- “Hmm... Etro must be one of the Gran Pulse gods. What kind of deity is she?"
"The legends all say different things. She's a cruel incarnation of death. A merciful angel of the afterlife. A deity without divine power.”
- —Serah and Noel
Etro (エトロ, Etoro?) is a fal'Cie goddess in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series. She is a key character in the mythos, being the one who provided the material from which humans were made, and the one who protects the balance between the mortal world and the afterlife. Many of her actions shape the events of Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, but her exact role in the other games is still unclear. Motomu Toriyama has stated that while Etro is the same deity across the games of the series, her roles in Final Fantasy XIII and its counterparts, Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy XV, vary greatly.
Final Fantasy XIIIEdit
- See also: Datalog/Analects
- Her Providence sought nothing.
- Her Providence made nothing.
- She but looked on, silent in Her sorrow.
- The Goddess pitied mortals, destined as they were to die, and so She deigned to intervene in the hour of their greatest peril. She averted cataclysm that was to be, and put to rest the ones who would have robbed so many of what time fate had ordained.
- Her compassion did not end at this.
- The Goddess pitied also those subjected to that fate of Focus, crueler still than death. To them She sent Her messengers, to deliver hope when all was lost.
- —Sermons of the seeress Paddra Nsu-Yeul
- Children of Hallowed Pulse scour earth, searching substance for the Door. Those of Fell Lindzei harvest souls, combing ether for the same. So have I seen.
- The Door, once shut, was locked away, with despair its secret key; sacrifice, the one hope of seeing it unsealed.
- When the twilight of the gods at last descends upon this world, what emerges from the unseeable expanse beyond that Door will be but music, and that devoid of words: the lamentations of the Goddess Etro, as She sobs Her song of grief.
- —Author unknown
Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit
In the ancient annals of Gran Pulse, Etro appears as the goddess of death and chaos. She is said to reside in the world where the souls of the dead find their rest—Valhalla.
The people of the lowerworld worship Pulse, the great deity from which the land takes its name. Many tales from their folklore portray Etro as the abhorrent goddess of the afterlife.
In the city of Paddra, however, faith in the goddess was commonplace, and it was said that the seeress drew from prophetic powers directly from Etro.
- See also: Fragment/Oracle of Etro
- Yeul's Confessions
Etro granted the most selfless of gifts. Her power and strength flowed through the gate to the Unseen World, and with each passing second she grew weaker and weaker.
Now the goddess sleeps within the Heart of Chaos. Should she cease to exist, then the power that she granted to humanity, the power that makes their universe whole, will disappear. When the sands of time run out on the goddess, so too do they on the world of man.
- —Etro's Sorrow
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Etro is never seen in person, but depictions of her in artwork exist. A painting of her is displayed in Final Fantasy XV, and she appears in murals in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. In the mural Etro has dark wings, wears a winged helmet and has shoulder pauldrons. In Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After it is stated seeress Yeul was the first human born and fashioned into Etro's image.
Etro displays through her actions a kind and compassionate personality protective of humans and l'Cie. She suffers a great sadness due to her isolation and the memories of countless deaths that include those of the seeress Paddra Nsu-Yeul. Etro even saw Lightning as a sinner for her actions before their meeting. While she has good intentions, many of Etro's actions have unforeseen harmful consequences.
For example, her decision to save Lightning and her friends on the Day of Ragnarok caused a series of paradoxes, and Caius Ballad, a man whom she gave eternal life with the Heart of Chaos, was driven kill her due to the effect the paradoxes have on the various incarnations of Yeul. Given the numerous times her actions have caused inadvertent disasters, Etro can be seen as a capricious goddess.
According to the official mythology, the universe of Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy is divided in half: the visible world, or the world of the living, and the invisible world, or the world of the dead. The two worlds must remain in balance, or the universe might be destroyed. Etro was created by the god Bhunivelze, who became the sole ruler of the living world by defeating his mother, Mwynn, and banishing her into the world of the dead. This did not satisfy him, as Bhunivelze believed all things were destined to die due to a curse laid on the world by his mother. To reach the realm of the dead and destroy her, Bhunivelze created the three deities: Pulse, Lindzei and Etro.
