- "l'Cie. Those marked by the fal'Cie for a greater destiny."
- —Official Final Fantasy XIII game trailer.
The l'Cie (ルシ, Rushi?) [lə'siː] (pronounced "luh-see") are humans that are "branded" by divine entities and given great physical and magical power, as well as a Focus to fulfill, in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy titles Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Final Fantasy Type-0.
The l'Cie are given powers through crystals, regardless of the game they appear in. This grants the l'Cie powerful abilities mostly associated with magic. In Final Fantasy XIII, for gameplay purposes, this works in the form of the Crystarium System where characters have several abilities, which mature and unlock over time. Characters have "primary" and "secondary" roles showing each l'Cie has different affinities.
In Final Fantasy Type-0, while magic is not exclusive to l'Cie, the l'Cie still have powerful abilities; for example, Celestia can turn into a dragon known as Shinryu Celestia, and Caetuna, the most senior l'Cie in Orience, can summon over 1000 creatures and Alexander, a being so powerful it would be impossible to summon under normal conditions.
In both games the mental and emotional state of the l'Cie is important. L'Cie who are mentally unstable or conflicted suffer side-effects, such as becoming Cie'th in Final Fantasy XIII, or memory loss in Final Fantasy Type-0; these are associated with negative emotions such as anger, hatred, or despair.
The Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology was revealed in a video shown at Square Enix 1st Production Department Premiere event on January 18, 2011. The video details the birth of the world of Final Fantasy XIII and its deities. It is mentioned that after the gods Pulse and Lindzei were created they created l'Cie and fal'Cie of their own.
This is curious, because the gods appear to have created l'Cie before the birth of mankind, which leads one to speculate that a l'Cie may not need to be a human, and the term l'Cie in the mythology video may simply refer to any "lesser" entity than a fal'Cie that is given a Focus. In all entries to the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, however, only human l'Cie are ever seen.
- "Have you ever paused to consider our reason for making l'Cie of men? We fal'Cie are crafted for a single purpose and granted finite power to that end. With men it is not so. Men dream, aspire, and through indomitable force of will achieve the impossible. Your power is beyond measure. We take l'Cie that we might wield such strength."
L'Cie are chosen by the fal'Cie to fulfill an attributed Focus. A fal'Cie chooses a person to become a l'Cie, but the selected is metaphysically sent to a rift between worlds where the actual branding is performed by the fal'Cie's creator. In the case of the Final Fantasy XIII main cast, they are branded by the god Pulse.
Infested with a crystal shard (the l'Cie's eidolith) somewhere in their bodies, the person wakes up back in the real world as a l'Cie. Whether it is the fal'Cie itself or their creator that attributes the Focus to the chosen l'Cie is never elaborated upon in either Final Fantasy XIII or Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega.
The l'Cie are not outright told what their Focus is; instead, they must figure it out with the aid of an ambiguous vision revealed to them at the moment of branding. If a l'Cie fails to complete his or her Focus, they will be transformed into a crystallized monster known as a Cie'th. The "reward" for completing a Focus is not much better, for the l'Cie will be granted "eternal life" and turned into a crystal wherein they sleep until awakened to complete another Focus. For this reason, many think the fate of a l'Cie equates to a death sentence.
A l'Cie is granted more than just a Focus: upon transformation they gain powerful magical and physical capabilities and can grow further in strength through the development of their personal crystal using the Crystarium. L'Cie can perform Paradigm Shifts to alter their capabilities during battle and gain the power needed to complete their Focus, which may involve slaying a large beast or other creature that no unaugmented human would stand a chance against.
There are two types of l'Cie - those of Cocoon and those of Gran Pulse. The type of l'Cie one becomes is determined by the origin of the fal'Cie who chooses them, not the place where the transformation takes place. This is why Lightning and her companions become Pulse l'Cie, even though they are transformed on Cocoon, because they were chosen by the Pulse fal'Cie Anima. In Cocoon society, the public fears l'Cie of Pulse and they are relentlessly hunted and killed by PSICOM soldiers. The l'Cie of Cocoon, however, are hailed as heroes and may simply fall under PSICOM custody.
The "brand" of the l'Cie is visible somewhere on the person's body. The appearance of the brand depends on the fal'Cie's alignment that chose the l'Cie, and both Cocoon and Pulse fal'Cie have a different brand. The brand of Pulse is an overlapping sequence of black arrows. Over time, the arrows multiply and a closed eye is revealed. When the eye opens fully, the l'Cie's time has run out, and they will turn into a Cie'th. The brand of the Cocoon fal'Cie is the symbol of the god Lindzei; it starts as a small emblem, but grows into the full form.
