Final Fantasy XIII



Final Fantasy XIII 116 цаг : 25 мин тоглож Platinum Trophy авав. Бүрэн дуусгасан гэсэн үг.

[Game Story Spoilers ahead] Read your on free will!



STORY SUMMARY

Day One: Awakening
Deep within the Bodhum Vestige, two l'Cie - Fang and Vanille - awoke from crystal stasis. Fang's brand was scarred and scorched, and she had lost every memory relating to her Focus, including that of the events surrounding its apparent completion. Vanille mimicked her friend, pretending to have forgotten her Focus as well. Afraid of hurting even more people, she wanted nothing more than to leave her past and her fate behind.

Day Two: Opposition
Snow was overjoyed to meet the older sister of his beloved Serah, but Lightning was far from impressed. She had never approved of him or his group's unsanctioned activities. As far as Lightning was concerned, NORA's actions - hunting down weak monsters and acting like heroes - were reckless and irresponsible. She wanted Snow to forget about dating her sister, but the young man just laughed away her demands. His flippant did nothing but reinforce her original impression.

Day Three: Escalation

Fang and Vanille discovered the unconscious Serah deep within the Vestige. They could see the girl had been branded with the mark of a l'Cie. The door to the Pulse structure, closed until now, was thrown open when Fang and Vanille awoke from their stasis - and Serah had chosen to walk though it. They took the newly branded servant outside, and watched over her until she recovered and set off home. The two women, their Focus forgotten, assumed that the fal'Cie Anima had chosen a new l'Cie.

Day Four: Searching

Fang was feeling anxious. Her own brand was scorched and showed no sign of changing, but Vanille's mark was still active. If they didn't remember and complete their forgotten Focus, her friend would become a Cie'th. With nothing left to lose, Fang suggested they visit the Sanctum fal'Cie in the Euride Gorge energy plant. If they approached one of their sworn enemies, then perhaps the memory of their Focus would return.

Day Five: Good-bye

Fang's plan to infiltrate the energy plant and recover the memory of their Focus ended in failure. Sensing their presence, the fal'Cie Kujata attempted to defend itself by creating a servant out of the closest human - a little boy, Dajh, who had begged his father Sazh to see one of the Sanctum fal'Cie. Now two innocent lives had been forever altered. The fluctuations in the plant's power levels alerted the Sanctum army, and Fang drew the attention of the soldiers onto herself to give Vanille a chance to escape. This incident sparked widespread conjecture among the populace of the nearby seaside community of Bodhum. Rumors began to circulate about an act of sabotage by Pulse l'Cie, sending a whisper of panic through a society that had lived in terror of lowerworld  invasion for centuries.

Day Six: Alliance

After her shaking military pursuers, Fang returned to the Vestige to find Vanille already gone. She searched the town for her missing friend but was eventually captured by Sanctum soldiers - members of the Cavalry, a unit commanded by Brigadier General Cid Raines. Raines, a man opposed to a fal'Cie-controlled Cocoon, offered Fang his protection. Not fully trusting him, but without a way to locate Vanille on her own, the desperate l'Cie decided to join the general and his fleet.

Day Seven: Revelation

Unable to tell Lightning that she had become a l'Cie, Serah eventually revealed her painful secret to Snow, four days later. Unwilling to see him suffer the same fate, the young woman tried to break off their relationship. But Snow chased after her, and swore to help complete her Focus, whatever it may be.

Day Eight: Questions

After being made into a Sanctum l'Cie, Dajh was taken into custody by PSICOM and subjected to a battery of tests. Colonel Nabaat, the supervising officer, next imparted some unsetting news to Sazh - his son had gained the ability to sense the presence of Pulse beings, but his Focus was still unknown. Without a defined Focus, the boy was doomed to become a Cie'th. Could his task be to discover lowerworld invaders? To destroy them? Sazh's mind raced as he tried to figure out a way to save his son.

Day Nine: Serendipity

After scraping her leg in a fall on the beach, Vanille was aided by an unlikely person - Snow's fiancee, Serah. Vanille was responsible for both Serah and Dajh becoming l'Cie, but lacked the courage to admit the truth and beg forgiveness from the girl standing before her. Oblivious of Vanille's involvement in events, Serah listened to the Gran Pulsian's problems and offered her encouragement. The coincidental meeting helped Vanille to make up her mind - even if it meant becoming a Cie'th, she couldn't bring harm to the world Serah loved so much.

Day Ten: Gifts

It would be Lightning's birthday in two days. While out shopping for her present with Serah, Snow slipped away to buy engagement necklaces. He intended to propose to Serah the very next day. He knew her fate as a l'Cie, but was determined to stand by her, no matter what. Meanwhile, Serah searched for a gift that would help keep Lightning safe during her dangerous work as soldier. After giving her sister the present, Serah planned to confess about becoming a l'Cie.

