hence the connection (which implies some creepy relations in the Japanese version of XIII-2). Bhunivelze is actually the original Sorceress (who is a male in FFVIII lore), which would explain why the Sorceress is constantly feared and even further ahead, the Seeress are constantly cursed to die at a young age; because Bhunivelze hates the fact that Etro is involved with his bloodline and has Lindzei create the Cocoon fal'Cie, so that they effectively wipe-out any chance of the Sorceress/Seeress returning (hence the War of Transgression being manipulated even further than Barthandelus).

Tl;dr, Bhunivelze created Lindzei to counter Etro/Rinoa/the Sorceress/Yeul's attempts and create a timeline where there is no Etro (since in Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, Etro looks like Bhunivelze's mother and he hates the shit out of his mother).

"The Future Is Hope" was based on an early draft of the game's plot.
I propose that Snow and Hope were originally going to be fully playable characters, and that after stopping the proto fal'cie the party would have been split off into Snow and Sera in one group, and Noel and Hope in the other. However, for one reason or another the developers decided to cut that arc out of the game, likely due to time restraints or budget cuts.
Final Fantasy XIIIWMG/Video GamesFinal Fantasy Versus XIII

alternative title(s): Final Fantasy XIII- 2
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