Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Spoiler Thread)

I can see both sides of this conversation.There is a disconnect of sorts, but it still has a coherent plot for all that.

One thing about 13-2 that bothered me was how completely and unhesitating every character launched themselves into the future somehow. Gadot et al were just left behind to die of old age without ever knowing what happened. All NPC friends are just left behind in the past, Hope takes Alyssa to 500AF, but denies that opportunity to anyone else. I agree that there's too many random portals, and the important PCs just so happened to all find separate paths to the future. I mean, what did Sazh need to go to 500AF for, really? They must have airship pilots of their own.

I love a moving universe in general, which is why I loved XIII so much, but if your main plot is initially about finding Snow, you shouldn't need a DLC to find out what happened to him.

Snow was handled quite well, the others less so.
 

Makoeyes987

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Fang and Vanille were handled quite well, in my opinion. Considering all they went through, and Fang willing to do anything to save her, it made perfect sense the lengths she was willing to go. They definitely handled their relationship and closeness in a positive way. It's only a shame that we didn't have more scenes with them, but seeing as how it was all the conclusion of Lightning's story, it's to be expected. They really wanted to focus on her for the last story of the series.
 

The Twilight Mexican

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TresDias
I don't really feel like anyone from the main cast was handled poorly after XIII when they were getting screen time. Though Sazh got so little of that, it may be tantamount to poor handling even though he got a halfway (three quarters?) decent resolution in LR.

I also don't begrudge the focus Noel got over Sazh or other past characters in XIII-2 either, because Noel is actually a pretty cool guy (I do take some issue with him showing up with Sazh's Eidolon in LR, though ...).

What's so freakin' bizarre about XIII-2 is the complete shift in which elements of the setting were central plot elements for the sequel. I'd go as far as to argue the central plot elements of XIII-2 had not even been established in the first game. That's got to be a big part of why it feels like such a disconnect.

All this shenaigans with time distortions and time travel? That was way out of left field.

The chaos was introduced in the mythology backstory, sure, but it's just doing seemingly random crap all the time.

In one instance, it's eating Mwynn's spirit and causing her to die a second death in the Unseen Realm -- but in the next instance, the formerly powerless Etro is inheriting a duty from Mwynn to tether the realms in balance and gains the power to manipulate the chaos. Why Mwynn doesn't use this power to save herself is apparently not a question that needs answering, so we'll move on.

Etro is now all that holds the chaos at bay from leaking into the mortal realm and consuming everything. Though she somehow deliberately sends some of it over to become human souls? Okay, fine, this is all still from the original mythology backstory, so whatever.

Then we get into XIII-2 and the chaos causes time distortions if a little comes over. But not when it comes over in the form of human souls? Though it does allow "a chosen few" the ability to use magic, as well as "The power to see the future. The power to travel the timeline. The power to bend monsters to your will. The power to remember in your dreams, even when the timeline has changed."

And if all of it were to come over, it would make time stop -- but apparently only on a biological level; clocks and day/night cycles are still working, but people don't age and can't procreate. Though this was never the case before when people's souls were already comprised of the stuff ...

Wait, wasn't this series supposed to be about cruel false gods enslaving mortals who choose to fight their fate?
----

@Clement Rage

You are being far too generous to say that there was still a coherent plot. =P

See above, for one (two, three, etc.). And also that whole bizarre clusterfuck with the Heart of Etro. It wasn't supposed to be destroyed unless Noel willed it to be upon delivering a mortal wound to it and Caius, yet he had decided to spare Caius and had no desire to see Etro's heart destroyed.

Caius forced Noel's sword through him/the Heart, and for whatever reason, the plot decided to ignore the rules it had been reiterating for that thing throughout the game.
 

Makoeyes987

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I always saw Chaos as an extremely volatile, dangerous yet still necessary form of spirit energy.

Chaos is what creates hearts, and is what makes people unique and themselves. So it's like the soul. Even though technially speaking, the "soul" is just the life energy in FFXIII.