Day Eleven: Discovery

The Bodhum Vestige was a minor local landmark paid little regard. That changed on this night, when PSICOM discovered that the relic's long-sealed entrance had somehow been opened. A reconnaissance team was sent inside, reporting the discovery of a Pulse fal'Cie before communication links suddenly went silent. Deeming it probable that the soldiers had been made l'Cie, the Sanctum then resealed the door to the Vestige, trapping the team inside. The following day brought a public announcement of both the discovery and plans for the Purge.

Day Eleven: Proposal

Snow proposed to Serah under the brightly exploding fireworks, giving her renewed hope for the future. Serah still didn't know what her Focus was, and had yet to tell Lightning about her l'Cie curse. But with Snow by her side, there was no obstacle she couldn't overcome. Hand in hand, they watched the spectacle of lights illuminate the night sky. In Bodhum, there is a legend: if you wish on the fireworks, your dreams will come true.

Day Eleven: Mother and Son

Residents of Palumpolum, Hope and his mother came to Bodhum to see the fireworks display. That same night, PSICOM discovered the Pulse fal'Cie slumbering within the Vesitge. The following day, the Sanctum announced the discovery, and sealed off the entire district of Bodhum. Trapped by the quarantine and unable to return home, mother and son were forced to join the other victims of the Purge.

Day Eleven: Father and Son

Dajh suddenly decided that he wanted to go to Bodhum. Realizing this may be an effect of the boy's new power to detect Pulse beings, Colonel Nabaat permitted a PSICOM-supervised excursion to the coastal town. It was the night of the fireworks show, but Sazh's mood was not lightened by the beautiful display. The smiling face of his son, oblivious to the fate that awaited him, was more painful than the troubled father could bear. Meanwhile, the PSICOM team scouring the area discovered the fal'Cie within the Vestige. Dajh must have reacted subconsciously to the presence of the lowerland entity.

Day Twelve: Celebration

On Lightning's birthday, Serah revealed she had become a Pulse l'Cie, and had accepted Snow's proposal for marriage. Thinking her sister had made it all up, Lightning drove her from the room with harsh, biting words. By the time she realized Serah was telling the truth, it was too late. Her sister had returned to the Vestige and become a prisoner of the fal'Cie. The only thing Serah had left behind was Lightning's birthday present - s survival knife.

Day Twelve: Taken

After announcing the discovery of the lowerland being, the Sanctum instigated the Purge. Before the Pulse fal'Cie could be carried away and Serah doomed to become a Cie'th, Snow had to get into the Vestige and find out what her Focus was. If they could figure out Serah's task, then maybe Lightning would finally believe them. With that plan in mind, the young NORA leader brought his fiancee back to the place she was branded. Things went horribly wrong, and only Serah entered the Vestige as a prisoner of the fal'Cie. Snow explained the situation to Lightning before rushing off to rescue this future wife.

Day Thirteen: Exile

The Sanctum deemed the potential contamination by Pulse magic a risk too great to overlook, and immediatly enacted legislation permitting the Purge - an involuntary removal of the fal'Cie and the entire population of Bodhum from Cocoon. Deportees were told only that they would be transported to Pulse. Believing the Sanctum announcement that the Purge was a forced migration to Pulse, Vanille decided to board the train of her own freewill. This could be her only chance to return home. Vanille hated the idea of leaving Fang behind on Cocoon, but if she could make it back to the lowerworld, her Focus would no longer be a danger to anyone. Maybe she couldn't change reality, but she could defy her fate by running away. Her encounter four days before had given her courage she needed.

Day Thirteen: Volunteering

After discovering that Serah was being held captive by the Pulse fal'Cie, Lightning volunteered herself to be Purged. The fal'Cie was to be transported away from Cocoon, along with the Purge deportees. Lightning needed to board the train and reach the lowerland entity before Serah was taken beyond her reach. Sazh, too, had his reasons for approaching Lightning and joining her as she headed for the Pulse fal'Cie. The train carried them away, bound the for the restricted zone know as the Hanging Edge.

The game begin from here...

The Warpath Home

The Purge is a Sanctum initiative designed to protect the stability of Cocoon by forcing potentially dangerous civilians to relocate to Pulse. However, the relocation is simply a facade to cover for the massacre that ensues. The government's true goal is the brutal extermination of all possible threats to a peaceful society. Having discovered the horrific truth, Snow leads the members of NORA against the government soldiers of PSICOM.

Inspired by the actions of this handful of brave young men and women, the beleaguered civilians take heart and join the battle in hope of returning to a normal life. Among the citizens who stand against the forces of PSICOM is a mother who wishes for nothing more than to protect her son - Hope.

The fal'Cie Awaits

For different reasons, Lightning and Sazh now make their way towards the very being that was the catalyst for so much tragedy. Snow, meanwhile, is crushed by feelings of guilt after many die under his command (including Hope's mother). He only emerges from his gloom when Gadot reminds him that the fal'Cie is holding a certain young lady captive - who needs her hero now more than ever. Though driven by separate goals, their paths all lead to the same end - the Pulse fal'Cie.

