- “I will become an eternal epitaph. Your memory will survive for eternity within a crystal tomb.”
- —Lightning before entering crystal stasis
Crystal Stasis (クリスタル停滞, Kurisutaru Teitai?) is a state a l'Cie enters upon completing his or her Focus in Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0. The legend states the completion of one's Focus and entering crystal stasis grants the l'Cie eternal life.
Turning to crystal is not the sole privilege of the l'Cie, as it appears those who hold divine power, such as Bhunivelze in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy mythology, can enter crystal stasis — or bestow it to others — at will, but the reverse side of entering crystal stasis, the becoming of a Cie'th, appears a sole burden of a l'Cie.
- See also: Datalog/History and Myth
For l'Cie, successful completion of a Focus holds the promise of eternal life in the peaceful slumber of crystal stasis - or so the legends say. Yet to spend an eternity as an immobile crystal is not so very different from death. The people of Cocoon consequently fear being marked as a l'Cie, equating the fal'Cie's brand with a death sentence.
Faced with only the choice between eternal damnation as a Cie'th and eternal imprisonment in crystal, it comes as little surprise that many l'Cie decry their fate.
In the beginning, the god Bhunivelze had killed his mother, Mwynn, to take full control of the Mortal World for himself, and Mwynn was sent into the Unseen World. Despite achieving total control of the Mortal World, Bhunivelze became troubled believing that Mwynn cursed the realm of the living so that it would one day be destroyed. To put a stop to the curse Bhunivelze sought to destroy his mother once and for all, but was unable to reach the Unseen World without giving up control of the Mortal World. To find the entrance to the realm of the dead, Bhunivelze created the fal'Cie Pulse, tasked with searching the world for the door to the Unseen World.
To assist Pulse, Bhunivelze created the fal'Cie Etro, but unknowingly created her in the likeness of Mwynn and gave Etro no powers. To replace Etro, Bhunivelze created the fal'Cie Lindzei, tasked with protecting the world and Bhunivelze himself. With the fal'Cie at work, Bhunivelze placed himself into a deep crystal sleep, to be awoken only when the door to the Unseen World would be found, and it is said he will continue sleeping until the end of time.
Etro disappeared from the Mortal Realm to the Unseen World, but what became of Pulse and Lindzei is never clarified in the official mythology. In the scene where Pulse brands Lightning and her companions l'Cie in Final Fantasy XIII, he emerges from a crystal in another dimension where Lightning's party is briefly transported to, but whether this indicates Pulse having entered crystal stasis is unknown.
When a l'Cie completes a Focus their body turns to crystal and they become inanimate objects. They are not dead, but resting in what some call a "crystal sleep". When a l'Cie recovers from crystal stasis they return to life exactly as they were when they were placed in the stasis. L'Cie in crystal stasis are aware of what happens around them. In Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i-, it is revealed Serah saw and heard everything Snow did through him carrying her crystal tear eidolith. At the end of Final Fantasy XIII, Vanille and Fang communicate their thoughts despite being in crystal stasis, but the dialogue is only heard by the player, and in fragment entries from Final Fantasy XIII-2, it is shown Fang and Vanille are aware of a number of events despite still being in crystal stasis.
L'Cie who are in crystal stasis may "dream" of things they cherish. When Serah and Dajh converse at the end of Final Fantasy XIII, Dajh says "there were a lot of chocobos", alluding to what he might have "dreamed" while in crystal stasis. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Serah reveals she dreamed about reuniting with Snow and Lightning.
The legend that completing one's Focus, and being encased in crystal, grants eternal life, originates from the fact a fal'Cie can call its l'Cie back from crystal stasis to give its servant a new Focus. This way, as long as a l'Cie keeps completing his or her Focus, they can enter crystal stasis multiple times and be revived to live again once their fal'Cie needs their assistance. However, this leads to a life in slavery under their fal'Cie master.
Completing a fal'Cie-given Focus is not the only way to enter crystal stasis: the Pulse legends state the goddess Etro stopped Ragnarok during the War of Transgression by placing Fang and Vanille in crystal stasis before their Focus could be completed, and Cid Raines enters crystal stasis despite having outright defied the Focus given to him by Barthandelus.
It appears the l'Cie may have the power to overcome their fal'Cie-given Focus and give themselves a new one. Whether or not entering crystal stasis was done on Cid's own accord or not, Barthandelus is still able to revive him from the stasis and give him a new Focus. The Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania states that Barthandelus's act of reviving Anima, the fal'Cie who branded Vanille and Fang, from its deep sleep in turn awakened Vanille and Fang from their stasis.