Like Chaos, Lifestream, if you get exposed to it, you can mutate and become a monster, and Lifestream can create monsters from floral and fauna. Now, Lifestream doesn't distort space-time or allow time travel, but it can bend space and create all sorts of strange illusions if enough gathers at once. Chaos is a spiritual force of the universe that allows humans to be born, have hearts/souls, and when someone dies, Etros' Gate opens, takes in the chaos, and it joins the collective. And because it used to compose half of the universe, it allows one to bend space-time and time travel.

The reason why Etro used Chaos to create hearts for people was also not just because of benevolence but because she glitched the entire system of creation by allowing Yuel to constantly be reincarnated over and over to stay with Caius, remember? So the entire collective Unseen Chaos became flooded with Yuels... And they're what destabilized reality.

Chaos doesn't cause time distortions when put in people because they're contained in mortal coils and it's a minuscule amount that doesn't influence or taint the physical realm. It only gets "released" when a person dies, and immediately gets transferred through Etro's Gate. Just like when someone dies in FFVII a person's body doesn't became a radioactive, mako site. It's only when a lot of spirit energy is released at once that it becomes a problem to the environment.

I mean, it's crazy but it does make sense if you look at it as the equivalent to the other concepts of spirit energy, in the series of FF.
 

Gary Caelum

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Yeah I kinda stop listening when stories like this get too metaphysical. Same with stories like FF12 when so much of it is about the world politics. I find it hard to pay attention to more abstract plot points.
I need things to be filtered through the character interactions really. Was that Chaos thing just invented out of nowhere for this game? I don't remember if it was mentioned in 13.
 

Makoeyes987

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As you progressed through the game, your Datalog fills with writings on the lore of FFXIII's Pulse which includes the mentions of Etro, Chaos, and the Seeres Yeul. They're just fully delved into in XIII-2 and Lightning Returns.

It gets filled as you visit locations in Gran Pulse and complete C'ieth Stone missions.
 

Kuja9001

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Yeah I kinda stop listening when stories like this get too metaphysical. Same with stories like FF12 when so much of it is about the world politics. I find it hard to pay attention to more abstract plot points.
I need things to be filtered through the character interactions really. Was that Chaos thing just invented out of nowhere for this game? I don't remember if it was mentioned in 13.
"Chaos" was mentioned in the analect section of the datalog in XIII, however, I am not sure how accurate it is since the dub loves to take liberties with the script for these particular games ex: "I'm not your sister" crap.
 
I can allow for most of that. The mass death involved of the Fall of Cocoon changed the game, allowing enough Chaos to escape to break time a little bit, although it's a hard veer from...well, anything that happens in 13-1. Then the end of 13-2

breaks time even more.

The dam is designed to let a certain amount of water through to for specific purposes like to turn turbines and relieve pressure, but it cracks during a storm and lets more in than is intended, causing 13-2. At the end of 13-2,
the dam collapses completely, and time stops running.

This is probably my own fault, but despite playing all three games and reading any datalogs I find, I have no idea who Mwynn is.

The core plot of 13-2 is mostly fine. I have questions about why Lightning specifically got sucked into a vortex, and re the Heart, I got nothing, but:

Caius cracked from watching Yeul die over and over, and started playing with paradoxes so he wouldn't have to go through this so much. Paradoxes inherently cause weird inconsistencies to happen, it's what they do. Serah inherits Yeul's power courtesy of Etro, and gains the power to meddle. Fair enough. Sazh, Snow, and Hope finding independent separate routes to the future makes the story creak a little, though, but its a nitpick of mine, not a core fault.

I would have preferred a different plot for 13-2(because I liked 13-1's worldbuilding, and wanted to stay there), but I can't actually complain about what we have.

Characterwise:

]

I don't really feel like anyone from the main cast was handled poorly after XIII when they were getting screen time.
I almost agree. They're not radically out of character or anything, but they lose a little of their edges.

Fang in XIII: Loves Vanille deeply, but ultimately can't sacrifice the world for her.

