Final Fantasy Wiki

Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)

18,957 pages on
this wiki
This solitary young woman speaks little of herself—even her true name is a mystery. She is known to others simply as 'Lightning'.
—Online Description

Lightning, her original name being Claire Farron (Eclair Farron in the Japanese version), is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII. She is the narrator and a temporary playable character in Final Fantasy XIII-2, and returns as the protagonist and sole permanently playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

In Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning seeks to save her younger sister Serah, but becomes entangled in a plot that endangers her home of Cocoon. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning serves as a knight protecting the goddess Etro in Valhalla from her fated rival, Caius Ballad. In the concluding tale Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning is chosen to be a savior by the god Bhunivelze, tasked to save the people's souls before the end of the world.

Lightning is the second main female protagonist in a mainstream numbered Final Fantasy game, the first often considered being Terra Branford from Final Fantasy VI.





Lightning is a young woman with wavy rose colored hair, and pale aqua eyes. Lightning's eye color has been officially noted to be blue, though in the FMVs and promotional art they often appear green due to green aspects around the pupil. In Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments Before, Serah says Lightning resembles their mother.

In Final Fantasy XIII, she wears a variation of the standard Guardian Corps uniform. The green metallic pauldron over her left shoulder bearing yellow stripes denotes her previous rank as a sergeant. She carries her gunblade in a black case which hangs off her belt, and wears a necklace with a lightning bolt pendant. Her l'Cie brand is located slightly above her left breast. She has a navel piercing, although it can be difficult to spot.

Lightning FFXIII-2

In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning wears a silver and gold Valkyrie-like suit of armor with a shield on her left arm (though in her CG render it appears on the right arm). She has a new gunblade more closely resembling a traditional doubled-edged sword, which has Etro script on it. She no longer has the navel piercing she did in Final Fantasy XIII.

During Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning has a number of different costumes. Her default outfit, Equilibrium, is similar to what she wore in Final Fantasy XIII-2. The Night Lotus shield on her left arm and the Crimson Blitz sword in her right hand, similar to Noel's Flame Fossil dual swords, are in homage to her Eidolon Odin.[2] The game's logo appears on her outfit a number of times: on her chest, her sword and her shield.


Lightning. It flashes bright, then fades away. It can't protect; it only destroys.
—Lightning to Hope

Lightning is determined, concentrated and independent. Initially, she is cold and standoffish, distancing herself from her companions. She only looks out for herself and doesn't care if others are left behind. Much of her motivation is fueled from what she perceives as failing to protect Serah leading her to lash out at those she believes are responsible for that and her l'Cie fate: namely, the Sanctum, its fal'Cie and, to a point, Snow Villiers, due to his relationship with Serah and his failure to protect her as he promised. As she journeys with Hope Estheim and takes him under her wing, Lightning begins to show compassion and trust others, and sees the errors in her approach. Ultimately, she becomes the leader and, to a degree, protector of the other Pulse l'Cie as they journey to challenge their fate.

In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning has almost become a new woman due to the experiences and emotions she has endured. She has learned to trust others and ask them for help, and expresses her emotions rather than keeping them bottled up inside her. Her time in Valhalla and recognition of her past "sins" has made her more somber.

Lightning - LRFFXIII

In Lightning Returns, Lightning is initially cold and distant, most of her emotions sapped from her, although her memories remain intact. Her wish to save Serah remains, and she still shows concern for her former allies. Lightning and Hope demonstrate trust and care for one another, Hope promising to be by her side, helping Lightning better maintain her humanity despite her situation. She resents Bhunivelze for robbing her of her emotions and his use of her situation to his advantage.

As her quest advances, Lightning begins to show compassion toward others because of her assigned task to save their souls. Straying from her cold-hearted personality, she begins to encourage those struggling implying Lightning unconsciously had given up her emotions, rather than Bhunivelze taking them with force, which is further suggested by Lumina. By the end of her quest, Lightning has come around from her self-imposed tough and emotionless warrior persona, as Serah and Lumina, along with all her experiences, help her realize that locking her heart away is how she threw away her happiness.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Early lifeEdit

Claire's father died when she was young, and her mother died from an unknown illness when she was fifteen. With no other family to turn to, Claire raised her younger sister, Serah. To overcome the pain of her parents' deaths and to become an adult as quickly as possible, she changed her name from Claire Farron to "Lightning". Despite the delusion of not needing her past, Lightning was a normal child without her parents who wanted to be loved.

