- “A mysterious man with an ominous presence clashes with Lightning, and later Noel and Serah. Caius makes for an intimidating sight as he bears down upon his enemies, brandishing his massive blade with ease. His icy exterior makes it impossible for others to read him, let alone approach him.”
- —Official Description
Caius Ballad (カイアス・バラッド, Kaiasu Baraddo?) is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XIII-2 who also appears in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Caius engages his fated rival, Lightning, in an endless battle in the realm of Valhalla, and follows Lightning's sister, Serah Farron and his former protégé, Noel Kreiss, on their journey through time.
Having lived since before the War of Transgression, Caius was originally a Gran Pulse l'Cie charged with protecting the seeress Yeul. He is Yeul's immortal Guardian and seeks to end the suffering she sustains by being endlessly reincarnated by killing the goddess Etro.
In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Caius continues to serve as Yeul's Guardian, and he faces Lightning in battle once more.
- See also: Datalog/Significant Persons
Caius Ballad is the man Serah saw in her dream, fighting with Lightning. In 200 AF, he appears with Yeul in the village of Oerba, and attempts to administer justice for Serah and Noel's crime of changing history.
Noel seems to know this dark warrior, but is unsettled to have encountered Caius in that time period.
Caius Ballad is a former l'Cie and the immortal Guardian of the seeress, Yeul.
Everything this man has done for the past several centuries has been for the purpose of freeing his charge from her curse of eternal reincarnation. If he can kill the goddess and send the artificial Cocoon plummeting into Pulse, the resulting flood of volatile chaos through Etro's Gate would shatter the boundary between Valhalla and the mortal realm. Life and death would cease to hold meaning, and Yeul's cruel fate would finally be undone. Or so Caius believes...
- See also: Fragment/Crimson Memories
Caius, the peerless hero celebrated in Paddra legend, was a Guardian, appointed to serve and protect the seeress. The sagas sung of his countless victories, of foes vanquished in the thousands. He was called 'Caius of the Ballads,' but despite his renown, none knew his true origin.
He took the name 'Ballad' because of the one battle that nearly killed him.
The foe was a fellow warrior of the Farseers. Overwhelmed by the strength and skill of his opponent, Caius was driven back and back, until it was only a matter of time before the final blow would fall. But their duel was interrupted by an enemy attack, and during the ensuing battle Caius's opponent gave his life defending the seeress. Caius believed that it was he who should have fallen in her defense. Thus, to honor the fallen warrior, he took his name.
- See also: Datalog/Characters
The man responsible for releasing the Chaos from the unseen realm and inviting the world's destruction. Immortal since ancient times, Caius served the seeress Yeul in her many incarnation. He vowed to save Yeul from the cruel cycle of endless death and rebirth.
Caius's plotting led to the downfall of the goddess Etro, and brought catastrophe. The unseen Chaos, released from Valhalla, now consumes the world.
He was defeated in his confrontation with Noel and he lost the heart, full of Chaos, which had kept him alive so long. He should have died then, and yet he appears once again. Are his crimes so great that even death will not take him?
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
- “Oblivion is the fate of all things.”
- —Caius to Lightning
Caius is a tall, slender, muscular man with purple eyes. He has shoulder-length purple hair adorned with feathers and tribal beads, with a long, purple and black headband to hold it back. His form-fitting black and purple armor resembles Bahamut, and he wears dark boots lined with white fur. The Etro script on the back of his armor translates to: "Undying Witness of Infinite Fate". It is said the eye on the hilt of his sword is the eidolith capable of summoning Bahamut, a gift from Etro when he served as a l'Cie. Caius can perform an incarnate summoning, which allows him to fuse with Bahamut and become Chaos Bahamut. His appearance is identical to Bahamut's in Final Fantasy XIII, only with a darker color scheme.
Caius is a warrior of equal strength to Lightning. Being immortal, he has gained knowledge of every possible scenario in the timeline and uses it to his advantage. He is generally calm and serious, rarely displaying emotion, making it difficult to tell what his thoughts or intentions are. Noel describes Caius as someone who prefers to personally take action instead of having others do the dirty work for him, and says he is like "the calm before the storm", as he may remain silent until seeing a weakness in his enemies, and once he does, he will expose it without mercy. As his goal draws nearer, he becomes visibly emotional, ultimately revealing himself as a determined and single-minded man who has been consumed by sorrow and rage over the centuries.
In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Caius retains his original appearance. No longer having a single-minded goal, Caius has lost his drive and become cynical, reacting to Lightning and the world's condition with spite. Still unable to die, he sees his predicament impossible to escape from, and thus exists in perpetual state of suffering.
