Wow! I didn't believe the rumors about crimson-clad cadets thrashing the White Tiger l'Cie, but here you are—Class Zero, in the flesh!
Class Zero (クラスゼロ, Kurasu Zero?) is the name given to the playable cast of Final Fantasy Type-0. They consist of fourteen cadets from Akademeia, the capital of the Dominion of Rubrum. Kurasame Susaya is their commanding officer while Moglin is their assigned moogle.
Class Zero have also been called "red demons" (朱の魔人, Aka no Majin?) by their imperial foes, referring to their use of magic on the side of Rubrum and proficiency in combat.
Rem: Cadets Clad in Crimson CapesEdit
- Students begin their life at Akademeia as trainees. Those deemed as having potential are promoted to Class Agito Cadet and train to become saviors of Orience. Cadets also receive a number of enticing freedoms and privileges, so trainees are encouraged to strive for excellence The administration then divides the cadets among Classes First through Twelfth in order to better hone their skills, and each class is distinguished by color. For example, before they transferred, Machina wore indigo with Class Second, and Rem used to don a pink cape in Class Seventh.
- However, through the efforts of Dr. Arecia Al-Rashia, Sorcery managed to create a special team of cadets outside of the class framework at Akademeia. This elite group, known as Class Zero, wears crimson capes to symbolize the Vermilion Bird that defends the dominion. Legend has it that several Classes Zero have existed in Akademeia's past, but no records exist, and none alive today possess any firsthand information about such a group.
- Over the course of their training, the current Class Zero visited Akademeia with Dr. Al-Rashia on two separate occasions. Although they spent most of their time at a remote facility away from the main campus, the twelve members of Class Zero could not escape the prying eyes of their fellow cadets. Many students took note of the heretofore unseen crimson capes, and rumors of a mysterious "new class" spread like wildfire throughout the school.
The latest twelve members of the Class Zero, along with the recent transfer students Machina and Rem, and associated members Tiz and Joker, are referenced in the Nameless Tome as the sixteen "loci" who will take form as human beings a certain point in time and determine whether they have the strength to prevent Tempus Finis from occurring and open Etro's gate. Throughout the majority of Arecia's experiments, she abandoned four loci and retained the twelve who became the members of Class Zero.
- No.01 Ace: A blond boy who wields a deck of cards. He bears of the power of trust.
- No.02 Deuce: A brunette girl who wields a flute. She bears of the power of gentleness.
- No.03 Trey: A blond-haired youth armed with a bow. He bears of the power of knowledge.
- No.04 Cater: A magicite pistol-wielding female with short, flared red hair. She bears of the power of courage.
- No.05 Cinque: A young lady with brown, braided hair who fights using a mace. She bears of the power of innocence.
- No.06 Sice: A silver-haired girl who wields a scythe as a weapon. She isn't very good with words but has good judgment. She bears of the power of persistence.
- No.07 Seven: A gray-haired girl who carries an extending whipblade. She bears of the power of understanding.
- No.08 Eight: A young martial artist with short auburn hair who fights with knuckles. He bears of the power of calmness.
- No.09 Nine: An impulsive young man with a scarred face and disheveled uniform who wields a spear. He bears of the power of action.
- No.11 Jack: A young man with coiffed blond hair who fights using a katana. He bears of the power of ignorance.
- No.12 Queen: A dignified young woman with long black hair and trademark glasses who wields a sword. She bears of the power of intelligence.
- No.13 King: A young man who looks cold, but is actually kindhearted. Wields dual guns. He bears of the power of resolve.
Machina Kunagiri and Rem Tokimiya are also very recent members to Class Zero; thus, they are not assigned numbers within the class and, story-wise, act as outside viewers of the game's events. They respectively represent fear and love.
The mysterious characters Joker and Tiz would appear to fill the missing No.00 and No.10 positions, but are not actually members of Class Zero despite wearing the same uniform. Like Machina and Rem, they were Agito alongside Class Zero, but were removed from Arecia Al-Rashia's experiment and now report to her in relation to the repeating cycle of Orience. They respectively represent pain and decrepitude.
Naghi Minatsuchi, Carla Ayatsugi, Mutsuki Chiharano, Quon Yobatz, and Ryid Uruk can be recruited into Class Zero by clearing specific Free Time Events and Tasks. They will wear red-colored capes to signify this change, but they otherwise have little impact on the storyline.
