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Arks (アークス, Aakusu?) are Gran Pulse armories in Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2. Only two Arks are seen throughout the two games: the Fifth Ark, which was hidden underneath Eden by Barthandelus, and the Thirteenth Ark that floats above Academia four centuries after the events of the first game. A location called the Seventh Ark was considered to be a downloadable location if DLC was to make an appearance in Final Fantasy XIII. There, Lightning and her companions would fight powerful enemies. This never materialized, but later hackers have unveiled the location as dummied content.
They say the fal'Cie made the Arks in preparation for battle against the menace that lurks beyond. Where is this "beyond" of which they speak? Do they mean Cocoon, and the demons that dwells within? If so, they are mistaken. The legends of the Arks date far before that sphere was even crafted; whispers even hint at Arks displaced around the time of Cocoon's creation, spirited away to be hidden in its shell.
What, then, is the "menace"? What distant threat confronts us, and to what purpose? The gods vanished from this place. Are they now residents of the "beyond"?
- —On the Nature of Fal'Cie
According to legend, Arks are Gran Pulse's floating armories that hold living weapons in stasis in preparation for war with outside forces. Arks are hidden all around the world and most of their locations are unknown. Arks were built by the fal'Cie thousands of years ago, and even though their purpose is a mystery to humankind, they are used for training l'Cie to become strong enough to fulfill their Focus. Each Ark possesses an item known as a Graviton Core that enables it to float in midair.
Gran Pulse citizens had searched for the legendary Arks, but never found them. On Cocoon, Lightning's party can visit one of them, the Fifth Ark, hidden under Eden. This may explain why Gran Pulse citizens never found the Arks, if many were, in fact, brought to Cocoon by Barthandelus.
Even though the purpose of Arks is not revealed during Final Fantasy XIII, the official mythology on Fabula Nova Crystallis sheds some light to this issue: according to the mythology the god Bhunivelze created the world of Final Fantasy XIII in preparation to fight the goddess Mwynn.
After tasking the god Pulse to find a way to the dimension where Mwynn resided, Bhunivelze turned himself into a crystal to sleep until time would be ripe. It can be thus gathered that the Arks were, in fact, intended to be used in Bhunivelze's battle against Mwynn.
Noah carried seven pairs of each clean animal species and one pair of each unclean animal species, each pair a male and female, into a giant ship called the Ark. The Ark was built by God's command to survive the deluge He sent to purge the world from the sins committed by mankind.In the Bible,
- There being Thirteen Arks is an allusion to the number 13, a recurring theme in all three titled: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.