After graduating from high school, Lightning joined the Guardian Corps Bodhum Security Regiment under Lieutenant Amodar, where she attained the rank of sergeant and was scheduled for officer training. However, she began to lose sight of her goals, and worked many hours while spending little time with Serah.

Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise-Edit


Lightning and Amodar at the fireworks festival.

You became a l'Cie, so now you're gonna marry this idiot? And you think I'm gonna buy that? Full points for originality. But, don't forget. If you really are a l'Cie, it's my job to deal with you.
—Lightning to Serah

Nine days before Lightning's twenty-first birthday, the Bodhum monster-fighting group NORA rescues her from an aquatic ambush. Lightning meets Snow Villiers, their leader and Serah's boyfriend. Lightning remains unimpressed as she has never approved of NORA's vigilantism and unsuccessfully demands for him to stop dating Serah.

The next day, Lightning begins to regret her lack of attention to Serah, feeling she got involved with Snow to quell her loneliness. After seeing Nora Estheim and her son Hope in the mall, Lightning is inspired to plan a vacation away from Bodhum for her birthday to spend time with Serah and divert her attention from Snow. Four days later, the Cavalry is hunting down a girl named Vanille and Lightning meets with Rygdea, suspecting it may have something to do with the incident at Euride Gorge two days ago. While attending Bodhum's fireworks festival four days later, Lightning learns of a Pulse-related incident at the nearby Vestige being kept under wraps by the Sanctum, but Amodar warns her not to investigate.

Lightning birthday

"Worst birthday ever".

The next day, Lightning's birthday, Serah reveals she has been branded a Pulse l'Cie, and that she and Snow are engaged. Thinking Serah is lying to give herself an excuse to wed Snow, Lightning drives her away, leaving her alone to open her birthday present from Serah: a survival knife. When the Sanctum announces the quarantine of Bodhum after a Pulse fal'Cie was discovered within the Vestige, Lightning realizes Serah had been telling the truth.

After learning the Sanctum plans to Purge everyone in town to Pulse, Lightning tries to find Serah but Snow says she is being held captive inside the Vestige. The following day, PSICOM rounds up the people in Bodhum and lines them up to board Purge trains. Although military personnel are exempt, Lightning volunteers to be Purged with the civilians and resigns from the Guardian Corps to get into the Hanging Edge, where the Vestige is being moved, to rescue Serah before she is taken out of reach. Lightning is approached by a man named Sazh Katzroy, who joins her in her quest to reach the Pulse fal'Cie.

Final Fantasy XIIIEdit

Lightning Sazh&Purgees

Lightning and Sazh.

This l'Cie curse, it took everything from me. My future. My dreams. I didn't want to think. So I fought instead. As long as I was fighting, nothing else was real. I was running away.
—Lightning to Hope

As the Purge train enters the Hanging Edge, Lightning attacks the PSICOM soldiers aboard and frees her fellow captives. PSICOM forces fire on the train and a Manasvin Warmech brings it to a halt. Lightning and Sazh fight through the PSICOM forces and arrive at the Vestige where they discover Serah outside the Pulse fal'Cie Anima's throne. Snow, Hope and Vanille arrive, and Serah asks Lightning to save Cocoon and enters crystal stasis, having fulfilled her Focus. Lightning and the group confront and destroy Anima, but are branded l'Cie before it perishes and the Vestige plummets to Lake Bresha, crystallizing it on impact.

Lightning and her new companions awaken in Lake Bresha realizing they are now l'Cie and that upon being branded they shared a vision of the legendary beast Ragnarok. They discover Serah's crystal form fused to the crystallized lake. Deeming Serah is dead, Lightning reluctantly opts to continue onward to evade the army's closing net and so they leave behind Snow, who has chosen to dig Serah out. They find an airship in abandoned ruins at the lake's edge and use it to escape, but are attacked by pursuing PSICOM ships and crash in the Vile Peaks.