Post XIII: Will sacrifice the world for her.

Noel: Loves Yeul deeply, but has other concerns also.

Returns: Loves Yeul.

Sazh: XIII: Loves Dajh deeply, but also has other motivations.

Returns: Just Dajh.
 

The Twilight Mexican

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TresDias
I'm mostly happy with the explanation here from @Makoeyes987 about chaos being fundamentally similar to Lifestream. That fits in terms of the cycle business with the soul (life energy) depositing the heart (essence of individuals) into the swell, then returning to the mortal world to do its job again -- as with the memory accumulation on VII, X and IX's worlds.

Certainly the general volatility of the stuff is comparable as well. I won't hold my breath for a satisfactory explanation on what the deal is with Mwynn and Etro's powers to sort-of-control-but-not-really the chaos, but much of this is simple enough if you just plug in FFVII-like concepts, sure.

What still doesn't make sense for me is these mechanics with Yeul. What's supposedly different enough with her as to cause so much damage? The sliver of chaos that constitutes her soul comes back making her look the same each time, sure, but she's always a different person.

Her previous heart/individuality/set of memories gets left in the sea of chaos each time, as with everyone else.

I've read and re-read the Datalog and whatever else is available, and it has never made a lick of sense.

It makes about as much sense as the Heart of Etro debacle. It comes off as very "just because."

Why bother defining things to any extent if those parameters don't apply where the central plot is concerned?
 

Makoeyes987

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Well, the problem with Yeul is...

Yeul is the only person who is truly reincarnated completely by Etro with the same heart over and over (or in the western release "soul") out of the chaos. She technically was the first person ever fashioned from the blood of Etro and given a heart, and when she died, Etro took pity on her loneliness and gave her the "gift" to be reborn over and over so she could never be lonely and thanks to this, be with Caius forever.

This is a serious problem however.

Yeul's heart constantly splinters with each death and creates innumerable, distinct copies of this same woman who lived. They all retain their sense of self and unique characteristics in life because the same heart comes back to the Unseen Chaos over and over, creating more Yuel copies that do not diffuse and instead remain distinct, and individual from the whole.

Imagine if Sephiroth was able to send his core spirit energy to be reborn back to the planet over and over, and every time it died it's new memories, experiences and everything else came back to the planet, stayed distinct from the previous copy, and the cycle repeated over and over as long as life existed on the planet. And all the Sephiroths stayed put in the lifestream, continuously aware and cognizant.

Eventually you'd have a surplus of spirit Sephiroths who's wills are unable to diffuse into the collective flow of souls, and theyare able to tilt the balance of spirit energy in the cycle. Like thick, stagnant fluid that's in a pool but settled at the bottom, which threatens to displace the cleaner water by forcing it out of the limited sized container.

That's what Yeul ended up doing as a collective force.

Etro, (who's really a very shortsighted and clumsy goddess tbh :mon: ) created the problem of having difficulty in holding back the Unseen Chaos because too many Yeul's were created by her constantly living short-lived lives and remaining distinct from the flow of chaos. Because these numerous "dead" Yeuls in the chaos remain distinct and aware, they are able to control the chaos as its embodiment and some have turned dark and even held a grudge. When Etro proceeded to intervene and free Lightning and her friends from their Crystal Stasis, some of the Yeuls as chaos dragged Lightning into Valhalla and from there proceeded to fuck up her fate and that's where she ends up having her adventure and shit from XIII-2 on.

What's not fully explained until Lightning Returns and in the subsequent novella of XIII-2, is that while most of the Yeuls that exist are pure-hearted and kind, there exists Yeuls who are bitter, vindictive, sorrowful and full of spite. These are the Yeuls who curse their fate and wish to have Caius succeed in his goal. The "shadow" Yeul is the one that taunted Lightning and said Serah would join them, kept Snow in place at the Colosseum unable to help Serah in the final battle, and manifested the voice telling Serah and Noel to go back and not to interfere at the Academia in 500AF. She's the one that sends the two boss monsters after them too.

