Final Fantasy XIII-2 revision of Final Fantasy XIII’s ending took many people by surprise. Final Fantasy XIII ended on a happy not. Yet, somehow, defying their fates leads to a time paradox, thereby reversing the original themes of the first game. Then seemingly out of nowhere, we learn that a paradox removes Lightning from history.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 centers on Serah and Noel’s adventures to resolve these paradoxes. Noel and Serah prevent another chaos. A chaos still happens, but what did they prevent before it? A bigger one? One that wouldn’t have been as bad? How would they know? We may never know. We do know that they subsequently resolves the story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 in the process.
Final Fantasy XIII event happen, this is undeniable. The vision Lightning and her cohorts saw of Cocoon falling actually did happen as Yeul prophesied years into the future. Our characters do not see their focus, however. They only have visions in which they must guess what it is they should do.
They don’t have the whole picture. Had they, they would have seen Fang and Vanille become Ragnarok. Of course, this was the prophecy. Etros knew it would happen. She also knew that by granting them this wish, she would die.
Paradoxically, Lightning and others defying their fate was apart of the ultimate fate. They defied nothing, and lead into Barthandelus’ plan. However, he too could not see the future, for he didn’t know his focus either. The future unfolded in ways even he couldn’t predict.
Noel and Serah resolve all paradoxes, in a sense. But think of Schrodinger’s cat. Anything can happen, and the outcome doesn’t have just one observable possibilities. Only if you are outside of the system, can you know what will happen. Even the god Bhunivelze did not know what would happen to him.
In the split timeline, Serah and Noel resolve paradoxes for all of eternity in a loop. In certain parts of the game, Noel and Serah will fail and will stay in this paradoxical timeline. The alternate story loop ends, but it’ll eventually keep going elsewhere. In this sense, many Noels and Serahs exists as anomalies.
Serah and Noel revert the timeline back to the events of Final Fantasy XIII, only with some minor changes. Now, certain elements don’t exist. In the original timeline, Serah and Dajh were to stay in crystal stasis. As a compromise, Serah dies; her actions write herself out of the timeline. Dajh sleeps, yet not in his crystal state. Noel won’t remain the last man alive, because in Nova Crystallis, no one dies.
Most importantly, with the paradox resolved, Final Fantasy XIII-2 never existed. That timeline was a like a self executing file which deleted itself. We played a story line that never existed.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 revisions Final Fantasy XIII story in a way which shows us the hidden aspects of the lore. It doesn’t continue the story of Final Fantasy XIII, that happens in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Weirdly enough, what we play doesn’t exist from the standpoint of the story. And technically, no one should have any recollection of it. But this emphasizes the themes of trying to change the fate, and sometimes the futility of it.
We couldn’t have seen how this whole Final Fantasy XIII-2 would have ended. Serah’s death took us by surprise. But this was the plan. We didn’t know Toriyama’s script, which makes him Fal’Cie Plus.