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Alyssa Zaidelle

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It's my friend's. She died here. Running from the Purge. And me? I'm one of those who survived.
—Alyssa to Serah
One of the young Academy researchers. Bright and cheerful, she is a popular figure within the institute. She is also a smart and canny scientist, and she has become Hope's trusted assistant.
—Online Description

Alyssa Zaidelle is a major supporting character from Final Fantasy XIII-2. As a member of the Academy, she starts as a trainee but climbs the ranks and becomes the assistant of its leader, Hope Estheim. Together, they help Noel and Serah in their journey to change the future. Despite this, she can also be considered an antagonist as much as she can be considered a protagonist because she betrays Serah, Noel, and Hope by purposefully giving Serah and Noel a false artefact.

DatalogEdit

Alyssa has been promoted to Hope's main assistant, and is the foremost researcher in the field of Time Gates and paradoxes. It was her report on the events that took place in the Bresha Ruins in 5 AF that caught Hope's attention and led to her rapid rise in the Academy.

There are some who believe she is using Hope to further her own ambitions, but her knowledge of spacetime theory is such that the young director entrusts her with an entire branch of research.

Idea Circuit
The A.Z. Files
I got a message the other day, and when I saw who it was from, well golly, I nearly keeled over in surprise. It was from Hope Estheim himself! I remember when Elida used to be classmates with him in middle school. It's hard to forget the names of the people who were involved in the catastrophe.
Anyway, he said he was really interested in my report about the gates, and wanted to know if I'd be willing in joining his team. Team Alpha. Wow. With them, I'd have all the resources I need to continue my research.
Enigma Codex
The A.Z. Files
We're learning more and more about the properties of spacetime. We know that when the future is altered, the past is reorganized to maintain the logic of the timeline. Even people's memories are overwritten with the new reality. And we also know that multiple possibilities do not co-exist.
In the end, one timeline is chosen, and that becomes the true history.
I wonder what happens to the other possibilities, the ones that aren't chosen. And in which of the those worlds will I end up?
Difference Engine
The A.Z. Files
I still don't know if it was me or my friend who died that day. No matter how many times I check that gravestone, the doubts remain.
Timelines that are not chosen eventually disappear. Other possibilities only exist for as long as spacetime is broken. When the paradoxes are resolved, and the true timeline restored, will it be like the man in my dreams says it will? Will I disappear forever, gone even from the memories of the people who remain?

ProfileEdit

AppearanceEdit

AlyssaArtwork

Initially in 5 AF, Alyssa is a 19-year-old petite woman with blue eyes and short blonde hair. She wears a puff-sleeved yellow and white top with a light blue necktie, and a red vest tied in the back like a corset. She wears dark gray fingerless gloves, two red packs (one on a belt around her waist, and another on her upper right leg), small gray shorts, and black knee-high boots. From the years 10 to 13 AF, Alyssa ages to 24 and 27 years old, but physically remains the same.

PersonalityEdit

Director Hope! There you are! What were you thinking? Taking off and leaving me all on my own.
—Alyssa to Hope

As a researcher, Alyssa is popular within the Academy and seen as an idol; she is charming, bright, and always eager to help out her friends. She can express emotions in a broad manner and has an energetic and spunky disposition along with an adventurous curiosity. In Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After, it is revealed Alyssa is a good liar and believes lying to be a good way of moving forward, creating past lives and entertaining people. Her strong belief in lying is a result of her accompanying her father on his numerous travels around Cocoon because of his job.

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit

XIII-2

Sometimes, when it looks like all hope is lost, people can turn against each other. They end up full of hate. But really, when they stop and think about it, they're making themselves sad for no reason.
—Alyssa to Serah

During the events of Final Fantasy XIII, Alyssa became involved in the Purge when she visited her friend, Nena Stein, in Bodhum. She and Nena escaped and hid from the army with other Purgees, but they got buried under a pile of rubble in a cave-in. When the goddess Etro released the Pulse l'Cie who fought to defend Cocoon from crystal stasis, the resulting distortion of the timeline revived Alyssa. Since then, Alyssa has been having nightmares of her original fate and knew deep down she was living a lie.

Alyssa sees a gate

Alyssa notices Mog, Serah and Noel enter the Bresha Ruins.

In the Bresha Ruins 5 AF, Alyssa spots Serah, Mog, and Noel emerge from a Time Gate. When Atlas goes on a rampage, Alyssa approaches him out of curiosity, but is taken to safety by a soldier. After Noel and Serah are taken into custody, Alyssa frees them by claiming to the guard the two are invited guests of the Academy.