The last known existence of Class Zero was a 100 years ago and was brought back again in the year 833. The latest Class Zero was formed from a group of children who became students in Akademeia, the magic academy of the nation of Rubrum, as a countermeasure to an invasion as part of Operation Apostle. Its purpose is for the members to become Agito, saviors prophesied in Oriencian mythology to appear during the end of of the world with the potential to open Etro's Gate, the gateway to to the unseen realm.
Akademeia's archsorceress an the Class Zero cadets' adoptive mother Arecia Al-Rashia has seen the events repeat over six hundred million times with the conclusion where the members of Class Zero become l'Cie and die in battle. Orience is destroyed by the Rursan Reavers while the Arbiter collects their phantoma, the life energy or souls of all living beings, and the spiral is restarted in wait for the next Tempus Finis.
In the 600,104,972nd repeat of the spiral Rubrum is again invaded by the Militesi Empire. The secretive Class Zero is deployed to liberate the capital and thus begins the chain of events leading to Finis. The empire deploys crystal jammers to the battlefield, cutting Rubrum's forces off from the Vermilion Bird Crystal rendering them vulnerable. The cadets of Class Zero are the only ones able to circumvent its effect due to being augmented by Arecia to wield magic independent of the Vermilion Bird. Thus the cadets are deployed to take down the jammers, as well as Qun'mi Tru'e, a White Tiger Secundus l'Cie.
Class Zero's efforts liberate Akademeia, and the administration is so impressed with the results the class is officially admitted to Akademeia with Kurasame Susaya as their commanding officer with two new recruits, Machina Kunagiri and Rem Tokimiya, added into their ranks. The first time the cadets meet their CO they are shocked and disapprove taking orders from someone else than Mother, but Kurasame quickly puts the cadets in their place by showing off his battle prowess.
Arecia disdains the new cadets, deeming the duo inferior to her children, and asks Ace to not tell the two of phantoma's true nature; the substance the cadets harvest from felled enemies that allows them to use magic and this circumvent the empire's crystal jammers. Class Zero is deployed to help retake the areas the empire had conquered, and soon the Kingdom of Concordia allies with Rubrum against the imperial oppression. Class Zero's infamy spreads quickly and imperial forces begin calling them "red devils." Class Eleventh begins compiling combat data from Class Zero's missions to improve Rubrum's magic.
When the dominion sets out to reclaim Togoreth Stronghold from the empire, the cadets are deployed on a top secret Code Crimson mission to retrieve classified documents on phantoma research under the guise of saving the local civilians. They find the civilians killed but gather the classified documents before Togoreth is obliterated by the battle between l'Cie.
When the cadets are sent to sabotage the imperial magitek armor program they get orders to cease fire due to a newly wrought armistice mid-mission. Kurasame travels to the imperial capital as Chancellor Khalia Chival VI's aide and negotiates for the cadets' safety, and afterward explains the situation to them: the empire had proposed peace before the cadets' mission was underway, but they could not contact them in time to halt it. The cadets disagree with the treaty, especially Machina, positing that the empire has no right to ask for peace for being the initial aggressor.
The cadets meet Queen Andoria of Concordia who explains that peace is the Will of the Crystals, and that the cadets' opposition would only lead to Tempus Finis, and points them out as "the final cog." Machina struggles accepting that what they have been fighting for is against the Crystal's will, and the queen speaks to him under his breath so no one else can hear. After she leaves, Queen asks what she had said, but Machina shakes his head and says it was something about "a choice" but that it didn't make sense to him.
Dealing with Militesi forces, Class Zero's members are forced to also contend with Rubrum's higher ups, who feel threatened by the class's loyalties to Arecia, and attempt to send the cadets on what they intend to be suicide missions. Akademeia's officials manipulate Machina's fear of losing people close to him to learn Arecia's true agenda. He is called away to speak with the commandant who jogs Machina's memory of his late brother Izana and claims Arecia and Class Zero are responsible for his death, as they had had Izana's mission changed during the liberation campaign. The commandant explains that Machina was transferred into Class Zero to report on their and Arecia's actions. The commandant wants to use Machina to bring about Arecia's downfall, and uses the threat of leaving Rem alone should Machina fail in his espionage, knowing Machina would do anything for her.
After the cadets return to Armada Hotel Machina and Rem feel their powers fading, identifying it as the effect of the crystal jammer. Everybody is alarmed as they realize they have walked into a trap, and Aria Luricara, the class orderly, rushes into the room to warn them. She is shot by a sniper and collapses on the floor. Rem wants to tend to her, but Machina urges everyone to scatter to avoid Aria's fate, and the cadets fight their way through the streets of Ingram to escape the city while berating themselves for not having caught to the conspiracy sooner.
