Thanks to metagloria for the inspiration!
The events of the the XIII trilogy take place in a universe generated by Noctis during his crystal slumber.
Lightning was to create the world that would have been Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The developers instead chose to focus on Final Fantasy XV, but there’s some evidence this was to be the case:
Final Fantasy Versus XIII was a game planned for the PlayStation 3 as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series. It was intended to be a companion game to Final Fantasy XIII alongside the mobile game Final Fantasy Agito XIII, the three sharing from the same Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos. Bearing many originating themes carried on into its succeeding game, the theme of Versus XIII was “a fantasy based on reality”, and the game was to take place in a setting similar to contemporary Earth.
This would have been made possible through Lightning creating the “new world”, at the end of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII:
With the old world no more, Lightning and her friends find a glimmering crystal in a void. The Eidolons and Mog bid their farewells and fade away while Lightning and the souls of humanity leave for the new world. Having begun her life anew, Lightning, no longer dressing like a soldier or a servant of the divine, steps off a train in a countryside on a peaceful journey to reunite with one of her friends.
The new world was created “to replace the dying Nova Chrysalia in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII”.
But under this interpretation, Noctis created Lightning’s world during his crystal sleep:
Noctis spends ten years in the Crystal accumulating its magic and strengthening himself to prepare for both his battle against Ardyn and his sacrifice.
During these ten years, what might he have dreamed? This is where the theory says that Noctis might have dreamed Final Fantasy XIII’s trilogy. Would this make him a god of this world, and essentially Bhunivelze?
state a l’Cie enters upon completing his or her Focus in Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0. The legend states the completion of one’s Focus and entering crystal stasis grants the l’Cie eternal life.
Noctis arises from his sleep, he’s on a quest to sacrifice himself to rid the world of Ardyn. And people do dream during this state.
When a l’Cie completes a Focus their body turns to crystal and they become inanimate objects. They are not dead, but resting in what some call a “crystal sleep”. When a l’Cie recovers from crystal stasis they return to life exactly as they were when they were placed in the stasis. L’Cie in crystal stasis are cognizant of what happens around them. In Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i-, it is revealed Serah saw and heard everything Snow did through him carrying her crystal tear. At the end of Final Fantasy XIII, Vanille and Fang communicate their thoughts despite being in crystal stasis, but the dialogue is only heard by the player, and in fragment entries from Final Fantasy XIII-2, it is shown Fang and Vanille are aware of a number of events despite still being in crystal stasis.
L’Cie who are in crystal stasis may “dream” of things they cherish. When Serah and Dajh converse at the end of Final Fantasy XIII, Dajh says “there were a lot of chocobos“, alluding to what he might have “dreamed” while in crystal stasis. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Serah reveals she dreamed about reuniting with Snow and Lightning.
Perhaps many people wish Final Fantasy XIII was “all just a bad dream”. Yet, this theory puts a unique spin on world creation.
Which world came first, Final Fantasy XIII’s or Final Fantasy XV’s?