Etro was the second deity to be created after Pulse. The mythology at this point calls Etro and the others fal'Cie, even if all other sources know them as the gods and goddesses of Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy lore. Bhunivelze regretted having created Etro, because he had unknowingly created her as the image of Mwynn. Bhunivelze feared Etro and gave her no powers to create anything of her own. Bhunivelze crystallized himself to sleep until his creations would find the door to reach the realm of the dead. While Pulse and Lindzei were busy creating the world and creating many more fal'Cie, Etro was lonely. It is revealed in Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After, out of a desire for Bhunivelze's attention, Etro tore up her body and disappeared from the world while Lindzei used her spilled blood to create the first human: a girl named Yeul, who was made in Etro's likeness, and by extension, Mwynn.
Entering Valhalla, Etro found Mwynn as she was almost overtaken by the Chaos that festered as a result of Bhunvelze's attempt to reach the Unseen World. Before disappearing into the chaos, Mwynn gave Etro the task of protecting the world balance. When people from the realm of the living die and pass on to Valhalla through the Door of Souls, Etro would greet them and give each a piece of the chaos to hold inside of them. This is what people would come to call their "heart" and was their greatest strength without them realizing it. Etro also created the laws within Valhalla that its resident creatures and Eidolons follow.
Etro is mentioned in the Datalog entries, where she "sings a lament for the dead". Etro is revealed to have intervened during the War of Transgression 500 years previous by turning the l'Cie bestowed with the "burden of the beast", Oerba Yun Fang and Oerba Dia Vanille, into crystal before they could finish carrying out their Focus.
Though unseen in Final Fantasy XIII, in later installments it has been revealed that Etro aids Lightning by providing her, Snow Villiers, Hope Estheim, Sazh Katzroy, Fang, and Vanille with Eidolons, and releases Lightning, her sister Serah Farron, and their friends from the burden of being l'Cie after Fang and Vanille sacrifice themselves to create the crystal pillar to save Cocoon.
Etro's act of mercy to Lightning and her group at the end of Final Fantasy XIII caused a distortion in time as chaos emerges in Gran Pulse and drew Lightning to Valhalla. Though the goddess subdues the chaos, Etro is gravely weakened. When Lightning appears before her throne, Etro reveals she originally hated Lightning and her companions for the deaths they caused as l'Cie. Etro briefly links with Lightning to have her understand the isolation she has endured and her love towards mankind.
Etro reveals the countless deaths of many swirling within the chaos, along with the unintended suffering she caused for Yeul as the time distortion causes ripples in time that kill the seeress's incarnations while driving Caius over the edge. After giving Lightning her gift of sight to see various moments in time, Etro enters a deep sleep with Lightning choosing to stay in Valhalla as the goddess's champion to protect time to atone for her sins.
- “Divine Etro. Go peacefully to your rest. I will stand guard over your legacy.”
As side stories reveal, Etro took pity on the deceased Yeul when her soul could not pass on like the others, and returned her to the Visible World in a cycle of reincarnation. Yeul gained the Eyes of Etro, which shorten her life to point of dying in her teens.
Due to her gift of seeing changes in the timeline, Yeul became the seeress of the city of Paddra. Etro gave her heart to Yeul's Guardian Caius Ballad to bestow him eternal life to protect every incarnation of Yeul. These acts, however, prove to be more of a curse than a blessing.
Caius begins his war on the goddess by altering time to suit the ideal conditions to bring the reality Etro has been preserving to an end. Caius has Noel Kreiss destroy the "Heart of Chaos", the source of Etro's life, so the chaos within Valhalla erupts from Etro's Gate and distorts the two worlds into a timeless realm where Yeul would no longer be endlessly reincarnated. In the secret ending Caius declares Etro dead and beyond any chance of revival.
- “Wicked Savior! Go now to Etro's side!”
- —Leader of the Children of Etro about to perform a sacrifice.
In an E3 interview concerning Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, director Motomu Toriyama said (while commenting on the status of Eidolons in the game) that Etro "lost her power", which hinted at the goddess not being dead. However, this probably refers indirectly to the destruction of the Heart of Chaos, since Etro is confirmed as being dead in the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega.
A cult named the Children of Etro defies the Order who worship Bhunivelze, and consider Etro to have only lost her power. Central to the cult's faith is a surviving Oracle Drive, which holds the prophecy of the savior, a figure meant to rescue burden souls, trying to destroy the world, and a hero rising to defeat her. As a result, the Children of Etro are behind a series of murders in Luxerion. Etro is also seen depicted in murals found in certain dungeons in the Dead Dunes telling the story of humanity's creation.