In Pursuit of Snow

Hope has fallen into a panic. In his single-minded pursuit of Snow, he has rushed into the lair of a fal'Cie and is only now recalling the terrible nature of the being that lurks within. The Pulse entity could use its power to curse them - to turn them into l'Cie. L'Cie are the doomed servants of the fal'Cie who created them, despised and feared by the people of Cocoon. His companion, Vanille, seems unconcerned by this dreadful possibility. Bemused by her indomitable cheerfulness, Hope nervously follows her in search of Snow. It was Snow who convinced his mother to fight. It was Snow she was protecting when she died. And it is Snow who must be made to pay.

Saving the Enemy

Pulse l'Cie are cursed beings who wield supernatural power and whose very existence incites panic and destruction. Hope explodes into a rage upon hearing that Snow plans to rescue Serah, now a l'Cie herself. Even if she is Snow's fiancee, nothing good can come of helping a sworn enemy of Cocoon. The situation only serves to magnify Hope's hatred of the man he holds responsible for his mother's death. Shaking with fury, he is unable to form the words he so desperately wants to say. Oblivious to Hope's anger and worried for their safety, Snow decides to bring Hope and Vanille along on his mission. Meanwhile, Sazh explains the cruel fate of a person cursed as a l'Cie. L'Cie are bound in eternal service to a fal'Cie, and failure to carry out a Focus results in transformation into a mindless abomination - a Cei'th. A person shackled by the l'Cie curse is beyond salvation. As Sazh comes this grim conclusion, Lightning angrily compares him to those who insisted on the Purge. She knows full well the doom that awaits a l'Cie, and will do anything in her power to save her sister from that fate.

The Gift of Eternity

A legend on Cocoon states that if l'Cie complete the Focus given by a fal'Cie, they turn to crystal and gain eternal life. And just as the legend describes, Serah glows with an incredible light as this transformation takes place. But has she truly gained everlasting life? And what Focus has she completed? This timeless crystal sleep seems nothing more than another form of death to Lightning, and she turns her feelings of grief and anger upon Snow. Snow, however, refuses to give up hope of a future where Serah will return to him. Just then, the Sanctum army begins its assault on the Vestige. Though it may mean sharing the Vestige's imminent destruction, the group heads ever deeper into the complex, towards the waiting fal'Cie.

Pulsian Menace

Snow pleads with the Pulse fal'Cie. He offers himself in Serah's place if it will release her from her fate. The fal'Cie remains silent. Seeing Snow's desperate pleas go unanswered, Lightning and Sazh draw weapons on the lowerland being. Even if the fal'Cie will soon be destroyed along with the entire Vestige, they have reasons to defeat it with their own hands. They work together to bring down the fal'Cie, and the Vestige now plummets towards the lake below.

Branded

After being caught in the destruction of the Vestige, the group awakens directly under the Hanging Edge on the expanse of a solidified Lake Bresha. An after-effect of the energies released by the dying fal'Cie, the waters of the lake are now frozen in crystal splendor. Despite having survived a fall from an incredible height, the companions are unable to appreciate their bodies signifies their servitude to a fal'Cie and "gift" of magical power. It is the brand of a cursed l'Cie. Worse, they must now complete their assigned Focus if they are to avoid becoming monstrous Cie'th, though none can say for sure what their mission actually entails. Their only clue is the vision they all witnessed of the great beast laying waste to Cocoon: Ragnarok. Though all signs point to a bleak and tragic destiny, Snow alone remains optimistic. Convinced that his Focus is to grant Serah's wish and save Cocoon, he sets off full of confidence.

Splitting Paths

There is no doubt in Snow's mind. They may be Pulse l'Cie, but there is no way they can be enemies of Cocoon. Serah's last words before she turned to crystal are proof enough for him that their Focus is to defeat Ragnarok and protect their world. Snow stays behind to defend his trapped fiancee after Lightning and the others decide to continue onward. He is soon captured by an unfamiliar Sanctum unit. A striking woman accompanies the soldiers, her arm bearing a strange l'Cie brand: Fang. Meanwhile, try as they might, Lightning's group cannot shake their determined pursuers. Crippled by enemy fire, their airship plummets towards the ground and the l'Cie are forced to make a crash-landing in the Vile Peaks.

Eden or Bust

Lightning makes a decision. The Pulse fal'Cie transformed her and Serah into l'Cie. The Sanctum fal'Cie, Eden, directs the army hunting her down. Pulse or Sanctum, "fal'Cie" means one thing to Lightning - an enemy responsible for ruining their lives. A clear-cut enemy is something she can deal with. Having a target is something she can understand. The former soldier means to infiltrate the Sanctum capital, and take out the fal'Cie Eden. She knows her plan is reckless. It could be disastrous fro Cocoon, and flies in the face of Serah's last wish. It could even end in battle against Snow, as he prepares to help the Cavalry track down the other Pulse L'Cie. But it is the only path that will satisfy her rage. Hope embraces the opportunity. This his chance to grow stronger and finally confront Snow. Lightning is done running away. Now she runs forward, her mind set on toppling the Sanctum.

