Claire 'Lightning' Farron
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Snafu the Great
Here's someone that Peach would definitely like. Been a while since I screwed around in the Game Respect Thread. So here I am with a new respect post. I could have posted spoilers for Lightning Returns, but chose not to, as that would spoil the game.
Real Name: Claire Farron (Eclair Farron in the Japanese version)
Age: 20-21 (Episode Zero - Promise); 21 (XIII and XIII-2); 521 (Lightning Returns)
Hometown: Bodhum (XIII); Valhalla (XIII-2); Nova Chrysalia (Lightning Returns)
Eyes: Blue (Green in the FMV)
Family: Parents unknown; Serah Fallon
Signature Weapons: Blazefire Saber (XIII); Overture (XIII-2); Crimson Blitz (Lightning Returns)
Ultimate Weapon: Omega Weapon
Occupation: Member of the Guardian Corps (XIII); Etro's Protector (XIII-2); Bhunivelze's Divine Guardian (Lightning Returns)
(From Lightning's Page on the Final Fantasy Wiki)
Claire Farron's father died when she was young, and her mother died from an unknown illness when she was fifteen. With no other family to turn to, Claire raised her younger sister, Serah. To overcome the pain of her parents' deaths and to become an adult as quickly as possible, she changed her name from Claire Farron to "Lightning". However, despite the delusion of not needing her past, Lightning was still a normal and helpless child without her parents who wanted to be loved.
After graduating from high school, Lightning joined the Guardian Corps Bodhum Security Regiment under Lieutenant Amodar, where she attained the rank of sergeant and was scheduled for officer training. However, she began to lose sight of her goals, and worked many hours while spending little time with Serah.
Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero
Nine days before Lightning's twenty-first birthday, the Bodhum monster-fighting group NORA rescues her from an aquatic ambush. Lightning meets Snow Villiers, their leader and Serah's boyfriend. Lightning remains unimpressed as she has never approved of NORA's vigilantism and unsuccessfully demands for him to stop dating Serah.
The next day, Lightning begins to feel guilty for her lack of attention to Serah, feeling she got involved with Snow to quell her loneliness. After seeing Nora Estheim and her son Hope in the mall, Lightning is inspired to plan a vacation away from Bodhum for her birthday to spend more time with Serah and take her attention away from Snow. Four days later, the Cavalry is hunting down a girl named Vanille and Lightning meets with Rygdea, suspecting it may have something to do with the "incident" at Euride Gorge two days ago. While attending Bodhum's fireworks festival four days later, Lightning learns of a Pulse-related incident at the nearby Vestige being kept under wraps by the Sanctum, but Amodar warns her not to investigate.
On the next day, Lightning's birthday, Serah reveals she has been branded a Pulse l'Cie, and that she and Snow are engaged. Thinking Serah is lying to give herself an excuse to wed Snow, Lightning drives her away, leaving her alone to open her birthday present from Serah: a survival knife. When the Sanctum announces the quarantine of Bodhum after a Pulse fal'Cie was found within the Vestige, Lightning realizes Serah had been telling the truth.
After learning the Sanctum plans to Purge everyone in town to Pulse, Lightning tries to find Serah but Snow says she is being held captive inside the Vestige. The following day, PSICOM rounds up the people in Bodhum and lines them up to board Purge trains. Although military personnel are exempt from the Purge, Lightning volunteers to be Purged with the civilians and resigns from the Guardian Corps to get into the Hanging Edge, where the Vestige is being moved, so she can rescue Serah before she is taken out of reach. After lining up for the Purge train, Lightning is approached by a man named Sazh Katzroy, who joins her in her quest to reach the Pulse fal'Cie.
Snafu the Great
Final Fantasy XIII
As the Purge train enters the Hanging Edge, Lightning attacks the PSICOM soldiers aboard and frees her fellow captives. PSICOM forces fire on the train and a Manasvin Warmech brings it to a halt. Lightning and Sazh fight through the PSICOM forces and arrive at the Vestige where they discover Serah outside the Pulse fal'Cie Anima's throne. Snow, Hope and Vanille arrive, and Serah asks Lightning and the others to save Cocoon and enters crystal stasis, having fulfilled her Focus. Lightning and the group confront and destroy Anima, but are branded l'Cie before it perishes and the Vestige plummets to Lake Bresha, crystallizing it on impact.
