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Characters / Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

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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 (Japanese), Jessica DiCicco (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.

  • Ambiguously Evil: She causes a lot of trouble for Lightning and others, but it's out of mischeviousness, not malice. Her true motives are a mystery either way.
  • Anti-Villain: She has good motives and is not really evil, but still serves as Lightning's main source of antagonism in the game.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: He outfit is almost entirely black with lots of frills, feathers, and spikes.
  • Enemy Without: She's the embodiment of Lightning's repressed childhood emotions given form.
  • Everyone Has Standards: After a scare with ominous looking item spheres that she caused, a cleric of the Order of Salvation defends the act to Lightning. He says that Lumina just likes playing around and "knows her boundaries". Lightning has a hard time believing this.
  • Evil Counterpart: To both the Farron sisters in different ways, though she's not really evil.
    • She's built as an antithesis to Serah, trolling Lightning and making fun of her, and referring to her as a sister. Her outfit is also a dark reflection of Serah's in the first game, black and red to Serah's white and red with a skirt, stockings, and jacket.
    • She also serves as one to Lightning, travelling Nova Chrysalis causing trouble as Lightning travels it trying to save souls. Her playful and joking demeanor also sharply contrasts Lightning's cold stoicism.
  • 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.
  • Good All Along: Apparently, everything she did was to save Lightning and her allies, help them stop Bhunivelze, and get Lightning to re-embrace her childhood personality traits to be a stronger person.
  • Gratuitous Latin: 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".
  • The Heavy: She's the driving force of the story by virtue of manipulating Lightning and her allies to get them to do what she wants, and usually in an antagonistic manner to at least Lightning. She could be considered the Big Bad if not for the fact that she's not really evil, and is helping to expose the actual villain to be thwarted, Bhunivelze.
  • Identical Stranger: Despite her looks, she doesn't have much in common with Serah as far as personality goes.
  • It Amused Me: Many of her misdeeds are just causing minor mischief for her own enjoyment, or to annoy Lightning for the same.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Lumina spends most of her time harassing and taunting Lightning, but she often (if somewhat cruelly) points out reasoning for other characters actions in-game: such as Noel loving Yuel above all else (why he's willing to fight Lighting in the Warrens); that Dajh is upset by how depressed Sazh has become (why Dajh isn't waking up); or that while both Snow and Lightning have lost and are mourning Serah, Lightning has spent the past 500 hundred years in crystal sleep while Snow's been awake and running himself ragged trying (and failing) to keep the world from falling apart at the seams (Snow being so worn and broken-down emotionally).
  • 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.
  • Motive Rant: A variation as she's prone to lecturing Lightning on the motives and desires of other characters, including Lightning herself. Which, being that she is Lightning in a way, makes sense.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: On the Final Day, she desperately/tearfully pleads for Lightning not to leave her alone. It's a stark contrast to everything she's said/done before then, to say the least.
  • 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 and Black and Evil All Over: Her outfit is primarily shades of black with some red details.
  • Red Herring: Her characterization and appearance are designed to give the impression she's somehow an evil version of Serah. She's actually Lightning's Enemy Without.
  • Soul Jar: Though she is a manifestation of Lightning's emotions, she is also the container for Serah's soul.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Despite effectively being an incarnation of the young Claire, everyone identifies Lumina as resembling a younger Serah, which speaks volumes of the similarities between the Farron sisters.
  • Summon Magic: She uses chaos to summon monsters.
  • The Trickster: She's unpredictable and mischievous, and 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....
  • Vague Age: Aside from the fact that no one in Nova Chrysalia physically ages anymore, it's not fully clear how long Lumina has been around.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: While she tends to cause a lot of trouble and Lightning sees her as an enemy, many citizens around Nova Chrysalia speak well of her, regarding her playful mischief as harmless.