Sun-dappled Flight

Sazh and Vanille decide against joining Lightning in her vendetta against the Sanctum. As they flee with no particular destination in mind, Sazh and Vanille spot warships passing overhead. The military craft appear to be flying in the direction of Palumpolum. Though Sazh is worried for his former companions' safety, Vanille swiftly agrees that there isn't much they can do, and suggests they run. Reasoning that it would be best to put as much distance between themselves and the army as possible, she suggests heading in the opposite direction - towards the city of Nautilus. And so Vanille skips off through the dappled shade of the Sunleth Waterscape, only too eager to put danger behind them once more.

Here Comes the Cavalry

Armed with the knife entrusted to him by Lightning, a gift from Serah, Hope stands poised to exact murderous vengeance, but overcomes his fury and admits to himself that Snow was not responsible for his mother's death. Shortly after, as Lightning, Hope, Snow and Fang - finally reunited in Palumpolum - ponder their strategy, they are attacked by PSICOM commandos. The l'Cie manage to escape aboard the Cavalry airship.

No Place Left to Run

Sazh and Vanille, still on the run, wander aimlessly in Nautilus, the City of Dreams, which is crowded with tourists. Tired of fleeing with no hope in sight, Sazh quietly says his good-byes to Vanille. He intends to give himself up to the army and beg PSICOM to let him talk to his son. Even if it ends in his execution, it will all be worth it if he can see Dajh one more time and tall him about his encounter with the Nautilus Park chocobos. Not willing to let Sazh just give up and die, Vanille tries to talk him out of it. Revenge is her best bet. If she reveals the identity of the culprit behind the Euride Gorge incident that sealed the fate of both father and son, then maybe Sazh will have something to live for.The culprit, of course, is Vanille herself. But how to explain? As the young woman searches for the right words, sniper bullets bite into the ground around them. Sazh covers Vanille as they run for the exit. While Sazh now wishes to cooperate with the army, no matter the consequences, he feels compelled to help his young companion escape.

The Euride Incident

Upon becoming a Sanctum l'Cie, Dajh gained the ability to sense the presence of Pulse beings. With the help of his powers, the fal'Cie that had slumbered for centuries in Bodhum was subsequently discovered on the night of the fireworks display. Since that time, no one has been able to work out what Dajh's Focus actually is, but now it reveals itself in the cruelest manner possible. He uses his sensory ability to track down the fugitive Pulse l'Cie - and turns to crystal the instant he embraces his father. It seems the boy's task was to capture the servants of lowerworld fal'Cie. As Sazh collapses in shock and despair, Colonel Nabaat, the PSICOM officer supervising Dajh, appears before him. With sadistic glee, his captor at last reveals the truth to the distraught Sazh: that one of the people responsible for his becoming a l'Cie has been at his side all along.

The Sanctum Skyfleet

The Sanctum plans to transport its l'Cie prisoners to Eden, then carry out their execution before a public audience. Brigadier General Raines, the Cavalry commander, suggests that by showing the deaths of the Pulse "monsters" the Sanctum fal'Cie hope to quell rising panic and reaffirm their dominion over society. Lightning and the others can't stand by and let their companions be sacrificed to ensure fal'Cie subjugation. Deciding to mount a rescue, they plan to use PSICOM craft to slip aboard the Palamecia, flagship of the Sanctum Skyfleet and prison vessel for the captured l'Cie. Galenth Dysley, Primarch and representative of the people, is also on board. His presence almost certainly signifies a trap, but what other choice do they have?

Luck Be a Lady

As if guided by fate, the six l'Cie are reunited - and their success gives them renewed vigor to attempt the impossible. And now, at last, they know what they have to do. They will topple the Sanctum, overturn fal'Cie rule, and put the fate of Cocoon in the hands of the people. If they can just make it to the bridge of the Palamecia, they'll show the Primarch what l'Cie are really capable of...

A Focus Revealed

To the amazement of the l'Cie, the Primarch reveals himself to be a fal'Cie whose true name is Barthandelus. Showing nothing but contempt for his human tools, he proceeds to casually slaughter Colonel Nabaat and her subordinates. Barthandelus then shrugs off the l'Cie's attacks, and, with mocking laughter, declares his intention to "enlighten" them. In order to fulfill the Focus given to them by the Pulse fal'Cie, he states, one of the l'Cie must become Ragnarok, and bring about the end of Cocoon. Serah's task was simply to assemble the tools to achieve this end - to bring Snow and the others into contact with the lowerworld being. Her wish that they protect Cocoon was just that - a wish. It had nothing to do with her, or their, Focus. Confounded by the naked truth, the dumbstruck l'Cie flee the plummeting Palamecia on an airship provided by Barthandelus. Their craft guided by an unseen power that protects them from Colonel Rosch's onslaught and flies them towards the "Fifth Ark" hidden beneath the capital of Cocoon.

