The Capital Liberation, also known as the Akademeia Liberation, is a military engagement between Dominion of Rubrum and Militesi Empire in Final Fantasy Type-0. In the game, it comprises the first chapter, as well as the first mission.
Cid Aulstyne, marshal of the Militesi Empire in the emperor's absence, wants to subjugate all the Crystals of Orience. He breaks the Pax Codex and sets out to invade Rubrum for its Vermilion Bird Crystal.
Militesi Empire deploys two crystal jammers to cut the Rubrum forces off from the Vermilion Bird Crystal, rendering their shields useless and making them unable to cast magic. As the Rubrum army relies on magic this cripples the forces. A group of youths tutored by archsorceress Arecia Al-Rashia is deployed to the battlefield in a top secret operation, as they can wield magic independent of the Crystal. Because the operation is top secret, the legionary leaders are only informed of this turn of events on the last minute. One of the cadets, Ace, requests that a soldier he's acquainted with, Izana Kunagiri, would be deployed as a scout to deliver a COMM to him to link the cadets to Operation HQ. Arecia agrees and Izana is deployed without the commandant's agreement.
Izana rides his chocobo Chichiri through the flaming battlefield but both are injured by Militesi forces. Izana asks for Ace for the Rubrum forces are burned alive before his very eyes. Izana rides Chichiri to find Ace but succumbs to his wounds and falls. Chichiri refuses to leave him and stays by his side. Izana calls for Ace who comes to him, but it is too late to save Izana who perishes. Ace take the communicator and Izana's Knowing Tag and all memory of Izana is removed from him by the Vermilion Bird Crystal.
The cadets infiltrate Militesi structures and disable the first crystal jammer. The White Tiger l'Cie Qun'mi Tru'e is deployed and attacks the Akademeia arena. Akademeia cadets Machina Kunagiri and Rem Tokimiya attempt to repel her, but Qun'mi's crystal jammer in her magitek armor disables them. Ace and two of his fellow cadets arrive to help and to Qun'mi's surprise they summon an Eidolon, Odin, at her. She is defeated and teleports to safety as her magitek armor and the crystal jammer within explode. With the power of the Vermilion Bird Crystal returning, the Militesi forces are driven out of the capital, but remain in possession of the towns in the Rubrum Region.
Reconstruction begins immediately after the liberation campaign. The arena of Akademeia was the only area of the magic academy that was damaged, and for the time being cadets cannot train there. The cadets who repelled the attack impressed the administration so much they are registered to Akademeia as Class Zero with Machina and Rem also joining them. As the Class Zero cadets are only ones able to withstand the effects of the crystal jammer, they are later deployed to battle to help retake the Rubrum Region.
Izana's death during the liberation becomes a turning point for both Ace and Machina, both of who have all memories of Izana removed from them. Machina soon learns his brother had died in the liberation, and attempts to look up information on him. Ace learns he was the one who had requested Izana be deployed, and becomes burned by the knowledge something he had asked that he no longer remembers led to Izana's death.
The liberation campaign was the point where Class Zero and their ability to circumvent the crystal jammer became known for both the Militesi Empire as well Rubrum forces.
- Aqu. XII The Akademeia Liberation
With Akademeia on the brink of capitulation, Dominion Central Command ordered all units to report to the capital and provide backup immediately. Unfortunately, the commandant did not issue the orders until after the crystal jammer had completely paralyzed Akademeia. The fall of the capital night inevitable, each unit was left to decide for itself how to advance.
Thus, the legions were unable to mount proper retreats, and rather than march on Akademeia, they were instead pursued there by the imperial militia. By the time the dominion units reached their destination, every squad had lost the majority of their forces.
Nevertheless, the sporadic attacks on the empire's rear guard slowed the imperial militia's progress, and the administration rightfully attributed the successful rescue of Akademeia to the actions of these dominion units. However, the liberation came at a great price: because all legionaries rallied at the capital, the entire dominion was left defenseless. Rubrum lost all of its territory, and the dominion legions effectively went out of existence.
The Capital Liberation event is featured as the opening movie of the game, with "The Beginning of the End" plays throughout the cinematic cutscene. Several arranged version of the theme such as "Divine Fire" and "Three Hours That Change the World" play during the first mission.