- "l'Cie. Those marked by the fal'Cie for a greater destiny."
- —Official Final Fantasy XIII game trailer.
The (l'Cie, ルシ?, lit. "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 are shown to have several abilities, which mature and unlock over time. The fact that characters have "primary" and "secondary" roles shows each l'Cie has different affinities.
In Final Fantasy Type-0 while magic is not exclusive to l'Cie, the l'Cie do, in fact, have powerful abilities; for example, Celestia is capable of turning into a dragon entity known as Shinryu Celestia, and Caetuna, the most senior l'Cie in Oriense, is capable of summoning 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 has shown to be 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 mostly associated with negative emotions such as anger, hatred, or despair. In Final Fantasy XIII this is more prominent with the likes of Barthandelus and Orphan claiming that one can become Ragnarok through an intense surge of these emotions, although it is shown it is also possible to become Ragnarok with the opposite feelings as well.
Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy Mythology
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."
In Final Fantasy XIII, l'Cie are chosen by the fal'Cie in order to fulfill an attributed Focus by the crystal-based deities. It appears that even if it is the fal'Cie who chooses a person to become a l'Cie, the selected are metaphysically sent to a Rift between worlds where the actual branding is performed by the fal'Cie's creator, in the case of Final Fantasy XIII main cast the god Pulse. Infested with a crystal shard (the l'Cie's eidolith) somewhere in their physical 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 on 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 for themselves with the aid of various ambiguous visions 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 monstrous crystallized creature 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 where they sleep until awakened in order to complete another Focus. It is for this reason that 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 will gain access to powerful magical and physical capabilities far beyond those of a normal human being. They can grow even further in strength through development of their personal crystal using the Crystarium. In addition, l'Cie can perform Paradigm Shifts to instantaneously alter their capabilities during battle. In this way, the l'Cie gains the power needed to complete their Focus, which may involve slaying a large beast or other creature that no unaugmented human would normally 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 Pulse fal'Cie Anima. In Cocoon society, the public fears l'Cie of Pulse immensely 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 is dependent 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 Cocoon fal'Cie is the symbol of the god Lindzei; it starts as a small emblem, but eventually grows into the full form.
The brand can also be "burned out" under certain circumstances, turning white and ceasing to grow. In such cases, the l'Cie 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. Also, 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 only temporary. It is not said in the game whether it is at the 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 each 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. Furthermore, 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 be that person's salvation. To that end, 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. Once mastering their Eidolons, the l'Cie can summon them via their unique crystals emerging from their brands.
The following characters in Final Fantasy XIII are l'Cie (or become l'Cie during the progress of the game):
- 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, all have turned into Cie'th.
- Dajh Katzroy, who was chosen a l'Cie by Kujata. His brand is on the back of his right hand.
- Cid Raines was chosen 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.
- 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 that 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 that Serah's Focus was most 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, the camera shows their brands turning 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 wakes up 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 that this deed was performed by the goddess Etro.
The Final Fantasy XIII "l'Cie" Zippo lighter has the Pulse fal'Cie's symbol on it, the same that the l'Cie are marked with in the game. Its original retail price was 13,650 yen. Like all official Final Fantasy Zippo lighters it comes with limited life time guarantee and a certificate of authenticity.
Other official l'Cie merchandise include a .925 silver pendant shaped in the mark of the l'Cie with black rhodium plate and a metallic business card case.
The main characters are not l'Cie; however, both Serah and newcomer Noel Kreiss have impressive agility and strength and the ability to use magic and the Crystarium. After the residents of Cocoon came down to Pulse, more and more people gained magic abilities. This is because when Cocoon fell goddess Etro reached through into the visible world to free Lightning and the others from their fate as l'Cie. In doing so the "crystal power" of the l'Cie was infused into the earth, granting magic to those with the will to learn it. Snow has a new brand visible in his new appearance, showing he is an active l'Cie again, and it is implied he willingly accepted a Focus to regain his l'Cie powers.
