Final Fantasy XIII-2 Primer
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Final Fantasy XIII had a diverse cast of characters. These people were unlikely heroes, but they were brought together in a common goal. They may have gone their seperate ways after the defeat of Orphan, but you'll be seeing most of them again. Here are the people you need to know before jumping into Final Fantasy XIII-2.
The protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning is a hard-edged woman with an indomitable will and great battle prowess. She was a sergeant of the Guardian Corps, assigned to the town of Bodhum when a Pulse fal’Cie was found and the entire place was purged. The events set into motion at Bodhum lead Lightning on an epic quest; first to find her sister Serah and then to save Cocoon at Serah’s request. The Eidolon Odin is bound to Lightning, and in Gestalt mode he becomes a mighty steed for her to ride into battle on. Final Fantasy XIII-2 sees Lightning whisked away to the otherworldly realm of Valhalla. While she is decidedly a supporting character this time around, her story intertwines with that of her sister’s.
Serah is Lightning’s younger sister. Just before the Bodhum Purge she gets engaged to Snow, but once she gets branded a l’Cie everything changes. Serah completes her Focus, which was to bring together Lightning and the rest of the cast of Final Fantasy XIII and set them on their own Focus. Once this is done, Serah is transformed into crystal. She remains this way until the end of the game when the assembled l’Cie manage to defeat Orphan and save Cocoon and Gran Pulse. Serah takes the lead in XIII-2, as she embarks on a journey that takes her across time and dimensions with her new companion Noel.
Idealistic and heroic to the point of absurdity, Snow sees himself as a defender of the weak. When he sees the injustice done to the people of Bodhum by the PSICOM soldiers during the purge, Snow forms a resistance group called NORA. He’ll do anything for Serah and sees his transformation into a l’Cie as a chance to save her. During the purge Snow tries to save the life of an older woman and fails, but not before she asks him to help her son. Unknown to Snow, that son is Hope, another member of the party. Snow commands the twin Shiva Eidolons Stiria and Nix, which transforms into a motorcycle for Snow to slide around the battlefield on. In XIII-2, a slightly older Snow is seen helping Serah and Noel out of a bind, but his role in the new adventure is minimal.
The oldest member of the party in FF XIII, Sazh doesn’t really care about the affairs of the fal’Cie, nor does he want anything to do with the l’Cie. That all changes when his son, Dajh, becomes a Sanctum l’Cie. Sazh wants nothing more than to get his son back, who is in the custody of PSICOM, but when he finally manages that, Dajh completes his Focus and changes into crystal. Swept into the fray with Lightning and the rest of the Pulse l’Cie, Sazh has no choice but to follow lest he fail his Focus and turn into a monstrous Cie’th. The firey Eidolon Brynhildr belongs to Sazh and becomes a hot rod in Gestalt mode. It appears that Sazh doesn’t play a role in the main quest of Final Fantasy XIII-2, though signs point to his return in post release DLC.
Just a young man in the wrong place at the wrong time, Hope ends up caught in the purge and sees his mother die. He blames Snow for the death of his mother and all he can think about for the first part of his journey is killing Snow in revenge. Eventually he learns that Snow tried to save his mother and does his best to do his part to save Cocoon. Hope seems to have some romantic feelings for Vanille, but he never acts on them. Vanille is transformed into crystal during her final sacrifice, and never learns how Hope feels about her. Hope controls the mighty Eidolon Alexander, which becomes a fortification in Gestalt mode. He appears in XIII-2 as a full grown man and seems to have a major supporting role in the story.
Vanille is the narrator for most of Final Fantasy XIII and hides many dark secrets behind her bubbly demeanor. Though initially passing herself off as a citizen of Cocoon, Vanille is actually a daughter of Gran Pulse along with her friend Fang. Centuries ago, she and Fang were given a Focus to destroy Cocoon. Even though the two failed in their mission, they got close enough that they became crystal and didn’t awaken until the event at Bodhum. While Fang has no memory of their former Focus, Vanille remembers everything, but hides this as well. To atone for her past sins, Vanille joins with Fang to become Ragnarok and succeeds in saving Cocoon by forming a pillar of crystal that keeps the smaller world from crashing into Gran Pulse. Vanille’s Eidolon is known as Hecatoncheir and in Gestalt mode it’s…well, I don’t know. But it has a lot of guns, and that’s good, right? Having been transformed into crystal at the end of FF XIII, Vanille obviously doesn’t have a role in the game, but Hope is on a mission to change her back.
Fang is a mentor of sorts to Vanille, but the fierce warrior lives in ignorance of her past. She doesn’t know that centuries ago she became Ragnarok and nearly caused the end of the world. She’s very proud and stubborn, but she’s a born fighter, much like Lightning. She becomes Ragnarok once again in an attempt to save Vanille from Orphan, but her power is not enough and she bands together with her comrades to defeat him once and for all. She becomes part of the crystal pillar that supports Cocoon along with Vanille. The infamous Bahamut is at Fang’s command and he becomes a large flying machine in Gestalt mode. Like Vanillie, Fang’s role in XIII-2 is likely to be very small and probably will occur only in flashbacks.