After retreating underground the cadets overhear Militesi soldiers mention Class Zero has assassinated Queen Andoria. The cadets are shocked, but realize that while they remember meeting a queen, they remember nothing else of her, meaning their memories must have been erased, indicating she has truly died. Jack suggests they did assassinate the queen but that memory was erased as well, but Rem doubts it. Unsure what is going on back in Rubrum, Queen points out it being odd they had been given leave in Ingram rather than sent back to Akademeia. Machina is upset at the possibility they have been abandoned on purpose, as they fail to contact Central Command.
After defeating Vajra, the magitek armor sent to destroy them, the cadets face off against Celestia, Queen Andoria's aide, who, likewise, holds them culpable for the regicide. She sends her dragon at the cadets and defeats Machina and Rem, but Deuce stops the others from attacking it. Celestia calls the dragon away, and the cadets explain their side of the story. As the dragons believe them, Celestia helps the cadets escape the city to a deserted house in the Old Lorica Region, an unconscious Machina being carried back by Nine.
Machina and Rem recover and join the others at the bonfire outside the deserted house, although Machina has an eerie feeling they are being watched. The others explain what happened, but that they still can't contact Central Command. After learning the others had saved him Machina is far from grateful and accuses Class Zero for his brother's death. The situation escalates and the others call him spoiled and that he should get over it seeing that he can't even remember is brother due to the Crystals of Orience erasing the memories of the dead from the living.
Machina leaves with Rem chasing after him. Rem says Class Zero can't be expected to save everyone despite all their strength, but Machina retorts he will save Rem before storming off to patrol the area alone. The cadets stay put overnight pondering why Machina got so angry with Rem apologizing for his behavior. Eight speculates their communications have been halted on purpose by some kind of jammer.
The morning comes and as the others get ready to leave Machina behind, he shows up, cheering Rem. When asked what happened, Machina mentions "the White Tiger," but is cut off when Deuce exclaims the COMM is working and she has reached the dominion. The cadets communicate their location and get picked up by a dominion airship on Kurasame's orders.
Back in Akademeia the cadets are greeted by Kurasame who says there will likely be an investigation, and implies the cadets switched off their COMM to avoid being contacted. The cadets find the accusations ridiculous. The commandant, who holds a grudge against Class Zero for having stolen the limelight as the saviors of Rubrum from his legions, is angered Kurasame sent help to Class Zero, and assigns him a suicide mission saying that good results would clear Class Zero's name. It is suggested that Kurasame is aware the Akademeia officials regard both him and Class Zero as expendable, but accepts the mission regardless.
Class Zero's reputation bruised, the cadets of other classes become ambivalent toward them, not knowing what to make of the rumors. Some believe the queen's assassination to have been a ploy to frame Rubrum, while some go as far as to suspect Class Zero cadets are Militesi spies. Class Zero tries to ignore the allegations and focus on the war effort, and helps reclaim the Eibon Region in a battle against Militesi forces.
After the cadets return they assemble in the classroom to hear their next orders from Kurasame, but Machina has gone missing. Kurasame explains to the rest the upcoming battle plan against the joint Militesi-Concordian forces, as after the new King of Concordia has allied with Marshal Cid Aulstyne of the empire and the dominion faces invasion from two fronts.
Class Zero is to be sent with the Vermilion Bird Primus l'Cie Lord Zhuyu to fight off the Concordian dragons with an airship fleet, while Kurasame will accompany the rest of Rubrum's legionaries, as well as Akademeia cadets and trainees, to the Militesi border for the Vermilion Bird Secundus l'Cie Lady Caetuna to summon a Verboten Eidolon. Two l'Cie taking part in Rubrum's military operations simultaneously is unheard of, and many see it as a sign of the dominion's, and thus the Vermilion Bird Crystal's, desperation, as by now all the other Crystals of Orience have been subjugated by the empire that has devised a machine to enslave them. Before the big battle the cadets have a chance to free Meroë Region and stop an imperial advancement at Sothoth Coast.
As Class Zero is about to be sent to the eastern front to battle the Concordian wyverns, Naghi Minatsuchi from the intel squad meets them at the airship landing with orders that some of the cadets are to be sent to the western front as reinforcements to battle the empire. Machina still hasn't returned and the others are forced to go without him. Three cadets head to the west while the others enter the battle for the eastern front.
The cadets down Concordian wyverns with cannons until the Azure Dragon Crystal Primus l'Cie Soryu crystallizes the clouds with her ice breath attack. Soryu is distracted by Lord Zhuyu and the cadets traverse the crystalline cloud terrain on foot. Celestia, now an Azure Dragon Secundus l'Cie having inherited her Focus from the late queen, transforms into Shinryu Celestia to take them out. The cadets prevail with little help from Arecia who sends a Bahamut ZERO to aid them should they fall. The victorious cadets are picked up by Naghi in an airship and wonder how the battle on the western front is turning out.