The brand can be "burned out" under certain circumstances, turning white and ceasing to grow. A l'Cie whose brand has burned out keeps their power yet no longer need to complete a Focus. Barthandelus suggests this is because the true power of l'Cie comes from humans, merely roused and harnessed by the deities rather than granted. Under certain circumstances the l'Cie brand can vanish altogether, turning the l'Cie back into a regular human being.
Though it is thought by the people of Cocoon that completing a Focus and becoming a crystal is an eternal imprisonment, the state is temporary. It is not said in the game whether it is at the behest of the fal'Cie or by the gods Pulse and Lindzei, but the l'Cie can be awakened with a new Focus to complete. So long as the l'Cie continues to complete a new Focus they are returned to crystal sleep between each task. While most see this as enslavement, some l'Cie revel in this as a form of immortality - at least, until they fail a Focus. During crystal stasis l'Cie do not age, which also gives them a form of "eternal youth".
In some cases, when a l'Cie begins to fall into despair, the goddess Etro sends an Eidolon to become that person's salvation. Eidolons force a personal "evolution" where the l'Cie must fight off their emotional uncertainties and win the Eidolon's allegiance, or be put to death. After mastering their Eidolons, the l'Cie can summon them via the crystal emerging from their brand.
- See also: Datalog/History and Myth.
The beings known as fal'Cie possess the power to enthrall unwilling human instruments, compelling the victims to serve their will. These individuals, known as l'Cie, are marked with indelible brands. They gain the gift of magic, but also bear the burden of completing a task known as a Focus for their fal'Cie master.
Pulse l'Cie—tools of fal'Cie from the world below—are considered dangerous enemies of Cocoon's society. As there exists no means of removing the l'Cie brand and the curse thereby imposed, Pulse l'Cie are hunted relentlessly.
During the War of Transgression, a number of warriors were made into l'Cie to engage the forces of Pulse alongside the Sanctum fal'Cie. Since that time, there is no record of a Cocoon fal'Cie taking a human as a l'Cie.
It is possible that there have been unrecorded cases, but even if that is so, any and all accurate information about the nature of Sanctum l'Cie has been lost in the intervening years. Even Sanctum researchers have been able to achieve no more than speculation.
The brands that mark a l'Cie as one of the fal'Cie's chosen change gradually, passing through several different stages. When the "eye" at the center opens—the brand's final stage—the l'Cie becomes a Cie'th.
A brand's rate of progression depends partly on the difficulty of the l'Cie's Focus. It is also linked closely to the individual's mental state, with severe psychological trauma sometimes spurring rapid advancement. In the most extreme cases, severe fear and shock at being made a l'Cie has turned newly made l'Cie to Cie'th at the instant of their branding.
A white brand indicates the l'Cie brand has stopped advancing and he/she is no longer in danger of becoming a Cie'th, but why a l'Cie stops advancing is not explained. Fang's brand is white since the beginning of the game, symbolizing that her Focus—for her and Vanille to become Ragnarok—has stalled, though Fang has no memory of the events. During the game's climax, Fang's brand momentarily turns black again, and later the brands of all six party members have turned white when they defy their Focus and engage Orphan.
Further, the game implies, although does not state outright, that a l'Cie would be able to overcome their fal'Cie-given Focus. In the Sulyya Springs Vanille reveals to Snow Serah's Focus was likely the same as the rest of the party's because she had the same vision of Ragnarok, which would mean Dysley had lied to the group. Vanille says, "I think she beat it. She handed Cocoon over to us, and that's what made her turn to crystal". This is further confirmed in Final Fantasy XIII-2 where Vanille's memory fragment says (regarding Serah): "Did you know that you were the first miracle in all of this? You defied your l'Cie fate and turned to crystal of your own will".
Although Serah wasn't shown with a white brand, the party's brands turning white at the game's end might have similar roots, as the party have just declared they have seen a new vision of something that Sazh says looked like a new Focus, and after completely rejecting their previous Focus in saying they will save Cocoon, their brands turn white one by one while Vanille's narrator voice says, "The Brand of a l'Cie. The symbol of the Focus we all faced. The mark of the fate we all shared. Proof of the promise we all made". When Orphan's final form emerges, Lightning says, "Maybe Cocoon is past saving, but it's our home. And we'll protect it or die trying! We live to make the impossible possible. That is our Focus". Both Vanille's and Lightning's lines suggest the party has indeed changed their Focus.
When the party awakens from their short crystal stasis, their whitened brands have disappeared and they have turned back into regular humans. In Final Fantasy XIII-2 it is revealed this deed was performed by the goddess Etro.