The Power Within

Fang and Vanille remember a legend from their homeland - a legend about the Arks. Arks are supposedly huge armories filled with living weapons, their occupants kept in stasis for the day war comes to Gran Pulse. But why is one of them on Cocoon? It was probably transported in the same manner as the Vestige in Bodhum, but if it became known that such a facility existed so close to Eden, even the massed ranks of the entire Sanctum army would be powerless to stem the resulting tide of panic. Could it be that the government has been kept ignorant of the Ark's existence in the event that such a crisis be required? The Arks are also known as training grounds for l'Cie. As their brands burn with the awakening of new powers, the companions begin to understand Barthandelus's intention in sending them to this place. The fal'Cie posing as the Primarch really does with the l'Cie to complete their Focus and bring an end to Cocoon. Why else give them this opportunity to hone their skills?

The Dreams of Man

While exploring the Ark, the l'Cie meet Cid Raines, who reveals the horrendous truth of the fal'Cie agenda. The divinty responsible for creating both fal'Cie and humans - known only as "the Maker" - departed long ago, leaving the world to fall into ruin. To save it, the Maker must return, but to call back the Maker, millions of lives - no less than the entire population of Cocoon - must be sacrificed. Thus the Sanctum fal'Cie carefully nurture the people within their floating shell in preparation for this bloody tribute. Yet, unable to unmake that which they themselves have made, the fal'Cie have long sought suitable tools to carry out Cocoon's destruction. The Pulse l'Cie, in short, have been surreptitiously watched and protected so that they might gain the strength necessary to complete their terrible Focus. Having explained this awful future, Raines reveals himself to be a l'Cie - under the control of Barthandelus. So far, he has guided Lightning and her friends as his Focus required, but now he chooses to exercise his final shred of free will in an act of rebellion against the fal'Cie. If he can kill the Pulse l'Cie, then Cocoon will escape destruction. His last wish as a human to fight for the survival of his world. Even defeat, he turns to crystal, and gains his eternal reward.

On Wings of Misery

Seeing Raines turn to crystal not as a consequence of completing his Focus as a l'Cie, but from fulfilling his wish as a human, has lifted Snow out of his uncharacteristic despair. It seems that it doesn't matter what his Focus is. All he need to do is remember Serah's words, and fight to protect Cocoon just as he originally intended. And ultimately, if ignoring his task were to turn him into a Cie'th, wouldn't that still be better than ignoring his fiancee's wish and destroying the world?

Helping Hands

The l'Cie scour Gran Pulse - Fang and Vanille's homeland - for some way to overcome their Focus. Here, where it all began, Fang finally uncoers the truth that Vanille has so desperately tried to conceal. The l'Cie who became Ragnarok and attacked Cocoon during the war was not her cheerful friend but Fang herself. Not wanting Fang to bear the guilt of the beast's bloody rampage. Vanille chose to take the blame in her stead. When Vanille awoke from crystal stasis, she sought to deny her Focus - Cocoon's doom - by lying that she, like Fang, had lost her memory, But instead of preventing a catastrophe, she only spurred her friend into reckless action. Desperate to prevent Vanille from becoming a Cie'th, Fang suggested they attack a Sanctum fal'Cie to kick-start their memories, and the tragic incident at Euride Gorge was the result.

The Road Home

Fang and Vanille visit their home in Oerba for the first time in centuries, seeking a way to free themselves from their l'Cie curse. But what they find is a broken and empty shell of town, half-buried in a sea of crystal dust. Meanwhile Cocoon, the home of their fellow l'Cie, is poised to join the village in oblivion. There, the people stand ready to slaughter each other, their minds twisted by fal'Cie illusions.

Back to Cocoon

Lightning and her friends return to Cocoon only to be greeted by the sudden appearance of an army of mechanical monsters and gigantic beasts. The fal'Cie have activated the Ark hidden beneath the capital, releasing an army of Pluse terrors into the city. With the army in panicked disarray, the Cavalry seize their chance. Captain Rygdea leads his troops in an assault on the Sanctum offices, and confronts the new Primarch - his former superior and comrade in arms, Cid Raines. Raines calmly welcomes his own demise. Revived to serve as Barthandelus's pawn, he nevertheless retains a silver of the will he possessed as a human. And it is humans who must decide Cocoon's future - not fal'Cie slaves. The Cavalry press on with their plans to slay Orphan, unaware that their efforts to save the world will only lead to its destruction. Barthandelus has twisted their desire for freedom to meet his own design. The l'Cie must stop the Cavalry from reaching the heart of Eden before it is too late.