Lightning and her companions awaken in Lake Bresha realizing they are now l'Cie. Upon being branded l'Cie, they all shared a vision of the legendary beast Ragnarok. They discover Serah's crystal form fused to the crystallized lake. Lightning reluctantly opts to continue onward to evade the army's closing net so the party departs, leaving behind Snow, who has chosen to dig Serah out. They find an airship in abandoned ruins at the lake's edge and use it to escape, but are attacked by pursuing PSICOM ships and crash in the Vile Peaks.
Lightning plans to go to the capital city of Eden to destroy its namesake fal'Cie that controls the Sanctum, blaming it for the Purge and her current situation. After a disagreement on their Focus, the group splits up: with Lightning going to Eden to take down the Sanctum, and Sazh and Vanille going the opposite direction to run from their fate. Followed by Hope and unable to send him back, Lightning lets him accompany her. Her patience wears thin as Hope becomes a liability and Lightning threatens to leave him. Her frustration summons Eidolon Odin to attack Hope. Lightning saves him and they defeat the Eidolon together, convincing her to let Hope travel with her and help him "toughen up".
At the Gapra Whitewood, Hope takes the lead and Lightning gives him her survival knife to boost his confidence. Hope intents to take revenge on Snow for his part in his mother's death during the Purge and when Lightning tells him the Sanctum is to blame Hope resolves in making both Snow and the Sanctum pay for it. Lightning tries to dissuade Hope by suggesting they visit his father.
In Palumpolum, Hope leads Lightning into the underground Nutriculture Complex to avoid PSICOM. Upon hearing Hope speak of the fal'Cie treating humans like their pets, Lightning realizes that having lived under fal'Cie care since birth, she had always been their pawn, and that her anger is over her protectors turning against her. Realizing she has dragged Hope into the same delusion of fighting blindly to make up for doubt and confusion, Lightning tells Hope their goals of vengeance are over and promises she will not abandon him. Soldiers led by Yaag Rosch ambush Lightning and Hope as they emerge in the Agora, but Snow and Oerba Yun Fang intervene to save them. Lightning escapes with Fang while Snow takes Hope. With wireless communicators the pairs agree to meet up at Hope's house. Hope wants to go through with his revenge against her wishes, and when Lightning tries to reason with him her plea never reaches him.
Lightning learns Fang is not only a Pulse l'Cie like herself, but an actual Gran Pulse citizen. Fang and Vanille were crystallized centuries earlier after completing their Focus, but awoke in Cocoon without knowing how or why, and were indirectly responsible for Serah being made a l'Cie. Lightning and Fang realize Pulse and Cocoon are more similar than they initially thought in how both worlds fear and hate each other. Fang tells Lightning how a l'Cie's brand indicates the amount of time until one becomes a Cie'th, and reassures Serah will wake from crystal stasis one day.
Lightning and Fang discover Snow and Hope in time to help the latter battle an Ushumgal Subjugator. Hope has abandoned his plan for revenge and returns Lightning's knife, and they promise to protect each other before the group proceeds to Hope's home. Lightning tends to the injuries Snow sustained from protecting Hope and apologizes for her behavior towards him. PSICOM attacks the house but disguised Cavalry soldiers intervene and during the chaos Lightning has Hope tie up his dad to make him appear like an unwilling accomplice.
The party boards the Lindblum and learns Sazh and Vanille are being held captive on the Palamecia, and that Primarch Galenth Dysley is overseeing the transport. The four l'Cie infiltrate the Palamecia to rescue Sazh and Vanille and once reunited, they confront Dysley on the bridge. He reveals himself as the fal'Cie Barthandelus, leader of the Cocoon fal'Cie, and explains their Focus is to destroy Cocoon by turning into Ragnarok and killing Orphan, the fal'Cie that sustains Cocoon. The party flees on a small airship, which autopilots them through Eden into the Fifth Ark hidden beneath the city.
The group's l'Cie powers are fully awoken and they encounter Cid Raines, who reveals he is a Sanctum l'Cie branded by Barthandelus with the Focus of aiding them as Barthandelus desires for Cocoon's destruction so the deaths of its inhabitants would summon the Maker, the creator of fal'Cie and humans alike. Raines rebels against his Focus by attempting to kill them. The party defeats Raines, but he transforms into crystal despite having defied his Focus. The group decides to follow his example and save Cocoon. Fang turns against them until Lightning and Vanille help her tame her Eidolon, Bahamut. The party finds an airship with a gate leading to Gran Pulse, and descends to the world below hoping to find aid in their quest.