And she is the Yeul who wants to keep Caius in the chaos forever because they refuse to let him go.

In short, because Yeul kept being reborn with the same heart, the heart would keep getting copied, and it would never diffuse into the chaos. Because Yeul would never get diffused and would be copied, those copies just exist in the chaos, multiplying with each short lifespan she's born with, and thanks to never diffusing, they were able to embody and manipulate the chaos. This creates an unstable situation and allowed for the chaos to spill out, fuck up reality, and in the end, undoing the universal balance of chaos.

Now, in regards to Caius going "fuck you, you're killing me whether you want to or not" and impaling himself on Noel's sword?

...

I've got nothing :mon:

I always reasoned Caius was previously too noble and proud to self-terminate and wanted to either fall in battle as he was "supposed to" against Noel since, in the duel he had while a l'cie guardian, he lost yet managed to escape death. This was because his fight was interrupted by a war from an attacking tribe wanting to kill the seeres and his opponent sacrificed himself protecting said Seeres. This humiliated him, and he took the fallen warrior's name to honor him.

I think he wanted to one day fall in battle like he was supposed to against a stronger Guardian, or at least kill Etro directly so that he could be with Yeul and see the end of everything himself with her.

However, Noel refused to kill him, and he never got the chance to directly strike at Etro due to Lightning refusing to budge.

So he said "fuck it" and killed himself. :mon:

The real question is, why would Etro think giving her own heart to a mortal, and making him immortal and suffer the fate of seeing his charge die over and over would be a blessing and not a sick, sadistic curse that would come to bite her in the ass once he became sick of his existence?

Etro isn't the smartest goddess in the universe. :mon:
 

Gary Caelum

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Gary Caelum
It was my impression that Caius killed himself because Noel told him that Yeul kept coming back because she wanted to see him. So he saw it as a way of trying to stop her coming back.
 

The Twilight Mexican

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TresDias
Well, the problem with Yeul is...

Yeul is the only person who is truly reincarnated completely by Etro with the same heart over and over (or in the western release "soul") out of the chaos. She technically was the first person ever fashioned from the blood of Etro and given a heart, and when she died, Etro took pity on her loneliness and gave her the "gift" to be reborn over and over so she could never be lonely and thanks to this, be with Caius forever.

This is a serious problem however.

Yeul's heart constantly splinters with each death and creates innumerable, distinct copies of this same woman who lived. They all retain their sense of self and unique characteristics in life because the same heart comes back to the Unseen Chaos over and over, creating more Yuel copies that do not diffuse and instead remain distinct, and individual from the whole.

Imagine if Sephiroth was able to send his core spirit energy to be reborn back to the planet over and over, and every time it died it's new memories, experiences and everything else came back to the planet, stayed distinct from the previous copy, and the cycle repeated over and over as long as life existed on the planet. And all the Sephiroths stayed put in the lifestream, continuously aware and cognizant.

Eventually you'd have a surplus of spirit Sephiroths who's wills are unable to diffuse into the collective flow of souls, and theyare able to tilt the balance of spirit energy in the cycle. Like thick, stagnant fluid that's in a pool but settled at the bottom, which threatens to displace the cleaner water by forcing it out of the limited sized container.

That's what Yeul ended up doing as a collective force.

Etro, (who's really a very shortsighted and clumsy goddess tbh :mon: ) created the problem of having difficulty in holding back the Unseen Chaos because too many Yeul's were created by her constantly living short-lived lives and remaining distinct from the flow of chaos. Because these numerous "dead" Yeuls in the chaos remain distinct and aware, they are able to control the chaos as its embodiment and some have turned dark and even held a grudge. When Etro proceeded to intervene and free Lightning and her friends from their Crystal Stasis, some of the Yeuls as chaos dragged Lightning into Valhalla and from there proceeded to fuck up her fate and that's where she ends up having her adventure and shit from XIII-2 on.

