The Crystal was gifted to mankind that we might know lasting prosperity.
The Crystal (クリスタル, Kurisutaru?) is a powerful magical artifact in the world of Eos in the Final Fantasy XV Universe. It is a large stone similar to a geode, with a rough dark surface cracked on one side that exposes its crystalline core. It is said to have a will of its own. The Crystal's power is that of light and is a source of unmatched magical power. It is kept by the kingdom of Lucis and protected by the lineage of Lucian kings, kept in the Citadel in the Crown City of Insomnia.
According to legend, the Crystal is of divine origin and was bestowed to humanity alongside the Ring of the Lucii, which harnesses the Crystal's power for a chosen few. In Verse 2 of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret as the "Mysterious Voice" describes the Crystal as a chrysalis to the soul of the planet.
The Crystal is the divine cornerstone of the Kingdom of Lucis. The Stone has a will of its own, and channels its sacred power through the Ring of the Lucii to the monarch who bears it.
Crystals are a recurring motif in the Final Fantasy series, and its most recurring concept, appearing in every installment. Crystals in Final Fantasy represent the power that sustains the world, and their power of light is often juxtaposed with darkness, which is sometimes shown as the emptiness known as the Void. The powers of light and dark tend to remain in balance and depend on each other, as the Void is the typical place of genesis for the crystals. In Final Fantasy XV the kingdom of Lucis (Latin for "of the light") is associated with the powers of light, but their royal color is black and the grim reaper is a royal symbol. The imperial lands are mired in the powers of darkness, but are associated with the color white.
The people chosen to carry out the crystals' will are known as the Warriors of Light, who are always the main playable characters in a Final Fantasy game. In Final Fantasy XV the Crystal bestows its light to the line of Lucian kings, who become able to use magic and even lend their own powers to others, such as the relationship between King Regis and the Kingsglaive, and Prince Noctis and his friends.
In later installments crystals gained the role of being the collective souls for entire planets, with the souls of all living beings returning to the planet, such as in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX. The Crystal in Final Fantasy XV is said to hold "the soul of the star", and at one point Noctis Lucis Caelum will be taken inside it. Though dark and dull on the outside, the otherworldly realm it leads to appears boundless and is bathed in glimmering light. The exact nature of the Astral realm inside the Crystal is never explained, but where Noctis meets Bahamut is described as the "heart of the Crystal", and thus the soul of the world.
Human souls are represented as immaterial crystal shards, perhaps elements of the otherworldly realm the Crystal acts as a doorway to, and when people disappear in this realm, their very bodies disperse into light. Therefore, the material forms of both humans and the Crystal itself, may simply act as vessels for the energy inside every living being. The Ring of the Lucii that the rightful ringbearer can use to command the Crystal's power demands a blood price, which could be seen as the ring sapping this life energy—or their soul—from the wearer's body. Life energy being collective among the inhabitants of the planet is a recurring element in the Final Fantasy series, but is not outright stated as being the case in Final Fantasy XV.
Final Fantasy XV introduces the concept of the bonding of the souls via the Crystal, in which the Crystal links one's soul to those of his ancestors. This is seen with the Lucian kings who can wield the Crystal's magic by birthright, and who can each wield the combined powers of their forebears with the Ring of the Lucii. The "bonding of the souls via the Crystal" could also be seen as having a meta-element, of the theme of the crystal literally linking the series and its myriad Warriors of Light, and thus, also all the people who play the series. By the end of the game the Crystal has lost its light, as it has been transferred to the True King. This could represent how, even if the Crystal is the symbol of the series, its enduring light is the player.
As Final Fantasy XV started as Final Fantasy Versus XIII and part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy, elements of that subseries are present in its design. Souls appearing as floating immaterial crystal shards remains for Final Fantasy XV, now representing the power of the Crystal, the bonding of the souls, and the Astral realm. Noctis's ten-year slumber inside the Crystal also hearkens to the concept of the crystal stasis in the Fabula Nova Crystallis games.
The Final Fantasy XV Scenario Ultimania describes the Crystal as having immense magical power. It is said to have emerged from the planet 2000 years ago, and given to the then-king by the Astrals. Rather than being able to use the Crystal's true power, kings of Lucis have the responsibility of protecting it. The Crystal picks the "Chosen King" when disaster comes to the world. Fifteen years ago, the Crystal chose Noctis. The young Lunafreya explains to an eight-year-old Noctis that crowning the King of Light is the "calling" of the Crystal.
The source of magic and prosperity in Lucis, it is prophesied that, when darkness threatens the world, the Crystal will choose its champion—the King of Light. That King is Noctis, who was marked at the tender age of five.