Lightning to Eden

Lightning plans to take the fight to the Sanctum in Eden.

Lightning plans to go to the capital city of Eden to destroy its namesake fal'Cie that controls the Sanctum, blaming it for the Purge and her current situation. After a disagreement on their Focus, the group splits up: with Lightning going to Eden to take down the Sanctum, and Sazh and Vanille heading for the opposite direction to run from their fate. Followed by Hope and unable to send him back, Lightning lets him accompany her. Her patience wears thin as Hope becomes a liability and Lightning threatens to leave him. Her frustration summons the Eidolon Odin to attack Hope. Lightning saves him and they defeat the Eidolon together, convincing her to let Hope travel with her and help him "toughen up".

At the Gapra Whitewood Hope takes the lead and Lightning gives him her survival knife to boost his confidence. Hope intents to take revenge on Snow for his part in his mother's death during the Purge and when Lightning tells him the Sanctum is to blame Hope resolves in making both Snow and the Sanctum pay for it. Lightning tries to dissuade Hope by suggesting they visit his father.

Lightning's Moment of Clarity

Lightning has an epiphany.

In Palumpolum, Hope leads Lightning into the underground Nutriculture Complex to avoid PSICOM. Upon hearing Hope speak of the fal'Cie treating humans like their pets, Lightning realizes that having lived under fal'Cie care since birth she had always been their pawn, and that her anger is over her protectors turning against her. Realizing she has dragged Hope into the same delusion of fighting blindly to make up for doubt and confusion, Lightning tells Hope their goals of vengeance are over and promises she will not abandon him. PSICOM soldiers led by Yaag Rosch ambush Lightning and Hope as they emerge in the Agora, but Snow and Oerba Yun Fang, who have teamed up with the Cavalry to overthrow Sanctum, intervene to save them. Lightning escapes with Fang while Snow takes Hope. With wireless communicators the pairs agree to meet up at Hope's house. Hope wants to go through with his revenge against her wishes, and when Lightning tries to reason with him her plea never reaches him.

Lightning learns Fang is not only a Pulse l'Cie like herself, but an actual Gran Pulse citizen. Fang and Vanille were crystallized centuries earlier after completing their Focus, but awoke in Cocoon without knowing how or why, and were indirectly responsible for Serah being made a l'Cie. Lightning and Fang realize Pulse and Cocoon are more similar than they initially thought in how both worlds fear and hate each other. Fang tells Lightning how a l'Cie's brand indicates the amount of time until one becomes a Cie'th, and reassures Serah will wake from crystal stasis one day.

Lightning hugs Hope

Lightning promises to protect Hope.

Lightning and Fang locate Snow and Hope in time to help the latter battle an Ushumgal Subjugator. Hope has abandoned his plan for revenge and returns Lightning's knife, and they promise to protect each other before the group proceeds to Hope's home. Lightning tends to the injuries Snow sustained from protecting Hope and apologizes for her earlier behavior towards him. PSICOM attacks the apartment but disguised Cavalry soldiers intervene and during the chaos Lightning has Hope tie up his dad to make him appear like an unwilling accomplice.

The party boards the Lindblum and learns Sazh and Vanille are being held captive on the Palamecia, and that Primarch Galenth Dysley is overseeing the transport. The four l'Cie infiltrate the Palamecia to rescue Sazh and Vanille and once reunited, they confront Dysley on the bridge. He reveals himself as the fal'Cie Barthandelus, leader of the Cocoon fal'Cie, and explains their Focus is to destroy Cocoon by turning into Ragnarok and killing Orphan, the fal'Cie that sustains Cocoon. The party flees on a small airship, which autopilots them through Eden into the Fifth Ark hidden beneath the city.

The group's l'Cie powers are fully awoken and they encounter the leader of the Cavalry, Cid Raines. He reveals he is a Sanctum l'Cie branded by Barthandelus with the Focus of aiding them as Barthandelus desires for Cocoon's destruction so the deaths of its inhabitants would summon the Maker, the creator of fal'Cie and humans alike. Raines rebels against his Focus by attempting to kill them and though defeated transforms into crystal despite having defied his Focus. The group decides to follow his example and save Cocoon. Fang turns against them until Lightning and Vanille help her tame her Eidolon, Bahamut. The party finds an airship with a gate leading to Gran Pulse, and descends to the world below hoping to find aid in their quest.