What's not fully explained until Lightning Returns and in the subsequent novella of XIII-2, is that while most of the Yeuls that exist are pure-hearted and kind, there exists Yeuls who are bitter, vindictive, sorrowful and full of spite. These are the Yeuls who curse their fate and wish to have Caius succeed in his goal. The "shadow" Yeul is the one that taunted Lightning and said Serah would join them, kept Snow in place at the Colosseum unable to help Serah in the final battle, and manifested the voice telling Serah and Noel to go back and not to interfere at the Academia in 500AF. She's the one that sends the two boss monsters after them too.

And she is the Yeul who wants to keep Caius in the chaos forever because they refuse to let him go.

In short, because Yeul kept being reborn with the same heart, the heart would keep getting copied, and it would never diffuse into the chaos. Because Yeul would never get diffused and would be copied, those copies just exist in the chaos, multiplying with each short lifespan she's born with, and thanks to never diffusing, they were able to embody and manipulate the chaos. This creates an unstable situation and allowed for the chaos to spill out, fuck up reality, and in the end, undoing the universal balance of chaos.
At first, I wasn't convinced by this "copy and overflow" explanation, because I had just read over the Datalog for both XIII-2 and LR again -- neither of which mention anything of the sort. :monster:

In fact, I was given the opposite impression regarding each Yeul's memories being copied since they're all individuals with different personalities, hobbies, etc. However, upon rewatching the Temple of the Goddess segment of LR, I noticed this easily forgotten line from one of the Yeuls encountered in the temple:

"With all the memories of our predecessors, we are reborn over and over."

So, there we have it. :monster:

This may even be the only time this gets said. So kudos to you for remembering!

The only detail it appears you have slightly askew is the reason for Yeul's reincarnation. Etro didn't give her soul this "gift" so she could be with Caius. Many Yeuls and past Guardians had already existed prior to his birth.

Makoeyes987 said:
The real question is, why would Etro think giving her own heart to a mortal, and making him immortal and suffer the fate of seeing his charge die over and over would be a blessing and not a sick, sadistic curse that would come to bite her in the ass once he became sick of his existence?

Etro isn't the smartest goddess in the universe. :mon:
Isn't it the thought that counts?

:monster:
 

Makoeyes987

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Well I've replayed Lightning Returns at least 3 times over and over in regards to unlocking stuff for lolz so I would hope I remembered its plot stuff by now :mon:

And the Caius' part with Yeul is one of my fav parts of the game xDDD

I think there's also a line Lightning says to Hope over their direct line as she explores the temple which exclaims her realization about how the Unseen Chaos is Yeul and it's become like a cancer of pain and suffering etc etc...

If XIII were my first FF it's likely it'd be my favorite, honestly. I just love the lore and characters.

But yeah, the datalogs unfortunately miss important shit especially in regards to that localization difference between hearts/souls. The datalog of LR isn't as good as the other two games imo.
 
Yes, Mako's explanation was great, wasn't it?

Etro was lying about her heart being only destroyed willingly in order to stop Caius from killing himself? It's not like there's precedent for it.

Wasn't the point of the Noel duel that Noel would inherit Etros heart? Y'all are much better versed in the lore than me, so I could be misremembering.

Mwynn having control over the Chaos and not being able to save herself from it isn't necessarily contradictory, a previous catastrophe might have overwhelmed her with too much at once like would eventually happen to Etro.

Re giving the heart to Caius, it depends on what the alternatives were. The Seeress needs a powerful bodyguard to avert any number of catastrophes across the timeline. The tradeoff is it sucks to be him, and he might eventually turn on me, but otherwise thousands of Yeuls are murdered in their crib.
 

Makoeyes987

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That is a possibility, yes.

As shown in one of the paradox endings, if Noel actually fights Caius when he asks him to after initially refusing (specifically in the instance in the Dying World after Noel and Serah are seemingly killed in the Void Beyond and are trapped in their hellscape-like worlds) and somehow he manages to beat him, the heart of Etro flies into his chest and he becomes immortal and Caius seemingly dies.