Two thousand years ago the world was ravaged by Starscourge, a malady that transformed people into daemons and threatened to shroud the world in an eternal darkness. The Crystal chose Ardyn Lucis Caelum to save Eos and to afterward become the first king of Lucis. He absorbed countless daemons to save thousands across the world, yet was denounced by the Astrals as unclean. His ascension to the throne was thwarted, his brother Somnus taking the crown in his stead. Somnus forged covenants with the Astrals and embarked on a quest to quell the Starscourge, and is said to have succeeded. The Founder King abating Starscourge from Eos likely means he killed Ardyn. However, Ardyn's transition into Starscourge incarnate rendered him immortal, being denied entry to the Astral Realm. He took the surname of "Izunia" and vowed to one day have his revenge on the Crystal and the divine bloodlines chosen to serve it.
The Crystal and the Ring of the Lucii were delivered to Somnus by the Astrals before they entered a deep sleep. The kings were told to guard the Crystal until it would pick the next Chosen King, destined to banish the Starscourge from the world once again. The kings keep at this task for the next 2000 years, while Ardyn—forgotten—bides his time. He eventually establishes himself as chancellor to Iedolas Aldercapt, the emperor of Niflheim, and provides his knowledge to begin his plan for revenge.
The Crystal is implied to be the source of Lucis's rapid development in comparison to the rest of the world, but at the same time it drains the life-force of the king who protects it; he must shield it from outsiders by maintaining the Wall, magical barrier that engulfs his nation. According to documents produced circa the advent of the Kingdom of Lucis, metal procured from adamantoise shell was used in the construction of conduits used to channel the Crystal's power into the Wall around the Crown City.
Having conquered all other lands, bar Lucis, Niflheim reigns supreme, only repelled by those who derive their power from the Crystal. Prince Noctis, the son and successor of King Regis, once recuperated in Tenebrae from a childhood injury. He met the young Lady Lunafreya of the Oracles' bloodline, who told him about his destiny as the Chosen King and the role of the Lucian kings as the Crystal's sworn protectors even if the Crystal and the light it provides for the world belong to everyone. Luna told Noctis that the Crystal's calling is to crown the King of Light who will save the world, and the eight-year-old Noctis promised he would do it without understanding the gravity of the deal.
The lab rats had a theory that the Crystal posed some kind of...threat to the daemons. The way they see it, that's the reason the chancellor had the emperor go after it in the first place. Dunno, but that theory holds water in my book. Certainly explains why the kings have always guarded the Crystal, and how they kept the daemons at bay.
The twenty-year-old Noctis is away from the Crown City when Niflheim steals the Crystal during a supposed peace-treaty signing. Regis, Noctis, and Luna are announced to have perished. Luna survives with the Ring of the Lucii in her possession however, and Noctis begins a quest to rendezvous with her and reclaim the Crystal.
The empire has been overtaken by the forces of darkness. It has begun to employ daemons in its army and experiment with them to create the magitek infantry, but this has spread the Starscourge to its populace, turning everyone into daemons. The Crystal is believed to have the power to banish daemons, seeing that it always kept Insomnia safe. Though the exact reason the empire steals the Crystal is never publicized, Aranea Highwind has heard the empire believes the Crystal poses a threat to daemons, but told the public they stole it "for the good of the people". The Crystal only bestows its powers to the Lucian bloodline, however, and the empire doesn't have the Ring of the Lucii needed to command it. The Crystal is stored away in Zegnautus Keep, the magitek laboratory in the imperial capital. Emperor Aldercapt seems to believe a warped version of the prophecy of the Crystal picking a Chosen King, as when he is accosted by Ravus Nox Fleuret, the emperor declares that he is the one True King destined to rule the world. However, the role of the Crystal's chosen was never to rule the world, but to wield its power to become even more powerful than the gods and banish the plague of darkness.
Prince Noctis collects the royal arms of his forebears that lets him wield the power of kings. He forges covenants with the gods of Eos, the Astrals, with help from Luna, and she passes on the Ring of the Lucii to him before her death. Luna was an Oracle said to also wield a power originating from the gods: she could fight the powers of the dark, and without her holding the darkness at bay daylight is vanishing from the world with the Starscourge's advancement.
Wielding the ring as his weapon, Noctis infiltrates Gralea, but finds it devoid of human life and swarming with daemons and rogue magitek troopers; even the emperor has turned into a daemon. To his dying breath, the emperor seeks the Ring of the Lucii to gain the power to control the Crystal. When Noctis finds the Crystal in the heart of the magitek lab, he asks for its power to save the world, but to his surprise is absorbed inside it. Noctis enters an otherworldly realm inside the Crystal that is bathed in light: the place where the True King gains the power to cleanse the world.
He encounters the Astral god Bahamut who explains that the Crystal holds the soul of Eos and that Noctis can banish darkness from the world with the power of Providence at the cost of his own life. Gradually the power of the Crystal concentrates as the Ring of the Lucii becomes more powerful with every Lucian king's spirit. With King Regis's passing Noctis could wield the full powers of the Crystal—power even greater than that of the gods—and become the True King. Noctis sleeps inside the Crystal for ten years, during which time he absorbs the power he needs to fulfill the prophecy. After Noctis disappears daylight vanishes from the world that is overtaken by daemons.