- “I shall remember your pain. It will be carved in my heart. Together with the memories of every other Yeul, cursed to die this way.”
- —Caius to Yeul after her death in Augusta Tower in 200 AF
Born prior to the War of Transgression, Caius was a member of the Farseers, the oldest tribe on Gran Pulse. The Farseers were led by a seeress Paddra Nsu-Yeul, who was gifted with the Eyes of Etro and thus able to see changes in the timeline and make prophecies of the future. Caius was made a l'Cie after killing Yeul's previous Guardian, succeeding the role. One day, Caius dueled with a formidable fellow warrior of the Farseers. Overwhelmed by his opponent's strength and skill, Caius was driven back until an enemy army invaded Paddra looking for the seeress, interrupting the duel before the final blow could be dealt. In Yeul's defense, Caius's opponent sacrificed himself to protect her.
Believing he should have been the one to die, Caius honored the fallen warrior by taking on his last name, 'Ballad'. To protect Yeul himself, Caius performed an incarnate summon to destroy the enemy forces, a skill that let him become one with his Eidolon, but would cost him his life. Etro, moved by Caius's dedication, freed him from his fate as a l'Cie and infused her heart, the Heart of Chaos, into his body, making him immortal so he could protect every incarnation of Yeul until the end of time. Although given as an act of benevolence, Caius would come to see his eternal life as a curse due to the madness he would have to endure.
The city of Paddra fell in a civil war that broke out due to the seeress's prophecy of its fall, and Yeul cast away her role as the leader of Paddra. Her followers became nomads, and Caius remained at her side as her eternal Guardian. Whenever a Yeul would die a new one would be born, and though essentially the same, Caius saw each incarnation of Yeul for her uniqueness as he committed every one of her prophecies to memory while forced to witness her death countless times. Over time, Caius is driven mad and longs for both himself and Yeul to be released from the cycle.
Starting in 3 AF, Caius watches over Noel and Serah's progress alongside different incarnations of Yeul. Noel and Serah are time travelers who seek a way to Valhalla to reunite with Serah's sister Lightning and prevent a bleak future, but every change in the timeline they make causes Yeul to witness it, shortening her lifespan. As a seeress, she is forbidden from influencing the timeline to save herself, and Caius, as her Guardian, follows suit.
In 200 AF, Caius reveals himself to Noel and Serah during their visit to Oerba. Noel mistakes Caius for the one he once knew in 700 AF, although this is still in Caius's future. As Yeul had told him of Serah and Noel's actions across time, believing them to have been the cause of the temporal anomalies that threaten the timeline, Caius engages them in battle, but before he can deal the final blow, Yeul intervenes, saying time has already been changed. Caius relents and leads Yeul away through a portal so she would not see the future any further.
Caius takes Yeul to Augusta Tower at her request and allows her to meet with Noel and Serah in private and reveal his nature as her immortal Guardian. Yeul gives them an artefact that opens a Time Gate to the Proto fal'Cie Adam, and tells Serah and Noel they have the power to restore the timeline. Noel and Serah set out again, and the subsequent change in the timeline triggers another vision, killing Yeul. Caius laments on her short life and resolves to remember her pain before carrying away her body.
Two hundred years later in the city of Academia, Noel and Serah are surrounded by countless Cie'th and approached by Caius, who claims they were killed in the Augusta Tower after having learned of the "forbidden history". Because they stand before him alive and well, he accuses the two of being paradoxes. Noel finds Caius's behavior to be unlike him, and Noel and Serah pursue him through the city, learning from a Yeul who perishes after an attack from Zenobia that the Caius they were chasing was not the real Caius, and that he was never in the city.
By 700 AF, Caius is among the last remaining humans in the world as Noel is born in the Farseer tribe. Seeing that Noel is the one with the potential to free him from his curse, Caius takes the boy under his wing to serve as Yeul's protector. Upon learning Noel had single-handedly defeated a Behemoth Caius acknowledges he is ready to become the one true Guardian, and tells Noel he must kill him just as Caius had once killed his predecessor. Refusing to succeed him that way, Noel tells Caius about his plan of going on a journey with Yeul to find other people so she will not be lonely anymore, but Caius says it is a futile dream. After revealing his death and Etro's demise are the only way Yeul can be saved, Noel's continued refusal to kill him drives Caius to force Noel to fight.