The battle against Milites is not going well and the three cadets sent to back the dominion arrive at the Staging Point to meet with Kurasame who explains the empire will likely deploy an MA with a crystal jammer, meaning Class Zero will be Rubrum's only functional unit. Thus, Kurasame has authorized the cadets to recall their classmates from the Concordian front. The cadets destroy the jammer allowing for Lady Caetuna to begin summoning Alexander for which Kurasame and the other Akademeia cadets give their lives to complete the summoning. When Class Zero retreats the cadets run into Gilgamesh.
While Class Zero evacuates Alexander obliterates the Militesi forces, and Caetuna enters crystal stasis. Class Zero visits the numerous new graves in the Akademeia cemetery but cannot comprehend the losses as all memories of Kurasame, as well as the others perished, have been removed from them. Ace sings the song Arecia used to sing to them as children, imploring them to move on. Rem laments her inability to cry over losing Kurasame, as she cannot remember him. The cadetmaster announces that due to its unique nature Class Zero is not assigned a new commanding officer. Instead, Moglin, the class moogle, takes over the role of giving briefings.
Donning his new red cape Naghi meets the cadets outside their classroom and tells them he has joined Class Zero as he has been assigned by dominion intel to report on them. The others are baffled, but Naghi explains he doesn't want to hide anything because he considers Class Zero his friends.
After the dominion invades the Kingdom of Concordia with Class Zero's help, the cadets can find Quon Yobatz, a cadet of Class Third and magic enthusiast, outside their classroom. Quon wants to join Class Zero for his research has let him in on the knowledge that it is the only class in Akademeia to harvest phantoma, the mystical life energy, or "souls" of all living beings. Nine and Queen are shocked Quon is privy to such confidential information, but Queen lets him join as long as he remains under "her supervision," warning him that joining Class Zero could cost him his life.
Carla Ayatsugi, an elite student or entrepreneurial nature, joins the class after the cadets have invested enough gil in her business and she lets them in on the profits. The cadets are at first ambivalent to let someone as greedy as Carla join the class, but they have little choice as she is close to the administration and has pulled some strings to get her the class's red cape.
Class Zero's efforts in helping turn the tide of battle to the dominion's favor clear their name and the cadets regain the support of the legionaries and fellow cadets on the eve of the final march against the empire. As the final showdown against the empire and Cid Aulstyne looms near, Central Command deploys all other classes while Class Zero is to at first remain on standby. When Moglin finally receives the marching orders, the class learns they are to be sent to Ingram via airship to help conquer the imperial capital as the dominion legions were faced with fierce resistance. Casualties increasing rapidly, and the dominion advance halts just outside the imperial headquarters.
Dominion Central Command begins deploying reinforcements by the squad, but as Class Zero is to be deployed, Machina disappears after having a chat with Rem over the reasons they joined the class. Class Zero goes without him and bests General Qator Bashtar in his new and improved MA. The empire falls and Orience is united under the Vermilion Bird banner. However, as the cadets return to Akademeia they find its cadets and legionaries slain by the newly appeared Rursan Reavers and the dominion commanders gone: Tempus Finis has begun.
Other cadets reveal the once code crimson missions, which Class Zero partook, making the remaining cadets turn against them, blaming them for the ensuing apocalypse. Rem's illness reaches its final stages and she collapses, unable to be woken up as her phantoma levels have decreased to dangerous levels. Nine curses Machina still being missing since Rem needs him. Arecia explains the cadets have lived their lives according to the Will of Crystals recorded in the Akashic Records, but now that the "souls have been released" they can write their own ending, as humans have the power to decide how they live or die, hinting at a vital decision the cadets would soon need to make.
Queen calls everyone to the Altocrystarium room where she tells them about the Judge who resides in the newly appeared sanctuary, Pandæmonium, to make the Final Decision: if there is no Agito, Orience will be destroyed by the Rursus. The cadets plan to infiltrate the sanctuary to speak to the Judge while knowing that without Arecia they will not be revived if they fall in battle. Celestia delivers news that Cid has gone to Pandæmonium and become Agito, and offers to take the cadets there as only a l'Cie can open the way, the Vermilion Bird Crystal currently being without one as Zhuyu sublimated in a battle against the Rursus.