At the end of the game the entire party, as well as the world of Cocoon, crystallize. As revealed in Final Fantasy XIII-2, Etro was touched by the plight of Lightning and her friends, releasing them from crystal stasis almost immediately after having been placed in it, along with Serah and Dajh. Fang and Vanille remained in crystal stasis due to crystallizing themselves willingly. The act Etro committed causes a rift in time which drags Lightning away, with only Serah remembering her ever reuniting with them on Pulse's surface. This is where the story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 comes into play.
Vanille and Fang spend the game in crystal stasis and protecting their crystal becomes a plot point when Cocoon's crystal pillar comes under threat. In the end, Sazh salvages Fang and Vanille's crystal from the pillar right before it crumbles.
At the height of her battle against Caius Ballad, Lightning realizes her actions have inadvertently caused Serah's death and the world's impending fate to be unavoidable. In the DLC episode "Requiem of the Goddess", she meets Serah's spirit, who asks Lightning not to regret sending her out to travel through time; the only thing she asks for is for Lightning to always remember her. To fulfill Serah's final wish, Lightning enters crystal stasis to hold on to hope, embody Etro's will, and preserve Serah's memory. In the secret ending of "Requiem of the Goddess" Lightning awakens in a distant future, 500 years later in Nova Chrysalia, the world of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
Lightning crystallized herself because "even in the waves of chaos, it never loses its shine" and the crystal she becomes is said to be indestructible. However, saving Fang and Vanille's crystal is part of the plot, and it is unclear why their crystal wouldn't be similarly indestructible, although it may only mean that Snow and Hope's worry over Fang and Vanille's crystal was unnecessary.
After her task as Bhunivelze's savior is complete, Lightning learns of the deity's true gambit and rebels against him. After severing the god's hold on humanity's souls and destroying him, Bhunivelze's remains crystallize and are consumed in Nova Chrysalia's destruction. Lightning later ponders whether Bhunivelze is truly dead and if he only entered another crystal sleep, but remains certain mankind would once again prevail even if Bhunivelze was to return one day.
L'Cie of Orience are branded and given a Focus by the Crystal of their nation, and it is inferred that l'Cie crystallize when they die, or when they complete their Focus, or simply when the Crystal deems the l'Cie's purpose has been served. A small item called a Pyroxene may be found at the site where the l'Cie entered stasis, and it contains the last thoughts of the l'Cie before crystallizing.
There are three examples of crystal stasis shown in the game: Qun'mi, a Byakko Peristylium l'Cie, crashes in the woods of Lorican territory after deploying an Ultima Bomb to annihilate the country and is crystallized after willingly relinquishing her l'Cie powers to Machina; Caetuna crystallizes after summoning the Grand Eidolon Alexander, and her crystal promptly shatters, probably due to the gravity of Alexander's summoning.
The final instance is at the game's end. Machina, a Byakko l'Cie, and Rem, a Suzaku l'Cie, arrive at the Palace of All Magic to duel each other, which leaves Rem terribly wounded. While their crystallization is never shown, the two are later found by Class Zero in crystal stasis, with Rem in Machina's arms. Following the final battle, Arecia arrives to release Machina and Rem from their stasis for them to preserve Class Zero's legacy in a world where memories of the dead will no longer be forgotten.
Zhuyu and Nimbus enter crystal stasis during the time of Finis, although the former's is documented in a narration and the latter's is recorded in his profile in the Crimson Codex. Zhuyu was crystallized after defending Magic Academy Peristylium Suzaku from the attack by the Lulusath Warriors, and Nimbus entered stasis after taking Cid to the Palace of All Magic.
Final Fantasy XIIIEdit
- Men in crystal stasis are crystallized with their eyes open, while women are crystallized with their eyes closed.
- Pulse l'Cie are nude in crystal stasis, but regain their clothing upon awakening. Cocoon l'Cie retain clothes, though an artwork representing Dajh in crystal stasis depicts him nude.
- When l'Cie enter crystal stasis, they glow blue. When l'Cie awaken from crystal stasis, they glow red-orange.
Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit
- Models for Serah and Cid Raines in crystal stasis exist on the Final Fantasy XIII-2 game disc, but are never used in the game, making them dummied content. It is unknown why the models exist in Final Fantasy XIII-2 when they are never used.