Snow promises Lightning

Lightning and Snow promise to see Serah together.

After falling under attack by a wild wyvern, Lightning helps Fang summon Bahamut to save the party. They land and create a base camp in the Vallis Media but after days of searching find Pulse devoid of human life. Hope wishes to be left behind and his Eidolon Alexander appears. Lightning and Fang help Hope tame the Eidolon, and with their resolve renewed, the party decides to head to Oerba, Vanille and Fang's hometown.

The party crosses the Archylte Steppe into the Mah'habara Subterra and the Sulyya Springs where Lightning and Snow promise to see Serah together after saving Cocoon. They ascend Taejin's Tower and ride a capsule down to the outskirts of Oerba, but find it abandoned. The group is confronted by Serah, who refers to Lightning by her birthname and asks the group to destroy Orphan to summon the Maker and save the world from despair. Serah is Dysley in disguise, who announces he has resigned as Primarch and appointed a revived Raines in his place to incite a civil war, as the Cavalry would see him as a traitor. He has his familiar, Menrva, transform into an airship for the group to return to Cocoon, and they do so to try and stop Dysley's plans.

FFXIII Siege of Eden

Lightning leads the group through Eden.

They crash the Eden Grand Prix and make their way through Eden to Orphan's Cradle among the ensuing chaos. In the depths of the Narthex they find Dysley, who summons the crystallized Dajh Katzroy and Serah before the party and shatters them. Denouncing it as an illusion, the party fights Barthandelus and destroys him. His defeat awakens the sleeping Orphan, who wishes to be destroyed after centuries of not having a life, and attacks them.

Fang submits to Orphan's demands and agrees to become Ragnarok. After they try to stop her, Lightning and the others aside from Vanille are turned into Cie'th and attack Fang. Orphan tortures her to force her to transform but Fang's incomplete transformation is not strong enough to kill Orphan. The Cie'th party members relive the memories of their quest and are restored, believing their transformation was another fal'Cie illusion, and that they have seen something that resembled a new Focus. Lightning announces their new Focus is to save Cocoon and all of the party's l'Cie brands burn out.

Serah&Lightning reunite

Lightning and Serah are reunited.

Orphan's true form is vanquished and Cocoon begins to fall. Lightning and the others float away as Vanille and Fang transform into a complete Ragnarok, using their power to stop Cocoon's descent by forming a crystal pillar to support it above Gran Pulse. Lightning and the others enter crystal stasis, but are restored and find they are no longer l'Cie. Lightning is reunited with Serah and begins apologizing to her, but is cut short when Snow reminds they "have a wedding to plan". Snow reassures Lightning he will make Serah happy, and Lightning congratulates them.

Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i-Edit

But you know we can't just leave you, right?
—Lightning to Fang and Vanille

Lightning vows to find a way to save Vanille and Fang from the crystal pillar. She believes the answer lies somewhere on Gran Pulse, and perhaps she could discover other Pulsian survivors as well. Lightning believes it will be a long and difficult journey and after seeing Serah is in good hands with Snow, she decides to take up the task on her own as Serah and the others will be tied down with new responsibilities and would be unable to accompany her. A paradox removes Lightning from history and she finds herself in another world.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments AfterEdit

I took their lives just because I didn't want to die. I felt that it was a sin, but I deluded myself, saying I had no choice. I had selfishly decided the weight of life and selfishly convinced myself of it. I didn't even stop to think that their lives were sacrificed for mine. It was all me... so sinful and arrogant.
Lightning Historia Crux

Lightning falls through the Historia Crux.

On the first day of the AF era that started on the Day of Ragnarok, Lightning's reunion with Serah is cut short when she is dragged into an abyss by a manifestation of chaos caused by a paradox. Only her survival knife remains, and everyone except Serah believes her to be either dead or crystallized along with Vanille and Fang within the crystal pillar. In actuality, Lightning fell through the Historia Crux and ended up in Valhalla, the realm of death and chaos dislodged from time. Lightning comes upon a moogle named Mog who challenges her to a duel and promptly loses. Touched by Mog's innocence, Lightning has him follow her.