Defeating Noel, Caius sees the boy is not strong enough kill him as he is now, and so departs for Valhalla after telling Noel that Yeul's feelings over his actions mean nothing to him, as his only goal is that she will be free upon Etro's death. Leaving Yeul's side as her Guardian, Caius finds his way to Valhalla where Etro resides with the intent to kill her. Back in the Dying World Yeul dies and passes on to Valhalla, and Caius rests her lifeless body in the sea of Chaos along Valhalla's shore and she disperses into light. He sees Yeul's implanted vision of the crystallized Cocoon crashing into Gran Pulse and a glimpse of Etro's shrine and summons an army of Rift Beasts to enact his war on Etro.
Caius challenges Etro's protector Lightning to battle, and as she and Caius meet face-to-face he grabs her gunblade and aims it at his Heart of Chaos, which begins to glow. When Lightning backs away in shock, Caius transforms into Chaos Bahamut and sends Lightning flying over Valhalla as they continue their duel. Noel falls from the sky through Etro's Gate, the goddess having answered his prayer to gain the power of chaos to follow Caius. Lightning saves Noel as Caius pursues the two in the form of Chaos Bahamut and engages her in an aerial dogfight. Lightning defeats him, but he reappears and summons a meteor above the shrine. Lightning asks Noel to bring her sister, Serah, to Valhalla, and sends him through a Time Gate to New Bodhum 3 AF where Noel will begin his journey through time with her.
As mentioned in the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega Scenario Interview, the battle between Caius and Lightning is in an endless loop that would have continued for eternity. The loop is broken when Lightning is caught off guard after having a vision of Serah dying, allowing Caius to strike her down. Assuming Lightning is dead and will not interfere, Caius uses his knowledge of foresight over the ages to create a series of paradoxes to shape the timeline and create the right circumstances to execute his plan to force Etro's Gate to open so the chaos of Valhalla can enter Gran Pulse. As explained in Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega, even though Caius cannot time travel, once his preparations are complete the place and time of his plan will become so badly affected by the chaos he will be able to enter there from Valhalla. Like Lightning can contact Serah and Snow in a dream from Valhalla, so can Caius send messages to his past selves from Valhalla to bring together his plan.
Having learned of Lightning's gambit, Caius takes advantage of Alyssa Zaidelle, whose extended life is a paradox, in Academia 4XX AF. Caius has Alyssa give a booby-trapped artefact to Noel and Serah, and when the two use the artefact to open a Time Gate they are separated in the Historia Crux and end up somewhere within the Void Beyond, where they are ambushed by a future incarnation of Caius who first defeats Noel and places him in a dream world. That Caius is later summoned by one of the Yeuls within the Void Beyond to engage Serah. Stating how impressed he is by Serah's strength, Caius explains Etro's interference with the events of the Day of Ragnarok caused a time distortion that cut Yeul's lives short, along with his intent to kill Etro, before impaling Serah and sending her to a dream world of her own.
Serah and Noel escape their respective dream worlds and pursue Caius to Academia 500 AF, the time of the prophecy when Caius plans to destroy both the old and new Cocoons so the countless extinguished lives would force Etro's Gate wide open. As Academia is so badly infected with chaos Caius is able to arrive there from Valhalla. Serah and Noel chase after Caius into the sky on an airship and defeat him as Chaos Bahamut. Caius returns to human form and admits he is impressed by Serah's determination to change the future even if it means her death due to being a seeress herself. Caius remarks Noel would have made a worthy Guardian and says everything he ever did was for Yeul. Believing the Yeuls being born only to die young is meaningless and cruel, Caius reaffirms he will stop at nothing to free them, even if reality itself must be destroyed to achieve it. He transforms into Chaos Bahamut and flies into a wormhole that opens in the sky.
Noel and Serah follow Caius into the wormhole and emerge in Valhalla, where Caius confronts them on the beach. Noel attempts to convince Caius that Yeul continued to be reborn out of her own will to see him again, but Caius refuses to listen. After being struck down by Noel, Caius uses the chaos of Valhalla to transform into Jet Bahamut and launches a ball of fire at Noel and Serah sending them falling into a bottomless abyss beneath Valhalla's waves of chaos. The two are saved by Lightning, who sends them to the battlefield where the two defeat Jet Bahamut, along with his supporters, Garnet Bahamut and Amber Bahamut.
Having lost the final battle, a weakened Caius returns to human form. He tells Noel that if it is his fault Yeul keeps being reborn, he must be killed for her sake. He claims he had killed Lightning, and says that since time does not flow in Valhalla as it should, the "things that shall happen" in their future have "already been decided" in his past, and he knows how their encounter will end. Caius provokes Noel by attacking Serah. Noel disarms Caius and lunges at him with his sword, but stops himself at the last second. Caius seizes Noel's blade and forces it through his chest to destroy the Heart of Chaos, then collapses and fades away.