Misjudged Benevolence

When the blinding flash of light fades, mindless Cie'th now stand in place of the Cavalry soldiers. With no Focus to complete, their souls were stripped from them at the instant of their transformation. Thus do the fal'Cie dispose of humans whose usefulness has ended.

The Cradle Will Fall

The Cavalry soldiers set on overthrowing fal'Cie rule now wander the halls of the Sanctum as monstrous Cei'th. Barthandelus never intended fro them to reach Orphan. It was merely a ruse to spur the reluctant l'Cie into action. Though the companions refuse to complete their Focus, the fal'Cie no longer need to manipulate their minds. All that remains is to crush any hope they have for their future. When that hope turns to despair, one of them, consumed by anger and regret, will transform into Ragnarok. And the beast - an unstoppable incarnation o wrath - will slay Orphan. Cocoon will shatter, and the energy released by the deaths of millions will summon the Maker. A new dawn approaches. It is for this day that Barthandelus built Cocoon, tended to its people, and watched over the servants of the Pulse fal'Cie. He gives one final order to the fal'Cie Eden: guide the steps of the cursed l'Cie. Bring them to the one who dreams of death. Bring them to Orphan.

Two Worlds, One Bridge

By defeating Orphan, the l'Cie also disable Cocoon's power source. With its gravity-control system destroyed, Cocoon begins to fall towards the world below - Gran Pulse. Fang and Vanille join their efforts and unleash their inner power to create a massive crystal pillar deep-rooted in Gran Pulse's ground to support the whole of Cocoon. Though encased in their own creation, their sacrifice is not in vain. Cocoon is saved, and those turned to crystal are set free - including Serah and Dajh.

There you have it. This sums the whole story of the game.

ANALYSIS & SPECULATION


This section is intended to fill in gaps and provide explanations of key plot points, joining up events and backstory for players who missed any details along the way. It should be evident that this section contains major spoilers. If you have yet to complete the main storyline, I suggest - nay, insist - that you turn away from now.

What are fal'Cie, l'Cie and Cie'th?

The fal'Cie are sentient beings created by the Maker to perform a host of tasks and duties. Fal'Cie are described as a race of superior beings but their forms are varied and mechanistic. The Datalog reveals that there may be as many as eight million fal'Cie on Cocoon, all playing their part in the daily functions of the society and Sanctum operation - even down to tasks as trivial as controlling a sliding door.

Creatures of purpose, the most potent fal'Cie have the power to blind humans to a task. L'Cie is the name given to such humans, and the task given is called a Focus. Mark missions on Gran Pulse reveal some of the ordinary types of Focus that once applied when society on the surface was thriving, though the surviving thoughts of the recipients reveal that the assignation of a Focus was always a life-consuming affair, regardless of its success or failure.

L'Cie who fail irredeemably or entirely reject their Focus face a terrible fate: they become Cie'th. Vampires, Vetala, Chonchon, Raktavija - all of these crystalline monsters were once human beings, bound to a task that they could not or did not wish to achieve, and their monstrous mutation into life-hating beasts of spite and hatred is their punishment for failure. The majority of these abominations eventually transform into Cie'th Stones, still longing to complete their goals but unable to do more than pass on the task to another. The Undying are an exception: they retain their Cie'th form by sheer force of will and unremitting rage.

Even those who fulfill their Focus are not free to return to their previous lives. The sol-called reward for completing a Focus is not eternal life but eternal sleep, and a transformation that results in crystal stasis. It is as if the fal'Cie wish to keep their best servants for future ends, rather than let them return to the lives they once knew.

How are the two worlds connected?

For the most part, the game takes place inside the floating world of Cocoon. This futuristic realm boasts a capital, Eden, as well as many smaller towns such as Bodhum and Palumpolum, and nature reservves that are home to wild beasts. These locations are actually situated on the inner surface of a vast sphere: Cocoon is an enormous hollow shell, with its cities on the inside. Fal'Cie control the climate of the internal atmosphere and there is even an artificial sun (in the burning from of a fal'Cie, Phoenix) that floats in the center of the sphere, radiating heat and light to all inhabitants.

But it is only when Sazh steals a shop after the defeat of Cid Raines and crashes it on the surface of Gran Pulse, the huge planet below, that we see Cocoon for what it is: a satellite, an artificial moon, completely enclosed and suspended just a short distance above the vast steppes of the untamed lowerworld. The same AMP Technology that powers Lightning's anti-grav device also helps to hold Cocoon aloft and maintains its inner integrity. The green scar is the outer rim of the broken area of the Hanging Edge, where the game opens. 
In the final battles, the heroes find themselves on neither Gran Pulse nor Cocoon. Orphan's Cradle sits in another dimension, a cyberspatial realm where the ata that controls Cocoon's vital operating systems has been manifested as a physical space. The dimension was created as a secure housing for Cocoon's primary fal'Cie energy source, and this is why it can only be reached by warping through portals.

What is the grand scheme of Barthandelus?