After taking the cadets to Pandæmonium Celestia loses her humanity and turns into Shinryu Celestia for having defied the Focus given to her by the Azure Dragon Crystal. As the cadets head to the top of the temple guided by Cid's voice, the Vermilion Bird Crystal asks them to become l'Cie. If they accept the cadets are slain by the Rursus, Arecia deems it yet another failed experiment and the spiral is restarted.
If they choose to remain mortal, the Vermilion Bird brands Rem, still slumped in Arecia's office back in Akademeia, in their stead, and sends her to intercept a White Tiger l'Cie it had sensed Pandæmonium, wanting one of the Vermilion Bird to become Agito. As Rem engages the l'Cie she is impaled by his rapier, and it turns out the l'Cie was Machina who had willingly inherited Qun'mi's Focus to become strong enough to protect Rem. He had run into a dying Qun'mi while patrolling the woods of Old Lorica Region alone, and taken on her powers. As Rem dies, both enter crystal stasis, the cadets mourning the sight when they happen upon their crystal.
Class Zero receives Machina and Rem's help in spirit to defeat Cid, who has become the Rursan Arbiter, the Judge that decides Orience's fate. Despite being deemed unfit to be Agito, the cadets vanquish the Arbiter by absorbing his phantoma. With the Arbiter gone, Pandæmonium disappears and the cadets appear back in their old classroom in Akademeia.
Despite this change in history, ending the war and saving the world, the twelve members pay for with their lives as their phantoma were destroyed. On the verge of death, Ace calms the others and the group spends its final moments talking of all the things they wanted to do in a world free of war.
The mysterious Joker and Tiz have secretly overseen Class Zero's actions and convince Arecia to revive Machina and Rem from their crystal stasis. Arecia listens to the class's souls and learns that they made their own decision to how to meet their end and do not wish to be revived. Deciding to allow the people of Orience to remember the dead, Arecia abandons her search for Etro's Gate and leaves, and the light of the Crystals fades.
Arriving to find the cadets dead, Rem comforts a guilt-ridden Machina for his perception of them. Without the Crystals Orience falls into a dark age, but Machina and Rem honor their classmates' deeds by recording their names in history fifty years later while rebuilding the post-war Orience.
In the alternate ending, Arecia removes the Crystals from Orience's history, preventing the war and Class Zero's demise from happening.
The following is a chart of Class Zero members' based attributes at level 99.
"Zero" is a recurring theme in the game. In-game, the class is named thus being the premier class of Agito Cadets in Akademeia, the class numbering loosely indicating prestige within the academy. Initially the classes ran from First to Twelfth, and when a new class was introduced to the system, it was named Class Zero. Class Zero also refers to the class's clandestine nature as Arecia Al-Rashia's secret project, as though there had been rumors Rem and Machina are surprised to find Class Zero actually exists when they are registered into its ranks. The "zero" thus represented a class that did not officially exist.
The word Type followed by a number is a common way to name a weapon or product in a production series, similar in meaning to "Mark". "Type" was used by the Japanese and Chinese militaries beginning in the 1920s, and is still in use by the Chinese military. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) began using the Type-Number System in 1921 to designate aircraft accepted for production and as 1940 was the 2600th year, the IJN numbering system was reset to single digits and new aircraft were designated 0 (zero). The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was ordered into production in 1940 as the IJN "Type 0 Carrier Fighter", and was popularly called the "Zero" because of its type. This is what the game's name Final Fantasy Type-0 likely alludes to, and refers to Class Zero being the "weapon" used by Dominion of Rubrum. The "type" designation is also used elsewhere in the Japanese game, with the types of l'Cie being referred to as Type-A and Type-B.
The word "zero" came into the English language via French zéro from Italian zero, Italian contraction of Venetian zevero form of Italian zefiro via ṣafira or ṣifr. In pre-Islamic time the word ṣifr had the meaning "empty".
To juxtapose with the name "Class Zero" its members' names are values of playing cards, excluding the two "outside" members Machina and Rem. Rem's name comes from rei (零) and mu (無), which literally translates to "not zero".
- The theme of school children and teenagers to engage in war preparation and military service appears to be lifted from the real life practices of Showa era education in Japan where not only the enrollment of children into military schooling was common, everyday students were also instilled with much of the Imperialist propaganda of the age, along with being trained in martial arts and military training in the fear that Allied Nations would invade the country.
- The sequence where Class Zero makes their stand as Ace drives the flag of Rubrum atop a hill appears to draw inspiration from the famous photo Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.
- The Class Second moogle disdains Class Zero for having "stolen away" Machina from hir class, and calls it derisive names like "class zilch", "class nada" and "class zippo".