As revealed in the secret ending, "The Goddess is Dead", a revived Caius sits on Etro's throne in the Void Beyond. Though the Heart of Chaos was destroyed, hinted in the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania scenario interview, Caius has obtained a new form of immortality as he became one with the chaos itself since the many incarnations of Yeul desire his continued existence. As elaborated in Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega, he intended to destroy the world in a way that would minimize any temporal effects, and watched Noel and Serah's journey as they had been playing to his goal from the beginning. Even Serah and Noel's actions on alternate timelines all converged and concluded with one moment: Etro's death. Telling Yeul they are free of their respective curses and can begin anew in a world without Etro, Caius releases the chaos to commence the end of time.
Able to appear at the beckoning of the Chaos Yeuls, as seen when he attacked Serah in the Void Beyond, Caius is summoned to fight Lightning when she attempts to rescue Serah's soul. Though defeated, Caius's existence continues as the boundaries between the Mortal and Unseen Realms mingle.
- “In this dying world, nothing is more precious than time. Why do you waste it on me? Does my victory still sting? Do you seek vindication?”
- —Caius to Lightning
After Noel destroyed the Heart of Chaos within Caius, Etro was killed and the boundary between the Mortal and Unseen Worlds was destroyed and the Chaos of Valhalla bled into Gran Pulse, merging the two realms into a new world known as Nova Chrysalia, where people no longer age and cannot have children. For the next 500 years, Caius resides in what remains of Etro's Temple in the Wildlands from where the Chaos has been flowing. With the various incarnations of Yeul as his only company, Caius suffers due to his new existence as a personification of the Chaos he unleashed upon the world.
Lightning encounters Caius in the temple where he tells her no one there seeks her salvation. He infects her with Chaos and drops her to the temple's lowest level. Lightning is surprised he is not dead and Caius explains "they" are keeping him alive, doomed to haunt the temple's halls as it has become a shrine to Chaos. He disappears and Lightning pursues him deeper into the ruins, assisted by the many incarnations of Yeul he had protected throughout the centuries, some of whom wish for Caius to be freed from his suffering, while others admit their love for him has made them unable to let him go.
Lightning confronts Caius in the throne room, where he tells her not to waste her time on him and asks if she seeks revenge for suffering defeat at his hand centuries before. He refuses salvation from Lightning but she insists on trying because it's what Yeul wants and believes that freeing him would bring the Chaos under control, but Caius challenges her to take his soul by force. Once defeated, Caius impales himself and shows her he is beyond salvation.
He explains Yeul is the unseen Chaos and she has bound him to the dying world as her incarnations are not of one mind: some desire his prolonged suffering to end, while others wish him to remain by their side. He says that there is no place for Yeul in the new world that Bhunivelze is creating and they must remain behind when Nova Chrysalia is destroyed. Caius reveals he is nothing but an empty husk and intends to become a shepherd of the souls wandering in the Chaos. When Lightning asks if it is how he plans to atone for bringing about the end of the world, Caius demands that she leave and disappears.
Moments after Bhunivelze's defeat, Caius appears to Lightning and her friends alongside the many incarnations of Yeul. Caius says the living don't need a god but the dead require one, and the Yeuls declare their intent to take Etro's place to maintain the flow of life and the balance between the new world and the new Unseen Realm. As Noel protests the Yeuls' decision, Caius says Noel would have to die in Yeul's place and Noel complies. In a final act of redemption, Caius lets the final incarnation of Yeul depart with Noel to the new world and asks Noel to keep her safe, while he remains with the other Yeuls in the Unseen Realm.
Creation and DevelopmentEdit
Caius's armor was designed by Yusuke Naora, who also designed Serah's and Noel's outfits. Naora's design was chosen after several designs from various members of the development team were drawn and compared to select the best one (similar to Mog). Naora was inspired by Yoshitaka Amano for the look of Caius's armor and accessories — Leon from Final Fantasy II was particularly inspiring.
According to lead writer, Daisuke Watanabe, Caius is a unique villain in the Final Fantasy series due to his main objective being to save Yeul, as opposed to trying to destroy the world. Thus Caius doesn't necessarily appear as a "bad" person, and he was made to come across as a bewildering enemy to players.
Caius shares his English voice actor, Liam O'Brien, with Red XIII from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Kain Highwind from the 3D remake version of Final Fantasy IV and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Cu Chaspel from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates, and Nobutsuna Kamiizumi from Bravely Default.
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- Main article: Caius's Theme
"Caius's Theme", composed by Naoshi Mizuta, is a prominent theme in Final Fantasy XIII-2, it and its variations playing whenever Caius appears. "Caius's Theme" is included in "Promise to the Future", "Endless Paradox", and the "Closing Credits".