Although no longer a l'Cie, Lightning is able to use magic due to being infused with Etro's power, enabling her to control the Eidolons in Valhalla. Caius Ballad was once a Pulse l'Cie tasked with the protection of Paddra Nsu-Yeul, but was freed from his Focus by Etro and infused with her own heart, the "Heart of Chaos", which vastly increases his power and makes him immortal.
In Final Fantasy Type-0, l'Cie are branded and granted a Focus by the four Crystals of Oriense. When branded, l'Cie receive special powers to carry out their Focus and are granted eternal youth. On the other hand, l'Cie will lose their emotions as time goes by, which makes the l'Cie only care about the Crystal's demand.
L'Cie are also divided into two types: the combat-based Type-A, and Type-B, which possess special abilities. Furthermore, the Phantoma from a l'Cie is more powerful than Phantoma from normal beings. L'Cie also function as guides for those who wish to travel to the location where Finis is to begin.
In Final Fantasy Type-0, Suzaku and Sōryū l'Cie brands are similar to the final stage of the Pulse l'Cie brand from Final Fantasy XIII. The Byakko brands differ slightly as they have wings. A l'Cie's eyes seem to glow the color of their brand when they use their power (e.g. a Suzaku l'Cie's eyes glow red, Sōryū l'Cie sky blue).
For the war taking place in Final Fantasy Type-0, Rubrum considers instating l'Cie into the military to battle against the invading nations, but Class Zero is suggested instead due to being more controllable and sharing the will of the country, unlike the l'Cie, who are guided by the Crystal itself. In every other country, l'Cie are instantly enlisted in the Army.
- Gilgamesh, a Type-A Genbu l'Cie from Lorica who has long forgotten his Focus. He is an opponent to Class Zero.
- Atola, a Type-B Genbu l'Cie from Lorica. Atola can be found in several towns throughout Orience. When Class Zero encounter him, they can hand over their l'Cie Pyroxene for him to translate. This unlocks the l'Cie's Crimson Codex file and a history file that connects to the l'Cie's past.
- Enkidu, a Genbu l'Cie who is a guide and childhood friend of Gilgamesh.
- Zhuyu, 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.
- Caetuna, a Type-B Suzaku l'Cie. She is the oldest l'Cie in Oriense and a skilled summoner, apparently able to call a thousand War Gods at her side.
- Qun'mi, a Type-B Byakko l'Cie who wears full armor and a helmet. She is an opponent to Class Zero.
- Nimbus, a Type-A Byakko l'Cie, who is a silent and enigmatic cyborg. It's said that he has fought many l'Cie in his past.
- Celestia, a Sōryū l'Cie, she is a member of an elite force that protects the Sōryū Peristylium and opposes Class Zero. She has the power to summon monsters and the ability to assume the form of Shinryu Celestia.
- Machina Kunagiri, upon inheriting Qun'mi's powers, becomes a Byakko l'Cie.
- Rem Tokimiya, takes Zhuyu's place as a Suzaku l'Cie, though it is unknown if she inherited her powers from him, like Machina did from Qun'mi.
- Class Zero - In one of the endings, the twelve members of Class Zero become l'Cie.
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 XIII
- When several l'Cie, upon completion of their Focus, are shown to have their entire body turn to crystal, Dajh is shown to only be encased in a crystal block, his body clearly visible.
- Whenever a l'Cie uses magic, they always seem to draw the spells from their brand and proceed to fling it at their opponent, much in the same way that they summon their Eidolon crystal. Not only can this be seen in cutscenes, but in battles as well; such as Hope using his hand with his brand to use magic and Vanille always stemming her attacks from her thigh.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
- 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 Versus XIII
|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|
|Chaos - Crystal - Crystal Stasis - Etro's Gate - fal'Cie - Focus - l'Cie - Unseen Realm|