While not l'Cie, Serah and Noel Kreiss possess impressive agility and strength, and can use the Crystarium. This is a result of the goddess Etro reaching into the visible world to free Lightning and the other l'Cie from crystal stasis after the fall of Cocoon. Because of the goddess's actions, the "crystal power" of the l'Cie was infused into the soil of Gran Pulse, granting magic to those with the will to learn to use it. On his search to find Lightning, Snow willingly becomes a l'Cie again to access his old powers.
Although no longer a l'Cie, Lightning can use magic because she is infused with Etro's power enabling her to control the Eidolons residing in Valhalla.
Lightning's fated rival, Caius Ballad, was once a Pulse l'Cie tasked with protecting the seeress Paddra Nsu-Yeul. He was freed from his Focus by Etro and infused with her heart, the "Heart of Chaos", which greatly increased his power and granted him immortality. Gorgyra, a previous Guardian of Yeul, became a Cie'th following her failing to protect the seeress, implying she was a l'Cie before.
Seemingly, all Guardians are l'Cie with the Focus of protecting the seeress. Both recorded Guardians of Yeul – Caius and Gorgyra – were l'Cie. However, this also signifies a Focus can be inherited as Guardians only become protectors after killing their predecessor.
Snow, the Patron of Yusnaan, is said to be the world's last l'Cie, and still wields l'Cie powers. His l'Cie brand is in its final stage and he awaits death, wondering if he will be able to see Serah again.
In Final Fantasy Type-0, l'Cie are branded by one of the four Crystals of Orience. Rather than being given a specific Focus, they must follow the demands of their Crystal, as well as the orders of their nation's leader. Although granted eternal youth, a l'Cie will gradually lose his or her emotions and memories as time goes by, due to the forced servitude to the Crystal. An Orience l'Cie will enter Crystal Stasis when the Crystal deems his or her purpose has been fulfilled. The last thoughts of a l'Cie are manifested into a Pyroxene, which is usually found at the site where the l'Cie entered Stasis. Only the Genbu l'Cie Atola can interpret these messages for others to read.
A l'Cie's appearance is defined by his or her glowing brand (unlike a physical brand in Final Fantasy XIII) and the color of his or her eyes (e.g. Suzaku l'Cie have red eyes, Byakko has green, and Sōryū blue). Suzaku and Sōryū l'Cie brands are similar to the final stage of the Pulse l'Cie brand. Byakko l'Cie brands differ slightly as they have wings.
L'Cie are given special abilities in battle, and are also divided into two types, Type-A, who are combat-based, and Type-B, which possess special abilities. Furthermore, the Phantoma from a l'Cie is more powerful than Phantoma from normal beings. During the arrival of Finis, only l'Cie can travel to the Palace of All Magic.
For the war taking place in Orience, the Dominion of Rubrum considered instating l'Cie into the military to battle against the invading nations, but Class Zero was suggested instead due to being more controllable and sharing the will of the country, unlike l'Cie who are guided by the Crystal itself. In the other three countries, l'Cie are instantly enlisted in the Army.
List of l'CieEdit
The following characters in Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy are l'Cie, or become l'Cie during the progress of their games:
- Serah Farron, whose brand is located on her upper left arm. Her crystal is in the shape of a teardrop.
- Lightning, whose brand is located on her chest. Her crystal is shaped like a rose bloom, and contains her Eidolon, Odin.
- Snow Villiers, whose brand is on his left forearm. His crystal has taken the shape of a heart, and contains his Eidolon, the Shiva sisters.
- Sazh Katzroy, whose brand is in the middle of his upper chest. His crystal is shaped like a chocobo feather, and contains his Eidolon, Brynhildr.
- Hope Estheim, whose brand is on the back of his left wrist. His crystal is shaped like a star, and contains his Eidolon, Alexander.
- Oerba Dia Vanille, whose brand is on her upper left thigh. Her crystal is in the form of an apple, and contains her Eidolon, Hecatoncheir.
- Oerba Yun Fang, whose brand is on her right shoulder. Her petal-shaped crystal contains her Eidolon, Bahamut.
- The PSICOM troops that entered the Pulse Vestige before the beginning of the game were branded l'Cie by Anima, but by the game's start, have all turned into Cie'th.
- Dajh Katzroy, who was chosen as a l'Cie by Kujata. His brand is on the back of his right hand.
- Cid Raines was chosen as a l'Cie by Barthandelus, whose brand is on his right hand.
- The entire Cavalry is branded as l'Cie as they enter Edenhall, but are attributed no Focus and instantly transform into Cie'th.
- Gilgamesh Anshul, a Type-A Genbu l'Cie from Lorica who has long forgotten his Focus. In his frustration, he travels the world in search of worthy opponents to duel with, such as Class Zero.