The song is reused in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Variations of it are heard in "The Doomed Soul -Caius and Yeul-", the final boss theme "Almighty Bhunivelze" and the ending theme, "Credits ~Light Eternal~".
Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit
- See also: Caius Ballad (Final Fantasy XIII-2 Boss), Chaos Bahamut (Final Fantasy XIII-2), and Jet Bahamut
Even in his human form, Caius can cast powerful magic and use chaos to suit his needs and assume the form of Chaos Bahamut, and later that of Jet Bahamut. In his human form, Caius is fought by Serah and Noel five times: in Oerba 200 AF, the Void Beyond, Dying World, Academia 500 AF, and Valhalla. As Chaos Bahamut, Caius is fought by Lightning in Valhalla in the prologue, and by Noel and Serah in Academia 500 AF. With the Paradox Scope activated, defeating Caius will trigger various paradox endings.
If the three battles against Caius activated by the Paradox Scope are counted separately from the six times he is fought during the story and during the "Requiem of the Goddess" DLC, Caius holds the record of being the most recurring boss in a single Final Fantasy game, with a grand total of nine battles. The number increases to thirteen if one counts the four battles against Chaos Bahamut and Jet Bahamut. The second most recurring boss is Final Fantasy X-2's Ormi, with seven battles.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIIEdit
- Main article: Caius Ballad (Lightning Returns Boss)
Caius is fought as a boss in Etro's Temple on the Wildlands. He has lost his ability to perform an incarnate summoning, but can still summon Bahamut like a regular l'Cie.
Caius is a boss appearing both as a regular Esper class battle during the holiday event "Chaos Bahamut Attacks!", and as an area boss in Academia (Day) and Academia (Night).
Caius appears in the Japan-exclusive Final Fantasy trading card game published by Square Enix.
Caius is an alternate spelling of Gaius, a common Roman given name. It was a praenomen of many famous Romans throughout history, including Julius Caesar, and through his line, Augustus Caesar and Caligula, Gaius Cassius Longinius (a leading conspirator in Julius Caesar's assassination), and Gaius Cornelius Tacitus, the famous historian. Coincidentally, a villain from Final Fantasy XIV uses this alternative spelling for his given name.
Caius's name means "to be sorry" in Russian (Я каюсь), possibly a reference to how he feels apologetic for the fate of Yeul and wants to save her.
The name Caius could be a direct or indirect reference to "chaos", for reasons related to his persona and/or attacks.
Caius's last name, Ballad, could come from the French word ballade, which means either a little song, or a poetic form. A ballad is characterized by describing unusual events; "divine" powers are frequently mentioned in them, which may allude to how Caius's power and immortality.
- The name of the sword that Caius wields is never revealed in Final Fantasy XIII-2. His sword appears in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade being simply called Caius's Sword. Caius's sword is called Chaos's Revenge in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
- During a scene in the Void Beyond, Caius and Serah are seen back to back, similar to a scene featuring him and Lightning during their battle in Valhalla, and also to his debut appearance in the game's first trailer.
- Caius putting Yeul to rest in the ocean in Valhalla at the start of Final Fantasy XIII-2 mirrors the scene where Cloud rests Aerith in the lake in the Forgotten Capital in Final Fantasy VII.
- Caius freezing time while fighting Serah is reminiscent of the fight between Squall and Ultimecia in Dissidia Final Fantasy.
- In the bestiary, Caius is listed under the section "Protector", rather than "Guardian".
- Some people in Academia 4XX AF claim they've seen "a man in black armor and a girl with green eyes" on the city's outskirts, referring to Caius and Yeul. A boy who claims this says the man must be "a bad guy", as only bad guys wear black.
- When asked if Hope knows Caius in a Live Trigger scene in the Yaschas Massif 1X AF, he recalls reading about a man with the name of Paddra Ballad-Caius.
- In the "Requiem of the Goddess" DLC, Caius changes between Commando, Ravager, and Medic roles, Lightning's primary paradigm roles in Final Fantasy XIII.
- Caius was voted as "Best Villain" in Game Informer's 2012 RPG of the Year Awards.
- Caius is both the first boss and the final boss, similarly to Garland, the villain of the first Final Fantasy.
- ↑ http://www.novacrystallis.com/2011/09/final-fantasy-xiii-2-interview-with-director-motomu-toriyama-and-battle-director-yusuke-matsui/
- ↑ The Complete Official Guide to FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 (Piggyback Interactive), p318
- ↑ http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/12/25/2012-rpg-of-the-year-awards.aspx?PostPageIndex=2