Alyssa gives Noel and Serah an Academy communicator to permit them access to the ruins, and explains she is helping them because she is interested in the gates and paradoxes. As long as Atlas is around causing trouble the ruins will be closed off, leaving her unable to get any answers, and Noel and Serah promise to put a stop to it. Alyssa keeps them up to date on the activity within the area through radio communication, asking them to let her know if they find a cemetery along the way.

Alyssa's past

Alyssa reveals her past to Serah and Noel.

After Serah and Noel defeat Atlas and restore the Bresha Ruins, they find a cemetery with an epitaph dedicated to the Purge victims. Alyssa is relieved her name is not on it and tells Noel and Serah it is Nena's resting place before revealing herself as a Purge survivor. Alyssa admits she dreamed of her spirit standing in front of the gravestone and seeing her name on it instead of Nena's, and after seeing it so many times, she started to think maybe she did die in the Purge. Alyssa says she will never forget the Purge even if everyone else does.

Alyssa documents the events at Bresha and gets a message from Hope, who is impressed by Alyssa's report on the Time Gates, and asks her to join his team. Now a part of Team Alpha as Hope's assistant, Alyssa has the tools she needs with her research. They learn the past is reorganized to maintain the logic of an altered future, and people's memories are overwritten accordingly. As multiple possibilities cannot co-exist and only one timeline is chosen as the true history, Alyssa wonders what happens to the other possibilities and which world she will end up in. She admits that despite not seeing her name on the Bresha Ruins gravestone she still doubts whether it was she or Nena who died in the Purge. Since certain possibilities can only exist as long as spacetime is broken, Alyssa wonders if she will disappear along with the memories of the people left behind if the paradoxes are resolved and the timeline restored, just like the mysterious man in her dreams tells her.

Alyssa reprimands Hope

Alyssa reprimands Hope for going off without her.

In the Paddra Ruins of the Yaschas Massif 10 AF, Serah and Noel learn about the Farseers and Oracle Drives from Hope and Alyssa. In the Yaschas Massif in 1X AF, the Oracle Drive projects images of Cocoon falling and the man who was seen fighting Lightning in Valhalla, whom Noel calls Caius. When Noel says the world in his time fell apart after Cocoon's fall, Alyssa panics and asks if that is going to happen soon. He says it will happen in a matter of centuries, and she is relieved. Serah proposes they prevent Cocoon from falling and Hope decides to get the Academy to help them, but Alyssa looks at them with a mysterious expression, as Hope's discoveries have made Alyssa realize she is alive because of a paradox. Thus Alyssa attempts to find the man from her dreams, Caius Ballad, as he may know a way for her to survive, but she cannot find him.

Alyssa turncoat

Alyssa's Duplicate reveals her true colors.

Three years later at 13 AF, Alyssa and Hope set up the Proto fal'Cie Project which would claim their lives in Augusta Tower. By 200 AF, Serah, Mog and Noel meet an artificial duplicate of Alyssa who projects a video of what happened to Hope and the real Alyssa. This triggers a chain of events leading to Serah getting Hope to cancel the project unknowingly negating his and Alyssa's deaths. Using a time capsule Hope invented, he and Alyssa venture 387 years into the future to Academia in 4XX AF. In Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After, it is revealed that while asleep in the time capsule Alyssa met Caius and got the Vagabond artefact from him to give to Serah and Noel to get rid of them.

In Academia 4XX, Hope and Alyssa meet Serah and Noel again. After Hope reveals the New Cocoon Project he is overseeing, Alyssa tells Noel and Serah that crystals called Graviton Cores can levitate the new Cocoon. After they return with the cores needed, Alyssa gives them the Vagabond Artefact and she and Hope go see them off by the new Time Gate. She says people turn against each other when they believe all hope is lost, but when they think about it, they do not understand why they let themselves be consumed by hate and despair. Hope reminisces of the time he almost lost his way and how his friends had helped him, and Alyssa reveals she and everyone else at the Academy knew about his plan to build the new Cocoon to free Fang and Vanille from the crystal pillar, but wanted to help him anyway.

Alyssa smirks

Alyssa betrays Serah and Noel.