- Atola, a Type-B Genbu l'Cie from Lorica. Atola can be found in the town of Iscah, and he has the ability to read the messages left on l'Cie Pyroxenes. This unlocks the l'Cie's Crimson Codex file and a history file that connects to the l'Cie's past.
- Enkidu Uruk, a Genbu l'Cie who is a guide and childhood friend of Gilgamesh.
- Zhuyu Voghfau Byot, a Type-A Suzaku l'Cie and former student of the Peristylium Suzaku, who is slowly losing his feelings due to the time past since being marked. He wears the Peristylium's uniform in order to remember his identity. He is crystallized after defending the Magic Academy from the Lulusath Warriors during the time of Finis.
- Caetuna, a Type-B Suzaku l'Cie. She is the eldest l'Cie in Orience's history and is able to summon many Eidolons at her side. She is crystallized after summoning Alexander to destroy the walls guarding Byakko territory, and afterwards, she shatters.
- Qun'mi Tru'e, a Type-B Byakko l'Cie who wears full armor and a helmet. During the Milites Empire's invasion of Rubrum, she deployed her Magitek Armor Dainsleif as a Crystal Jammer to nullify the Suzaku soldiers' magic, but Dainsleif was destroyed by Class Zero. She also pilots the ship that carries an Ultima Bomb to annihilate Lorica. She is found severely weakened in the woods afterwards, and is crystallized after transferring her powers to Machina, making him a l'Cie.
- Nimbus, a Type-A Byakko l'Cie, who is a silent and enigmatic cyborg. It is said that he has fought many l'Cie in the past. He is said to be crystallized after taking Cid Aulstyne to the Palace of All Magic.
- Claes Celestia Misca Sancest, a Sōryū l'Cie, she is a member of an elite force that protects the Sōryū Crystal and Queen Andoria. She has the power to summon monsters and the ability to assume the form of Shinryu Celestia. She takes Class Zero to the Palace of All Magic during the time of Finis, and is petrified and killed when she tries to face the Lulusath Judge head-on.
- Machina Kunagiri, a Byakko l'Cie who inherits Qun'mi's powers. He is crystallized after dueling with Rem in the Palace of All Magic.
- Rem Tokimiya, a Suzaku l'Cie who takes Zhuyu's place when Class Zero chooses to remain human, though it is unknown if she inherited her powers from him, like Machina did from Qun'mi. She is crystallized after dueling with Machina in the Palace of All Magic.
- The original twelve members of Class Zero may choose to become l'Cie during the time of Finis. However, they will be overpowered and killed by the Lulusath Warriors they must defeat. Canonically, Class Zero chooses to remain human and continue their trials to confront Cid.
The Final Fantasy XIII "l'Cie" Zippo lighter hosts the brand of a Pulse l'Cie. Its original retail price was 13,650 yen. Like all official Final Fantasy Zippo lighters, it comes with a limited lifetime guarantee and a certificate of authenticity.
Other official l'Cie merchandise includes a .925 silver pendant shaped like a l'Cie brand with black rhodium plating and a metallic business card case. A pair of stickers of the Pulse l'Cie brand were included in the Final Fantasy XIII Limited Collector's Edition.
|Final Fantasy XIII|
|Final Fantasy XIII-2|
|Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII|
|Final Fantasy Type-0|
Visually, this is taken as a pun: the "white brand" is a symbolic meaning of a l'Cie "heaven" or "redemption", in which the l'Cie have found happiness despite the trials they went through. This contrasts with the normally—found "black brand", which indicates that a l'Cie is undergoing these trials. See also the White Brand section above for further details.
Final Fantasy XIIIEdit
- While several l'Cie, upon completing their Focus, have their entire body turn to crystal, Dajh is encased in a crystal block.
- Whenever l'Cie use magic they draw spells from their brand and proceed to fire them at their opponent, much in the same way they summon their eidolith. Not only can this be seen in cutscenes, but in battles as well; Hope uses his branded hand to cast spells and Vanille always stems her magic from her thigh.
Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit
- A decorative l'Cie brand is available as an adornment for recruitable monsters under the name "Mark of the L'Cie".
|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 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|
Type-0: Final Fantasy Type-0 The Icy Blade Of Death - 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|
|Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII|
|Main playable character|
|Bhunivelze - Chocolina - Etro - Hope Estheim - Lumina - Noel Kreiss - Serah Farron - Snow Villiers|
|Bhunivelze - Dead Dunes - Luxerion - Wildlands - Coliseum - Yusnaan|
|Chocobo - Cie - L'Cie - Fal'Cie - Savior - Oracle Drive - Order|
|Break - Knockdown - Lightspeed - Schema|
|"Crimson Blitz" - "Will to Fight" - "The Savior"|
|Abilities - Achievements and Trophies - Characters - Enemies - Translations - Garb - Quests - Wallpapers|