Barthandelus is an architect among fal'Cie, an assigner of roles, who believes that the world has fallen into ruin since it was created. He also believes that the only way to put things right is to recall the Maker, and he intends to do this through an act of immolation; sacrifice on a grand scale.

And so begins an audacious plan. Cocoon is created; a place to nurture and support human life beyond the natural realm. In contrast to the ferocity and uncertainty of Gran Pulse, Cocoon is a paradise of needs met and desires served. With great ease, humans are drawn out of their ordinary place in the scheme of things to lead lives of pleasure and plenty on the new satellite.

Cocoon is a revealing choice of name. It is a protection, shielding its inhabitants, but also holding them tightly and maintaining them in a juvenile state of development while warding off all outside influences. The larva waits in its cocoon until its day of glory.

Barhandelus intends that rebirth to be a dramatic end to both, because the conclusion of the plan is to sacrifice all life on Cocoon. This the terrible secret of the place that is home to so many, but the reasoning is brutally simple: with such a massive demonstration of death, the Maker mus surely respond by returning to his creation.

Why did the people leave Gran Pulse for Cocoon?

The records of Gran Pulse report that there was discord and disarray on account of the actions of the lowerworld fal'Cie. Entrusted with the task of completing the Maker's wishes, the Pulsian fal'Cie had no qualms with issuing Focus after Focus and enlisting the human population as l'Cie in the pursuit of ever more obscure and unsympathetic goals.

By contrast, the population that was to grow and prosper on Cocoon saw few instances of its own fal'Cie needing to enlist humans as l'Cie.

What are the Analects?

Unlocked throughout the endgame, these scraps of wisdom are the teachings that were once passed down through generations of Gran Pulsians.

Study suggests that the fell demon Lindzei may well be the same entity as Barthandelus. Lindzei is credited with creating Cocoon and weaving lies to ensnare the creatures of Gran Pulse, leading them to a "paradise".

The Analects also make note of Fang and Vanille, describing them as the Chosen and revealing their task to bear the burden of the Beast.

Just to confuse matters, the Maker is known to the inhabitants of the lowerworld as the god Pulse, and they name their world Gran Pulse in his honor.

Why doesn't Barthandelus destroy Cocoon himself?

Powerful as he may seem, Barthandelus is as limited in scope as any other fal'Cie. He must rely on l'Cie to discover the true extent of human potential. As the Analects put it, fal'Cie were made with the Maker's purpose but humans were made with pieces of the divine spirit. The power of a fal'Cie is fixed but humans may attain a much greater power if they pursue it.

Furthermore, Barthandelus simply does not have the means or the strength to achieve his plans directly. That is why he needs to trick others into doing his bidding, and why his plans are founded on lies and deceit. Another translation of the name Barthandelus is "Baldanders", a reference to a mythical creature of many shapes and guises, as would befit the fal'Cie who masquerades as Sanctum hierarch Galenth Dysley. He is a master of illusion, as he demonstrates to the party by imitating Serah and, in the final scenes, by trying to trick Fang into believing that her friends have already turned into Cie'th. It is said that he possesses a rukh familiar called Menrva (referencing the goddess Minerva, or Athena, whose symbol was an owl), but it is possible that this is his true form.

The player may even notice that boss battles with Barthandelus are not rewarded with CP, and that he seems to survive each defeat unscathed, indicating that the party has been fighting a phantom or illusory form each time rather than the real fal'Ciee. The secret of Barthandelus i that he possesses no real power of hi own, but relies on his ability to manipulate the minds of others. Among the people, he spreads fear and mistrust. His design for the heroes is to inspire despair and hatred, knowing that he can then provoke them into attacking what they hold dearest.

How did Fang and Vanille get from Gran Pulse to Cocoon?

500 years before the events of Final Fantasy XIII, a first attempt to wipe out the inhabitants of Cocoon had already been made. The agents involved were Fang and Vanille, residents of Oerba who had been conscripted as l'Cie. And though they did not succeed entirely, the damage they caused at the time has never been repaired. The sabotage they wrought created the area known as the Hanging Edge, in which the game opens, and when Cocoon is viewed from Gran Pulse then the wound to its outer rim - and constant rain of debris from the rift - remain visible.

Though Fang and Vanille initially failed in their task to destroy the whole of Cocoon, they were placed in crystal stasis aboard the Bodhum Vestige.

Why is there an Ark hidden within the very heart of Cocoon?

Barthandelus constructed Cocoon with an ulterior motive from the start, and the inclusion of the Ark was intended as a means of preparing the l'Cie who would become Ragnarok. The Ark may well have originated on Gran Pulse but was probably transported to Cocoon by the same means as the Bodhum Vestige, Its placement was no accident, therefore, and it is the guiding hand of Barthandelus that forces the party's ship to crash into the Ark after penetrating Eden. His intention is to place them in a training ground, honing their skills and improving their prospect of becoming Ragnarok. And when the time comes, the Ark will unleash its weaponry on Cocoon to throw the residents into panic.