To uphold the balance between the realm of the mortals and the realm of the dead in the newly created world, Bhunivelze needs someone to do Etro's work in her place now that she is gone. His first choice is Lightning, but she rebels against him and destroys him after severing his hold on humanity's souls. After Bhunivelze has been felled, the fragments of Yeul appear and declare their intention to remain in Etro's place in the Unseen Realm. Caius allows the final Yeul to depart with Noel into the new world, while the other incarnations remain behind as Nova Chrysalia is destroyed.
Etro is mentioned by Stella Nox Fleuret at a treaty-signing party near the beginning of Final Fantasy XV when talking with Noctis Lucis Caelum about a legend from her home country of Tenebrae. The legend states that whenever Etro opens the Unseen Gate, the souls of the dead ascend as a streak of light to the heavens and though the Gate. It is said that when those near death see the light, they are given power from the Kingdom of the Dead (although few people are able to see the light).
Stella states she can see the light, as can Noctis. Noctis guesses both of them have had a near-death experience though little else is currently known about the goddess or the power imbued on Stella and Noctis.
Prior to the final battle, Cid Aulstyne refers to Etro during his tirade over how powerless Class Zero is compared to him. It is also hinted that, through Rem Tokimiya, Etro kept watch over Machina Kunagiri during his efforts to rebuild Orience after the death of Cid Aulstyne and Class Zero and the waning of Orience's crystals.
- The Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega reveals that the Latin writing that appears during the Eidolons' summoning animations each mention Etro. For example, Odin's summoning animation has writing that translates to, By grace of Etro, let thunder herald your arrival. The writing, using a different writing system from the Pulse and Cocoon alphabets is attributed as Etro's script.
- Etro's design in Final Fantasy XV is similar to the entity Necron from Final Fantasy IX, Queen Eblan's chimera form in Final Fantasy IV and the Goddess Altana from Final Fantasy XI.
- Etro is sometimes thought to be the Maker, but they are two different entities.
- In 2008, her name was already known in Final Fantasy Versus XIII, later renamed Final Fantasy XV.
- Sometimes when Noel refers to Etro in Final Fantasy XIII-2, he paraphrases terms from the real world; e.g.: "God's sake" for "Etro's sake", and "for the love of God" altered to "for the love of Etro".
- The chiming heard at various points during Final Fantasy XIII-2 is said to be the funeral bells of Etro.
- The mythology of Fabula Nova Crysallis is based on Japanese mythology's take on the creation story. The part of the story where Etro meets Mwynn in the Unseen Realm is reminiscent of the part of the Japanese mythology where Izanagi-no-Mikoto searched for Izanami-no-Mikoto in the world of the dead but was too late as Izanami-no-Mikoto had already eaten the food of the underworld and had become one with the land of the dead, unable to return to the living. Izanami-no-Mikoto is known as the goddess of death, similar to Etro.
- ↑ http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/10/28/final-fantasy-15-may-be-linked-to-final-fantasy-13
- ↑ http://www.novacrystallis.com/2013/06/lightning-returns-square-enix-members-exlcusive-interview/
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Studio BentStuff. Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega (in Japanese), 90, Square Enix.
- ↑ http://type0.haloandwingsstudio.com/tabata/
|Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy|
|Lightning Saga: Final Fantasy XIII - Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII|
Others: Final Fantasy Type-0 - Final Fantasy Agito - Final Fantasy XV
|Lightning Saga: Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise- - Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i- - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments Before - Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After - Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Chronicle of Chaotic Era|
Type-0: Final Fantasy Type-0: Reaper of the Icy Blade - Manga - Final Fantasy Type-0: Change the World -The Answer- - Final Fantasy Type-0: Change the World -The Penultimate Truth-
|Bhunivelze - Etro - Lindzei - Mwynn - Pulse - Diva|
|Chaos - Crystal - Crystal Stasis - Etro's Gate - fal'Cie - Focus - l'Cie - Unseen Realm|
|Final Fantasy XV|
|Noctis Lucis Caelum - Ignis Stupeo Scientia - Gladiolus Amicitia - Prompto Argentum - Cor Leonis|
|Etro - Idola Eldercapt - Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII - Stella Nox Fleuret|
|Accordo - Niflheim - Lucis - Solheim - Tenebrae|
|Allusions - Translations|