Thanks to shylocked for the inspiration!
What was the most messed up thing you’ve noticed in any Final Fantasy game? By this I mean, something that isn’t overtly said, but instead (heavily or not) implied.
We have tons of examples in a Final Fantasy. Having your essence dissolve into the Lifestream in Final Fantasy VII is really creepy. It makes me wonder if Cloud finding the real him were actually worth it. Same with the Mist in Final Fantasy IX, which is essentially the souls of dead people floating around Terra. And in Final Fantasy VIII, we can find Zombie magic in a graveyard. All of this is subtle enough, but what about other games? Such as Final Fantasy XIII?
For me, it was in FF13, a bit after reaching Oerba. After noticing that the town was empty, save for a bunch of Ceiths, I decided to mess around Pulse before going back to Cocoon. Around that time, I started doing a bunch of those optional Cei’th Stone missions. Eventually, a thought came to mind.
Somewhere, while doing those missions, (I think it’s mentioned in the Datalog) that after a person goes Cei’th (from not completing their Focus) it is possible for that monster to eventually become a Cei’th Stone. According to the Wiki, the entry says the following:
“L’Cie who fail their Focus become Cie’th, cursed to wander the wilds in a form of living death. Only after many years and much suffering do they extinguish the last of their strength and cease to roam. When this happens, the Cie’th’s remains slowly fossilize, turning into what is known as a Cie’th Stone.”
That said, looking at them, they look pretty crystal-like. Although it has been stated by developers that the main reason Oerba is empty is that of damage from the original War of Transgression, another thought clicked in my head.
It has been proven crystals can shatter.
Imagine the majority of Pulse’s residents being turned into L’cie (which is implied by several optional missions– saying things like the rates of people being chosen to fight in the war has greatly increased) and having not completed their Focuses eventually changed to L’cie to Cei’th to Cei’th Stone (had about 500+ years to do so, since we do not know how long the battle was going on before Vanille and Fang joined it) that eventually turned to Crystal Dust?
Or alternately, what if those people DID complete their focus and entered Crystal Stasis and eventually crumbled to dust? The same was mentioned as being possible in 13-2.
Can you guess how many people it would take for Oerba to be covered like that? That simply blew my mind.
What moments in Final Fantasy games led you to have similar realizations or theories?
TL:DR: I think that pretty crystal dust in Oerba is made from the destroyed crystals of the city’s inhabitants.
Nowhere in the Datalog does it mention the Cie’th can shatter:
When a fal’Cie takes a human to be one of its l’Cie servants, that person is given a Focus to be completed. Should the l’Cie fail to fulfill this Focus before his or her brand advances to its final stage, that l’Cie becomes a Cie’th?
Mired in eternal sorrow and regret, and robbed of all free will, Cie’ths are damned to wander the world unliving and undying, until their corrupted flesh, at last, can move no more. For Cie’th, there is no salvation.
L’Cie who fail their Focus become Cie’th, cursed to wander the wilds in a form of living death. Only after many years and much suffering do they extinguish the last of their strength and cease to roam. When this happens, the Cie’th’s remains slowly fossilize, turning into what is known as a Cie’th Stone.
However, this transformation does not mark an end to the Cie’th’s regret and sorrow at having failed. Even after having turned to stone the Cie’th cry out, imploring other l’Cie to fulfill the Focus they could not.
But nothing in Final Fantasy VII tells you of the soul negation of the Lifestream. Final Fantasy IX hints the Mist are souls, but nothing more afterward. And you might have to think for a while that the newly deceased Trabia Gardens school kids produce zombie magic. So why else would there be so much Crystal Dust floating around Oerba? It is next to Cocoon.
It’s beautiful, but in a bittersweet way, that failure can produce something beautiful. Until you consider each Cie’th you encounter in Oerba maybe Fang and Vanille’s friends and extended family…