    The Speaker for the Dead 
Voiced by: Yuuichi Nakamura (Japanese), Erik Davies (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.
  • 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: He explains lots of things for Lightning, such as the corrupted Soul Song and the nature of living memory-soul existence.
  • 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 (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 (Japanese), Daniel Riordan (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 Sexuality: In the original Japanese, in possessing Hope's body it is implied he had begun to feel some of Hope's emotions, and developed a twisted "love" for Lightning, referring to her in adoring words during their battle. That he was voiced by the same person who voiced Hope was meant to further this subtext. The English version completely rewrites those bits of dialogue and gives him a different voice actor than the English Hope, entirely removing Bhunivelze's sexual interest in Lightning.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original Japanese, he originally possessed Hope so he could better understand humans and become a better god for them; however, his desire to purge them of negative memories including their memories of the dead was still wrong, thus why Lightning opposed him. The English version changed that into him wanting to remake humanity as his mindless puppets to live in his new world as blissfully ignorant servants, and Hope was his lab rat to figure out how to mold them to his liking. This moves him from Anti-Villain to a more straightforward brand of villainy.
  • Big Bad: He's the main villain of Lightning Returns, planning to purify human souls of emotion and destroy their memories of the dead to create emotionless pawns that will live in his idea of a perfect world he rules over.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In order to make Hope an acceptable vessel, he reverts him to his childhood form and tortures him for 169 years.
  • Continuity Porn: His boss fight is positively saturated in Mythology Gags and Call Backs, both from the previous XIII games and Final Fantasy as a whole.
    • He greets Lightning in Hope's body before showing his deific form, referencing Garland greeting the Warriors of Light before becoming Chaos.
    • In his first form, he attacks Lightning with Ruin and Graviton spells, favourites of Barthandelus and Caius, respectively.
    • His first and third forms use Almagest, one of Exdeath's favourites.
    • In his second form, he becomes a Final Fantasy classic Barrier Change Boss, with the same function as the beloved Aster Protoflorian from earlier in the Saga.
    • His second form uses a charged attack that can be weakened by dealing enough elemental damage before it goes off. The incomplete version is Mateus' Falling Star, while the complete version is Kefka's Forsaken.
    • In his third form, he one-ups Sephiroth's infamous Supernova with a cinematic (and thus unblockable) Hypernova.
    • His fourth form takes a stance similar to the Cloud of Darkness; leaning forward, body angled back.
    • In his fourth form, one of his attacks is an inconsistent Beam Spam like Barthandelus', though mercifully much less frequent.
    • Unlike most renditions of Heartless Angel, the HP to 1 effect can be nullified with sharp timing, similar to Sephiroth's most devastating use of it.
  • Demonic Possession: Bhunivelze possesses Hope, whom he sees as his only suitable vessel.
  • Double Weapon: Wields a dual-bladed scythe, the Double Deity. It can be obtained as a drop to use in New Game+.
  • 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 boils 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 Lightning Saga altogether.
  • Final-Exam Boss: If you haven't mastered staggering and perfect guarding by the time you fight him, he's nearly impossible to beat in his final form; he's practically immune to damage without being staggered, and his Heartless Angel will sap Lightning to 1 HP if not guarded against, which is a major problem since you have very limited healing options.
  • God Is Evil: Top God of the setting, and Big Bad of the game.
  • God Is Good: He's a subverted example in that he is initially set up as this benevolent deity that is creating a new world for humanity to live in and empowering a hero to save their souls, and of course, the Order of Salvation goes on and on about his good qualities. However, Lightning harbors doubts about him early on and considers his promise of reviving her sister to be more like a Hostage Situation. Sure enough, she is right.
  • God of Order: The god most opposed to the forces of chaos, who wishes to eliminate free will and is a massive Control Freak.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: His Top God body is primarily white with his wings and ornamentations being gold and black.
  • 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.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: It's implied 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.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Because human souls are invisible to him, he has a very limited understanding of what makes them tick. In the Japanese dialogue, 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. note 
  • 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. However, 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 that Hope's emotions are influencing him during this.
  • Power Gives You Wings: As the battle wears on and he becomes stronger and stronger, he starts spouting more wings.
  • Satanic Archetype: Although referred to as God throughout the game, he's a bit closer in concept to a Satan that actually succeeded in his rebellion against the actual God of this verse (his mother Mwynn) and is trying to remake the human world to his liking.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In the myth he defeated his mother, killed her, and banished her to the world of the dead.
  • Sigil Spam: The white and black checkered pattern that makes up the "ground" of the battle where he is fought is seen throughout the game in the architecture of Luxerion and Yusnaan, as well as around Chaos in its many forms. It also doubles as a hint to his influence over Hope; Hope's scarf is different from the one he wore in XIII and is a white and black checkered pattern.
  • 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. Then there's the innuendo during his boss fight with her.
  • The Stoic: Presumably because human emotion is foreign to him, his face is very blank as he talks to Lightning and his voice quite calm. Then during the final battle he proves he's Not So Stoic as he undergoes his Villainous Breakdown as described below.
  • 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; he turns around to show the demonic face in the second phase of his battle, sprouting extra wings in the process. Lightning considers the demonic one "the true face of God".
  • Underestimating Badassery: A self-inflicted variant; he nurtured Lightning as a goddess of death... and then lets her walk right up to him with intent to take the new world at his expense.
    Bhunivelze: You think you can slay god?
    Lightning: The goddess of death can! You've made me strong enough!
  • Villainous Breakdown: He initially allows Lightning to fight him to prove her worth to him so he knows she is ready to become the new Goddess of Death. As it becomes apparent that she's not only trying to kill him, but may be capable of doing it, he becomes increasingly enraged, and when he enters his fourth form he screams at her. After the fight he becomes completely unhinged to the point of snarling and growling at her.
  • 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.


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