After falling under attack by a wild wyvern, Lightning helps Fang summon Bahamut to save the party. They land and create a base camp in the Vallis Media but after days of searching find Pulse devoid of human life. Hope wishes for the others to leave him behind and his Eidolon Alexander appears. Lightning and Fang help Hope tame the Eidolon, and with their resolve renewed, the party decides to head to Oerba, Vanille and Fang's hometown.
The party crosses the Archylte Steppe into the Mah'habara Subterra and the Sulyya Springs, where Lightning and Snow promise to see Serah together after saving Cocoon. They ascend Taejin's Tower and ride a capsule down to the outskirts of Oerba, but find it abandoned. The group is confronted by Serah, who refers to Lightning by her birthname and asks the group to destroy Orphan to summon the Maker and save the world from despair. Serah is Dysley in disguise, who announces he has resigned as Primarch and appointed a revived Raines in his place to incite a civil war. He has his familiar, Menrva, transform into an airship for the group to return to Cocoon, and they do so to try and stop Dysley's plans.
Sazh crashes the airship into the Eden Grand Prix, and the party makes their way through Eden to Orphan's Cradle among the ensuing chaos. In the depths of the Narthex they find Dysley, who summons the crystallized Dajh Katzroy and Serah before the party and shatters them. Denouncing it as an illusion, the party fights Barthandelus and destroys him. His defeat awakens the sleeping Orphan, who wishes to be destroyed after centuries of not having a life, and attacks them.
Fang submits to Orphan's demands and agrees to become Ragnarok. After they try to stop her, Lightning and the others aside from Vanille are turned into Cie'th and attack Fang. Orphan tortures her to force her to transform but Fang's incomplete transformation is not strong enough to kill Orphan. The Cie'th party members relive the memories of their quest and are restored, believing their transformation was another fal'Cie illusion, and that they have seen something that resembled a new Focus. Lightning announces their new Focus is to save Cocoon and all of the party's l'Cie brands turn white.
Orphan's true form is vanquished and Cocoon begins to fall. Lightning and the others float away as Vanille and Fang transform into a complete Ragnarok, using their power to stop Cocoon's descent by forming a crystal pillar to keep it stationary above Gran Pulse. Lightning and the others enter crystal stasis, but are restored and find they are no longer l'Cie. Lightning is reunited with Serah and begins apologizing to her, but is cut short when Snow reminds they "have a wedding to plan". Snow reassures Lightning he will make Serah happy, and Lightning congratulates them.
Snafu the Great
Final Fantasy XIII: Episode 1
Lightning vows to find a way to save Vanille and Fang from the crystal pillar. She believes the answer lies somewhere on Gran Pulse, and perhaps she could discover other Pulsian survivors as well. Lightning believes it will be a long and difficult journey and after seeing Serah is in good hands with Snow, she decides to take up the task on her own as Serah and the others will be tied down with new responsibilities and would be unable to accompany her. As result of a paradox, Lightning is removed from history and she finds herself in another world.
Final Fantasy XIII: Episode 2
On the first day of the AF era that started on the Day of Ragnarok, Lightning's reunion with Serah is cut short when she is dragged into an abyss by a manifestation of chaos caused by a paradox. Lightning is removed from history with only her survival knife remaining, everyone except Serah believing her to be either dead or crystallized along with Vanille and Fang within the crystal pillar. In actuality, Lightning fell through the Historia Crux and ended up in Valhalla, the realm of death and chaos dislodged from time. Lightning comes across a moogle named Mog who challenges her to a duel and promptly loses. Touched by Mog's innocence, Lightning has him follow her.
Mog tells Lightning about Valhalla, the Void Beyond, and the goddess Etro. Lightning and Mog encounter Odin, who challenges Lightning to a battle, during which she learns to cast magic naturally. She defeats Odin and uses him as a means of transport to Etro's temple, where Lightning is challenged by Bahamut. During the fight Lightning loses her weapon, but Mog transforms into a bow for her to use to overcome the Eidolon. Standing before the goddess's throne, a brief oneness with Etro enables Lightning to understand the goddess's isolation and her love towards mankind along with the unintended suffering she caused the seeress Yeul and her Guardian Caius going hand in hand with the memories of countless deaths within chaos.