When he returns ten years later, Noctis makes his way to the ruins of Insomnia to where Ardyn has taken the Crystal. After overcoming the obstacles Ardyn places on his pah to the Citadel, Noctis confronts Ardyn in the throne room where the Crystal is mounted on the wall atop the throne. Ardyn is sitting on it, likely to mock Noctis as the True King is said to receive the Light of Providence on the throne. Noctis kills Ardyn and then calls upon the spirits of past Lucian kings to be able to confront Ardyn's spirit in the "beyond". The spirits of the old kings attack Noctis until his soul is taken by the ring, and his spirit enters a realm of full of light similar to the place inside the Crystal where he had met Bahamut. Noctis uses the power of light to banish darkness from the world and erase Starscourge from Ardyn's soul. Noctis's body disperses into light, the Ring of the Lucii disintegrates, and the sun finally rises.
With the Lucian bloodline ended and the Ring of the Lucii gone, the Lucis Caelums' servitude to the Crystal is over. It is unknown what becomes of the Crystal, as with no further kings or Oracles, there is no human left to wield divine power in Eos unless Bahamut will choose a new bloodline for each. As the Crystal by this time appears entirely dull, it is possible its role has been served, and its power has been transferred to the True King and the Ring of the Lucii, a power Noctis takes with him to the beyond. This would support the interpretation that the Crystal is but a physical manifestation of the power that exists in another dimension.
If Prince Noctis's friend Ignis Scientia decides to follow Ardyn after facing him in Altissia, the latter takes him to Zegnautus Keep where the empire has imprisoned the Crystal. Lunafreya's voice guides Ignis to the Crystal, telling him how only the True King fulfilling the prophecy can save the world.
When Ignis finds the Crystal, he is apprehended by Ardyn, who reveals he lured Ignis there as bait for Noctis, whom he wants to inherit the Crystal's power. Ardyn reveals his true identity as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, who in ancient times was to become the king of Lucis, but considers the title stolen from him by his brother, Somnus the Founder King. Rendered immortal by the Starscourge that now inhabits his very soul, Ardyn has lived for two millennia, awaiting the time he can get his revenge on the Crystal that had discarded him. Ignis knows Noctis will die if Ardyn's plan succeeds, and declares that the world means nothing to him if it means losing his friend.
Ignis puts on the Ring of the Lucii he had gained from Noctis earlier, and gains its power for the price of his own life. He defeats Ardyn who yet returns, as he is immortal. The dying Ignis is found by Noctis, Gladiolus and Prompto, who had been brought to the Keep by Ravus. Noctis grieves how incapable he is to protect those close to him, and asks for the Crystal's power to save Ignis. When Ignis is healed, sylleblossom petals swirl in the air around them, implying a connection to Lunafreya. Noctis takes the ring and walks into the Crystal.
The track "In the Light of the Crystal" plays in the vicinity of the Crystal. It is a version of the traditional Final Fantasy crystal theme, the "Prelude", with an ominous tinge and elements of imperial themes.
Creation and developmentEdit
The Crystal was part of the story ever since the game was known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. In the earlier materials, such as the Final Fantasy XV E3 2013 trailer, it was implied that every nation once possessed a Crystal but lost them due to warring over them, the only one remaining being Lucis's Crystal. It hearkens to the traditional Final Fantasy storyline of the different nations of the world protecting their own Crystal. In Final Fantasy XV, there is only one Crystal, and it gains properties introduced later in the series as the world's soul.
- The Ring of the Lucii has a small clear gemstone in the grasp of the armored figure on the ring's front. Whether this is a shard of the Crystal of Lucis is unknown. The ring allows one to channel the Crystal's powers.
- An evil empire stealing the crystals is an archetypal Final Fantasy storyline, which is also reprised in Final Fantasy XV.
- King Regis appears to talk to the Crystal in the Omen short film, although the voice that answers to him is likely Bahamut's.
- The Crystal with its cracked shell and glowing inside looks a little bit like Cocoon from Final Fantasy XIII. Its shape with a pulsating red core and a thick vein-like "stem" also make it reminiscent of an actual heart or a living organ in general.
- The small crystal on the Ring of the Lucii doesn't shine unless it is absorbing a soul. Similarly, the Crystal of Eos is black on the outside and only shines on the inside, which is connected to an otherworldly realm. The Crystal appears to only shine when it represents souls or the spiritual realm, like in the floating soul crystals. When the Crystal appears in Chapter 14, it has become entirely dull.
- The Crystal existing as a doorway to a spiritual realm could make it akin to Etro's gate from the Fabula Nova Crystallis series.
- ↑ Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV Promotional Artbook, p 15-16. 2016.
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Ultimania Scenario Side translations (Accessed: March 22, 2018) at The Lifestream