Mog tells Lightning about Valhalla, the Void Beyond, and the goddess Etro. Lightning and Mog encounter Odin, who challenges Lightning to a battle, during which she learns to cast magic despite no longer being a l'Cie. She defeats Odin and rides him to Etro's temple where Lightning is challenged by Bahamut. During the fight Lightning loses her weapon, but Mog transforms into a bow for her to use to overcome the Eidolon. Standing before the goddess's throne, a brief oneness with Etro enables Lightning to understand the goddess's isolation and her love towards mankind.


Lightning is made Etro's champion.

Lightning comes to realize Etro saw her and her friends as sinners for killing people during their time as l'Cie, yet freed them from their brands after giving Vanille and Fang the strength to become Ragnarok. Through the Eyes of Etro, Lightning sees various moments in time that include an era facing destruction, seeress Yeul's various deaths, Serah trapped in an endless dream, and her own losing battle with Yeul's Guardian Caius. Her Guardian Corps uniform disappears and a suit of armor materializes in its place. Lightning chooses to stay as Etro's champion to contain the memories of the deceased and fight Caius as a way to atone for her sins. Caius briefly appears behind her and tells her to go home, as the world will not end for some time, but she resolves to remain.

Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit

This man, Caius Ballad. He seeks to destroy all hope, and bring an end to the future. Though the battle might be endless, I will never give up. Etro has chosen us—her champions. And we cannot fail.
—Lightning to Noel and Serah

Lightning and Caius battle.

As Etro's protector, Lightning guards the goddess from Caius, Yeul's immortal Guardian who wants to kill Etro to destroy the timeline to save Yeul from her cycle of reincarnation. During her battle against Caius, Lightning sees Etro's gate appear over Etro's temple and a person falling out. She recognizes it as the young man she had seen in a past vision, Noel Kreiss. Lightning saves Noel from his fall and shows him a Time Gate asking him to find Serah and bring her to Valhalla. Lightning gives him Mog to be a good-luck-charm for Serah once he finds her. When Caius summons a meteor over the shrine, Lightning summons Odin to throw her into the meteor's path, but it crushes the shrine.

Noel finds Serah and together they embark on a quest through time to find their way to Valhalla. Lightning eventually appears from a portal before them in New Bodhum at 700 AF, and tells them they are in a future she had failed to save. She explains that Orphan's demise and Fang and Vanille's sacrifice to save Cocoon opened the portal to Valhalla, and while Etro closed the door to prevent Valhalla's chaos from pouring out into the world, Lightning was brought to Valhalla as a result.

Lightning with Serah&Noel

Lightning meets Serah and Noel in New Bodhum 700 AF.

Lightning says Caius plans to destroy Etro and open the door again, unleashing chaos into the mortal world. The door would open wide enough if enough people died at once, such as if the crystallized Cocoon fell, and the world would be infected with chaos; time, life, and death would become meaningless, making the world like Valhalla. Lightning entrusts Noel and Serah to stop Caius in the mortal realm while she deals with him in Valhalla. She has Mog reveal the final Time Gate to take Serah and Noel to 500 AF so they can stop Caius from destroying Hope's new Cocoon.

In the Vile Peaks, Lightning blames herself for the paradox that caused the disappearance of an Academy anti-paradox team, the Blitz Squadron, while they were scouting the area in 10 AF to deal with a distortion. She recalls how she once fought alongside the men in Blitz Squadron and finds comfort in how they still remember her. When Mog reveals a phased-out image of Lightning in the Vile Peaks, she tells Serah and Noel about how as a l'Cie, she first thought fighting for what she believed in alone was the only way, but later saw the error in her ways. Being all by herself in Valhalla, she holds on to the memories of Serah and her friends to stay strong in her battle against Caius. Lightning tells Serah she misses her and prays for the day when they can be together again, and disappears.

After Serah and Noel find their way to Valhalla and battle Caius they are consumed by a wave of darkness and sent falling into an abyss of light. Lightning appears and saves them, urging them to keep hope alive before vanishing.

FFXIII-2 RotG Lightning v Caius

Lightning faces Caius.