I think for Etro to completely be killed, her heart has to be stabbed and utterly destroyed.

However, here's the thing.

I think at one point in time, Caius wasn't so much interested in killing Etro, as just being freed of life.

Caius was tired of living, and tired of seeing Yeul die over and over. He honestly believed he should've been dead way back when he somehow got lucky and won the duel he technically lost. Then he gets thrust into immortality and suffers for it. At first he finds hope in Noel and him inheriting the burden of being a Guardian. When Noel refuses yet still wishes to be a Guardian, Caius reveals how he has Etro's Heart in his chest and that as long as he does, nothing will end and if Noel wishes to end the cycle of Guardianship, he has to destroy the heart. Noel refuses that as well, and Caius finally gets fed up. Seeing as how Noel just won't budge and give him what he wants, decides to take matters into his own hands.

And when Caius decides something, he goes 100%. :mon:

I don't know what alternatives Etro could have done, but it just seems like an extremely stupid idea. I mean, there's a reason why a lot of characters call Etro a foolish goddess. At the same time, it strikes me that she was young and inexperienced with her powers. Like, she had an affection and care for humanity, but she didn't quite understand said humans or think out what her actions would cause. Yeah, she needed a guardian to protect Yeul, but at the same time, Yeul was gonna die young anyways so... :mon: I mean, she had the Eyes of Etro so it's not like her life was gonna be long to protect.

I dunno, I suppose it's a Catch-22. But I just don't see her "gift" as anything but a bad idea, nor something she should've assumed a person would want in acknowledgment of their hard work :mon:
 
Is there anything other than Caius' loyalty keeping him with Yeul? He could just wander off and spent eternity playing poker or doing fun stuff that being an immortal badass allows you to do. Immortality by itself is a decent reward for some people.

Someone like Yeul needs a skilled bodyguard, because her job entails speaking truth to power, always a dangerous pursuit. In order to keep the timeline on course, she has to be able to speak without her head being mounted on a gate.

Maybe the heart had to be destroyed while refused a new 'home' in order for it to succeed, and Caius didn't fully understand this, Noel being the kind of person who won't kill even to become immortal?
 

Makoeyes987

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Caius cares about Yeul.

And Yeul cares for and clings to Caius.

And
Yeul will never let go of Caius. She loves him and will never let him fade or fully die no matter what his feelings are on the matter. He's trapped for all intents and purposes in the Unseen Chaos with her, but he really doesn't mind in the end since he'll guard her and ensure the chaos stays where it belongs especially since in the end she won't be reincarnated forever anymore.

In regards to Etros heart, as long as the heart was fully destroyed either through his choice or not, she dies and it all comes crashing down. I think the reason it flew into Noel's heart in that paradox ending, is because it was "one guardian taking the role from another" as per the tradition/ritual their tribe states. Noel beat Caius in a fated one-on-one fight, Caius was bested, and the heart went to the next supposed successor. If that makes sense. :mon:
 

Makoeyes987

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I know, the irony is hilarious isn't it? Although to be fair, I see it as FFXIII < FFXIII-2 < Lighting Returns in terms of prefence and I wrote that before XIII-2 but..

I gave the games a chance later on when I was ready to and I fell in love with it all :mon:

At least I admit it!
 
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JechtShotMK9

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Kamiccolo9
I love this series. XIII-2 is my favorite, but I think they are all pretty good.

Really wanting to play them again, now. Not sure if my computer can handle them, though, and Squeenix seems to not want to make them accessible for PS4 peoples.
 
Yeul is a yandere, methinks.

Also she has two men she loves, she's having an affair with Noel.

(I am strongly STRONGLY kidding!)
Probably true for at least one of her.

Re Caius/Yeul, Etro could probably say he could take gambling holidays if he really wanted to.

XIII has some of the best storytelling in the series, IMO, they just slipped up on varying the gameplay a bit.

How do y'all manage to pull up a specific post from years ago at the drop of a hat? Is it possible to learn this power?
 
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