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Bodhum (臨海都市ボーダム, Rinkaitoshi Bōdamu?) [boʊdəm], known as Bowdam in Japan, is a location in Final Fantasy XIII. It is the hometown of Lightning, her sister Serah, Serah's fiancé Snow Villiers, and the resistance group NORA.
Bodhum is a seaside town that, prior to the game, contained ruins that Barthandelus had relocated from Gran Pulse; within the ruins slumbered the Pulse fal'Cie, as well as Vanille and Fang. Bodhum is famous for its annual fireworks display, which has become a popular tourist attraction. The town is guarded by the local unit of the Guardian Corps where Lightning works as a soldier.
- See also: Datalog/Locales (Final Fantasy XIII)
The modest city by the sea is the hometown of Lightning and Serah, as well as that of Snow and the members of NORA. Known for its relaxing, resort-like atmosphere, the location is a popular destination for vacationers.
Bodhum's largest tourist draw is its annual beachfront fireworks display, but this year's event was ruined by the discovery of the Pulse fal'Cie within the nearby Vestige. The Sanctum quarantined the city on the day after the discovery, announcing its plan to Purge Bodhum's entire population, along with the hapless tourists, to Pulse.
Vanille and Fang awake from their 500 year-long crystal stasis within the Bodhum Vestige. The next day, Lightning is rescued by Snow and NORA. She attempts to persuade Snow to stop being involved with Serah, but he rubs off her demands. The day after, Serah notices the door to the Vestige has opened and goes inside to explore, but is branded a Pulse l'Cie by Anima, a Pulse fal'Cie residing in the Vestige. After exploring the town over the last two days, Fang and Vanille return to the Vestige to find the newly-branded Serah unconscious. They carry her outside and watch her come to and leave.
Two days later, Vanille gets separated from Fang following the events at Euride Gorge, and returns to the Bodhum Vestige. Another two days later, Serah reveals her l'Cie status to Snow, who offers to help her figure out her Focus. Nine days after waking from crystal stasis, Vanille scrapes her leg on the beach and is aided by Serah. The two become friends, and Vanille tries to apologize to Serah for her part in the girl's branding, but Serah does not understand. The next day, Serah and Snow shop for a birthday present for Lightning. Unknown to Serah, Snow slips away and buys them engagement necklaces, while she gets Lightning a survival knife.
The annual fireworks festival is attended by the entire playable cast as well as Nora Estheim, Dajh Katzroy, and Serah: Serah accepts Snow's marriage proposal, Vanille wishes for Cocoon's safety, Hope Estheim and his mother Nora watch the fireworks, Fang is searching for Vanille, Lightning learns about the Euride incident from her superior, Amodar, who warns her not to get involved, and Sazh Katzroy and his son Dajh watch the fireworks, accompanied by Jihl Nabaat.
Unknown to everyone, PSICOM discovers the Pulse fal'Cie in the Vestige. The next day, Serah tells Lightning about being a l'Cie and her engagement to Snow, but Lightning doesn't believe Serah and drives her away. Snow proposes that he and Serah go back to the Vestige to find out Serah's Focus, but the town is under lock-down and the Vestige is off-limits. Snow and Serah are pursued by soldiers, and Serah ends up being taken captive by the Pulse fal'Cie. Lightning learns about the fal'Cie's discovery and realizes Serah was telling the truth. Snow finds Lightning and tells her about Serah's capture.
The next day, the Sanctum begins the Purge, forcing all the residents and tourists in Bodhum to board trains headed for Gran Pulse. To save Serah, Lightning resigns from the Guardian Corps, lines up on the train platform, and is joined by Sazh. As Vanille lines up, she bumps into Hope and Nora, and chooses to go with them. Once the deportees have been loaded, the Purge train leaves Bodhum and travels to the Hanging Edge.
In Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i-, it is revealed that Bodhum is one of the places to sustain heavy damage from the fall of Cocoon, but as its entire population was moved way by the Purge, there were almost no casualties. The novel Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After also reveals that Bodhum was the crash site for Eden after Orphan's defeat.
Over the next three years, by the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2, the former denizens of Bodhum have built a town alongside the NORA members named similarly to their original hometown on the shores of Gran Pulse called New Bodhum.
The meaning of the Turkish word Bodhum is subterranean vault or basement.
- One of the concept artworks of Bodhum actually reveals that the Cocoon fal'Cie residing in Bodhum is Siren. In the game, she can be noticed during the flashback when Serah tells Snow about her l'Cie status, but inaccurately.
- According to the image from Final Fantasy XIII Scenario Ultimania, Bodhum is located on an island.
- The player can only explore Bodhum's beach in control of Snow, through one of his flashbacks.
- One of the servers of Final Fantasy XIV was named Bodhum.
- In the Brain Blast quiz in Final Fantasy XIII-2, it is stated that Bodhum had The Flying Tortoise Hotel which was booked till the end of time due to having an aerial hot tub as its attraction.
- Bodhum's annual fireworks festival is based on a Japanese cultural tradition. Originally used to ward off evil spirits, fireworks have a long history in Japan and hundreds of firework shows are held every year across the country, mainly during the summer holidays. The Bodhum fireworks festival's wish-making tradition may have derived influence from the real world Tanabata festival, said to occur on the day the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi meet, making wishes come true for only this single day a year. The most famous of Tanabata festivals, the Sendai Tanabata Festival, includes firework shows to its festivities.