Lightning comes to realize Etro saw her and her friends as sinners for killing people during their time as l'Cie, yet freed them from their brands after giving Vanille and Fang the strength to become Ragnarok. Through the Eyes of Etro, Lightning sees various moments in time that include an era facing destruction, Yeul's various deaths, Serah trapped in an endless dream, and her own losing battle with Caius. After her Guardian Corps uniform disappears, a suit of armor materializing in its place, Lightning chooses to stay as Etro's champion to contain the memories of the deceased and fight Caius as a way to atone for her sins. Caius briefly appears behind her and tells her to go home, as the world will not end for some time, but she resolves to remain anyway.
Snafu the Great
Final Fantasy XIII-2
As Etro's protector, Lightning guards the goddess from Caius, Yeul's immortal Guardian who wants to kill Etro to destroy the timeline. During her battle against Caius, Lightning sees Etro's Gate appear over Etro's temple and a person falling out. She recognizes it as the young man she had seen in a past vision, Noel Kreiss. Lightning saves Noel from his fall and asks him for his help. Showing him a Time Gate below the shrine, she gives him Mog along with instructions to find Serah, give Mog to her, and bring her to Valhalla. When Caius summons a meteor over the shrine, Lightning summons Odin to throw her into the meteor's path, but it crushes the shrine, leaving her fate unknown.
Noel finds Serah and together they embark on a quest through time to find their way to Valhalla. Lightning eventually appears from a portal before them in New Bodhum at 700 AF, and tells them they are in a future she had failed to save. She explains that Orphan's demise and Fang and Vanille's sacrifice to save Cocoon opened the portal to Valhalla, and while Etro closed the door to prevent Valhalla's chaos from pouring out into the world, Lightning was brought to Valhalla as a result.
Lightning says Caius plans to destroy Etro and open the door again, unleashing chaos into the mortal world. The door would open wide enough if a large amount of people died at once, such as if the crystallized Cocoon fell, and the world would be infected with chaos. Time, life, and death would become meaningless, making the world like Valhalla. Lightning entrusts Noel and Serah to stop Caius in the mortal realm while she deals with him in Valhalla. She has Mog reveal the final Time Gate to take Serah and Noel to 500 AF so they can stop Caius from destroying Hope's new Cocoon.
In the Vile Peaks, Lightning blames herself for the paradox that caused the disappearance of an Academy anti-paradox team, the Blitz Squadron, while they were scouting the area in 10 AF to deal with a distortion. She recalls how she once fought alongside the men in Blitz Squadron and finds comfort in how they still remember her. When Mog reveals a phased-out image of Lightning in the Vile Peaks, she tells Serah and Noel about how as a l'Cie, she first thought fighting for what she believed in alone was the only way, but later saw the error in her ways. Being all by herself in Valhalla, she holds on to the memories of Serah and her friends to stay strong in her battle against Caius. Lightning tells Serah she misses her and prays for the day when they can be together again, and disappears.
After Serah and Noel's first battle against Caius in Valhalla, they are consumed by a wave of darkness and sent falling into an abyss of light. Lightning appears and saves them, urging them to keep hope alive before vanishing.
Back in Valhalla, Lightning continues her fight with Caius. As mentioned in the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega scenario interview, the battle between Lightning and Caius is an endless loop that would have continued for eternity, but the loop is broken when Caius abruptly disappears and Lightning sees a vision of Serah's death by her Eyes of Etro. Caught off guard, Lightning is struck down by Caius before being taken away by chaos.
She comes to in the remains of Etro's temple, where she finds Serah's soul restrained and surrounded by chaos, manipulated by the spirits of Yeul. The chaos forms into a manifestation of Caius that Lightning proceeds to battle. Caius transforms into Chaos Bahamut and flies towards the beach where Lightning continues to fight him.
After dispatching her opponent, Lightning mounts Odin and demands Yeul to let Serah go, only for her and her Eidolon to be swallowed by chaos. Lightning is made to realize her actions caused her sister's death and as she floats through the Historia Crux Lightning contemplates her belief that carrying out Etro's will would atone for her past sins, and concludes there is nothing left for her, not even hope. Mourning over Serah's body, Lightning sees Serah's spirit on Etro's throne who reveals she knew of her death yet continued so they can be reunited. As Serah's spirit fades away, she tells Lightning not give up hope and always remember her, promising they will meet again.
To ensure Serah's memory lives on, holding on to their wish to be together again someday, and preserve the world's existence in Etro's place as her true atonement, Lightning sits on the goddess's throne and enters crystal stasis, waiting for the day she will awaken at the end of eternity. Gran Pulse is engulfed in chaos and merges with Valhalla to become Nova Chrysalia.
And we haven't even gotten into her most powerful incarnation yet...Savior Lightning trumps the last two considerably.
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