As they go their separate ways promising to meet again a century in the future, Alyssa smirks with a grim expression, though Mog is the only one to notice. After Serah, Mog and Noel are separated in the Historia Crux due to having used the booby-trapped artefact, Alyssa apologizes for her betrayal, saying she will no longer exist in the future they are trying to make.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After reveals that after betraying Serah and Noel, Alyssa accompanies Hope to the Augusta Tower in the guise of aiding in his investigation of an intruder in the system; in actuality, Alyssa is setting up a trap for Hope with the duplicates. After disposing the attacking duplicates, Hope finds a digital diary belonging to Alyssa that reveals her hate-filled thoughts towards the Pulse l'Cie, her fears of being erased with another taking her place, and her plotting to kill Hope. When she holds Hope at gunpoint Alyssa begins to disappear as Serah and Noel have fixed the paradox that allowed her to survive the cave-in. Alyssa begs Hope not to forget her before she ceases to be.

Nearly everyone's memories of Alyssa are erased with only Hope and a few people in Academy headquarters having vague memories of her. In Fragments After, it is revealed that a century later at 500 AF, Alyssa has been replaced by an intern named Aina Stein, an implied descendent of her friend Nena.

FFXIII-2 Alyssa Paradox Ending

Alyssa is arrested in the paradox ending.

In the paradox ending, "The Future is Hope", an alternate timeline unravels Snow Villiers arrives with the Guardian Corps in time to stop Alyssa from giving Noel and Serah the Vagabond artefact and arrest her.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIIEdit

LR

LRFFXIII AZCoP

"Fading Prayer" request in the Canvas of Prayers.

Tell my boss—tell Hope Estheim—that it was an honor to work for him. Even if our time together never really existed...
—Quest Complete, "Fading Prayer"

In the global quest "Fading Prayer" on the Canvas of Prayers, under the initials A.Z., Alyssa establishes being in a dark place she identifies as the Chaos, maintaining that she died following the resolution of her paradox. She does not remember who she is, and asks Lightning to find an Old-Fashioned Photo Frame by the research camp in the Wildlands. After Lightning completes her request, Alyssa stares at the photograph, a picture of her and Hope standing side by side. She regains her memories and acknowledges she was never supposed to exist and only did so because of a distortion in spacetime. She requests Lightning to tell Hope it was an honor to work for him and that she cherished their time together, even if those moments were never supposed to exist.

Spoilers end here.

Creation and developmentEdit

Alyssa-concept-artwork-ffxiii2

Concept for Alyssa's apparel.

Alyssa was designed by Hideo Minaba.[1] In the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega scenario interview with Toriyama and Watanabe, it is revealed Alyssa was at first supposed to be a tough woman who would make fun of men and her relationship with Hope should have changed them both. Her personality was redesigned, however, as a character like that would have resembled too much of Jihl Nabaat.[2]

The Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega producer and director interview reveals scrapped plans for a Hope DLC scenario episode, involving a journey through the Augusta Tower. Players would have ventured through the tower, completing a number of Live Triggers as they did. The aim of DLC was to stop Alyssa from killing Hope and based on player's Live Trigger choices, the player would have either continued the game or receive a Game Over. However, this scenario was scrapped.[3]

VoiceEdit

In the Japanese version, she is voiced by Yōko Hikasa, while she is voiced by Kim Mai Guest in the English version.

GalleryEdit

EtymologyEdit

Alyssa is a name of multiple origins. In Greek, it means "rational," and in German it means "noble," "truth," or "of good cheer." It can also be derived from the name of the alyssum flower, which symbolizes "worth beyond beauty" and "against madness" as the flower was thought to be a cure for madness.

TriviaEdit

  • A non-playable character in the Yaschas Massif in 1X AF reveals that Alyssa shares several similarities with Hope: They are the same age, from Palumpolum, and were caught up in the Purge as victims of circumstance.
  • The Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania states that Alyssa is a mathematician.[4]
  • Alyssa shares the same English voice actor with Shalua Rui from Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.
  • The man hiding outside of the Academy headquarters in Academia 4XX AF has a crush on Alyssa and after the paradox resolves, he is one of the few people to remember her.
  • Captain Cryptic's Confounding Quiz reveals the name of Alyssa's friend who died during the Purge is Nena Stein.
  • If the player speaks to Hope after receiving the defective artefact from Alyssa, he states that although the AI of Augusta Tower may have been malfunctioning, he doubted this was merely chance and hints someone else may have had a hand in his supposed death, and the death of the other researchers as well.

ReferencesEdit


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