What is the truth behind the War of Transgression?

The events of the past are no longer easy to verify. Remnants of Pulsian warships and automata clearly indicate a history of conflict, but were they ever used against the people of Cocoon? Or were they defending the last human residents of Gran Pulse who stubbornly held out against fal'Cie relocation? What is certain is that the War of Transgression remains a powerful piece of propaganda, reinforced through popular media with events such as the Pompa Sancta held in Nautilus Park.

Scouring the lowerwild for answers, the heroes find that only beasts and Cie'th have survived on Gran Pulse. Back on Cocoon, however, the pretense that a Pulsian invasion remains a threat feeds the insecurity of the populous and enables the Sanctum to exert ever greater powers of control. This, too, is part of the fal'Cie grand design: Barthandelus wishes to turn the people against the l'Cie and make terrorists of them. Rejected and despised, the l'Cie are more likely to embrace Ragnarok and lash out against the society they once wished to preserve.

If the heroes don't want to destroy Cocoon, why attack Orphan?

The opening of the Ark and the ensuing rampage of Pulsian beasts continues the part of the plan that began with the Purge. The people will be led to believe that war has broken out. Cocoon has been created as a gigantic sacrificial altar, in which all of the Sanctum fal'Cie have played their part, so the heroes face a dilemma. If they destroy Orphan, they will be playing into the hands of Barthandelus. But if they do nothing, people will still die and the fal'Cie will simply continue to pursue their deranged machinations. While Orphan continues to exist, humanity will never be free.

How do Fang and Vanille save Cocoon at the end?

Having undergone at all of the tests and trails that Barthandelus placed in their path, the party is strong enough to carry out the final stage of his plan. If just one of them loses hope and becomes Ragnarok, they will have both the power and the furious desire to tear whole worlds apart. And this is exactly what Barthandelus intends.

But with the strength they find in each other, Fang and Vanille make their own choice.Deliberately, they take on the power to become the destroyer of worlds, but use that power in deciding their on fate.

With Orphan defeated and the whole of Cocoon now heading for destruction without its power source,  Fang and Vanille assume the form of Ragnarok to dig roots deep into the rock of Gran Pulse. They may be completing the Focus they were set 500 years ago, but they are now wise to the manipulation of their masters. Creating a massive bridge of matter between the two worlds, they embrace their fate and turn to crystal - and so save the people of Cocoon, supporting the imperiled globe on the crystalline pillar created by their eternal sleep.

What does the future hold?

As prophesied, a sacrifice has been made: but nit the one that the fal'Cie intended. Instead of recalling the Maker from his distant retreat, this sacrifice ushers in a new age of free will for humanity. The residents of Cocoon are seen evacuating to the surface of Gran Pulse, disembarking from their craft to find a world without fal'Cie to pamper them and tend to their every need. It may be a tougher life ahead for the survivors, but it will be their own. Neither gods nor fal'Cie will determine their fate from this point.

With their Focus completed by their friends, and a destiny willingly borne, the other heroes are released from their own crystal sleep to find their brands have disappeared.

The power of the fal'Cie has also faded with the destruction of Cocoon's energy source. Other humans can no longer be held in crystal stasis by conditions which have ceased to apply, and so they too lose their brands. Dajh and Serah are just two of the l'Cie freed by Fang and Vanille's sacrifice. The game ends with the worlds once again rejoined by a physical and emotional bond of friendship.

And if you hadn't noticed, the final scenes reveal the true meaning of Yoshitaka Amano's FINAL FANTASY XIII logo; an image that has been staring at you from the game's title screen in every playing session. It is the world of Cocoon, safely clasped in the coils of the crystal beast that sprung from the will of Fang and Vanille.

THE END

Ole Hunter

3 comments:

  1. Day One -аас Day Thirteen дуустал тоглоом дотор Datalog цэснээс уншиж болох (Мэдээж тоглоомоо дуусгасаны дараа бүрэн дүүрэн уншиж болно) зүйлсийг тавьлаа. Үргэлжлэл бол тоглоом дээр болох үйл явдал юм. Монголоор хөрвүүлж бичнэ...

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  2. Elixir of Fiction1/14/2011 03:34:00 PM

    This is a great article! This has renewed and explained some things on my point of view about the game's intricate and crafty plot, like Barthandelus' infamous scheme, Cocoon's interior, Vanille & Fang, the Analects' true meanings (cos half the time, I didn't understand what I was reading, LOL) and so on... A lot of people who misinterpret the game's beautiful and astonishing plot should definitely read this. They say: "the game doesn't make any sense, "the ending was crappy!" It's because those people rushed to their erroneous conclusions first before taking the time to let the game's true meaning sink into them.
    Story, audio, and gameplay wise, Final Fantasy Xlll is a definite win! :'-D

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  3. Чамд баярлалаа. Боломжтой бол орчуулаад тавиарай

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