Back in Valhalla, Lightning continues her fight with Caius. As mentioned in the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega scenario interview, the battle between Lightning and Caius is an endless loop that would continue for eternity. The loop appears broken when Caius abruptly disappears and Lightning sees a vision of Serah's death by her Eyes of Etro. Caught off guard, Lightning is struck down by Caius before being taken away by chaos.

She comes to in the remains of Etro's temple where she finds Serah's soul restrained and surrounded by chaos, manipulated by the spirits of Yeul. The chaos forms into a manifestation of Caius that Lightning proceeds to battle. Caius transforms into Chaos Bahamut and flies towards the beach where Lightning continues to fight him.

After dispatching her opponent, Lightning mounts Odin and demands Yeul to let Serah go, only for her and her Eidolon to be swallowed by chaos. Lightning is made to realize her actions caused her sister's death and as she floats through the Historia Crux Lightning contemplates her belief that carrying out Etro's will would atone for her past sins, and concludes there is nothing left for her, not even hope. Mourning over Serah's body, Lightning sees Serah's spirit on Etro's throne who reveals she knew of her death yet continued so they can be reunited. As Serah's spirit fades away, she tells Lightning not give up hope and always remember her, promising they will meet again.

Lightning Throne of Etro

Lightning in crystal stasis.

To ensure Serah's memory lives on, holding on to their wish to be together again someday, and preserve the world's existence in Etro's place as her true atonement, Lightning sits on the goddess's throne and enters crystal stasis, waiting for the day she will awaken at the end of eternity. Gran Pulse is engulfed in chaos and merges with Valhalla to become Nova Chrysalia.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIIEdit


Lightning confronts Snow as the savior.

I'd call it a mixing blessing. I'm more powerful than I ever was, but it came with a price. I'm not even sure if I'm human anymore.
—Lightning to Noel

After sleeping for five centuries in crystal stasis, the god Bhunivelze sought Lightning out to be the savior, tasking her with guiding the souls of humanity to the new world that will replace Nova Chrysalia.

Bhunivelze separated Serah's soul from Lightning and created an illusion of her sister to keep Lightning acquiescent. Serah's soul was saved from fading into the Chaos when the part of Lightning she had suppressed when she first took on her codename was made manifest by the Chaos, creating a girl called Lumina, who acts as a body protecting Serah's soul.

LRFFXIII Soul Rescued

Lightning saves a soul.

Though she resents the deity for using Serah as a bargaining chip, Lightning's regret over her death convinced her to aid Bhunivelze so she can save her sister's soul. Bhunivelze removed much of Lightning's emotion so she can perform her task more efficiently. While Hope helps her from within his Ark in the New Cocoon, Lightning rescues souls and gathers Eradia to restore the tree Yggdrasil to delay the Apocalypse.

Amid a celebration in Yusnaan, Lightning confronts Snow in the ballroom of Patron's Palace. During their battle Lumina breaks Lightning's sword and drops a chandelier, but Snow halts its descent by freezing it. Snow flees and Lightning chases him through the palace into a Chaos infusion where Lightning re-encounters Lumina, who claims Lightning is different from Bhunivelze's usual servants. After defeating the Zaltys that Lumina summoned, Lightning comes upon a door blocked by a field of Chaos, and worries Snow is not entirely sane if he went inside. She hears Snow's guards approaching and retreats.

Luxerion cult

Lightning faces off against the Children of Etro.

Traveling to Luxerion, Lightning learns three women who resemble her have been murdered in the last three days, the work of a cult called Children of Etro. Lightning encounters Noel Kreiss who has become obsessed by a prophecy declaring she will destroy the world if unstopped. Lightning puts a stop to the cult's activities, then faces Noel, freeing him of his burden of guilt.

Gaining access to the Luxerion Cathedral at night time, she meets up with Lumina and Vanille, who has been cursed with the ability to hear the voices of the dead and consequently has become the saint of the Order of Salvation, a cult dedicated to the worship of Bhunivelze. Vanille shows Lightning a concentration of Chaos around the altar in God's Sanctum. Lumina says the Order seeks the save the dead from their anguish by offering them oblivion and needs Vanille to call them to her.


Lightning battles Snow.

In Yusnaan, Lightning returns to Snow's palace and is forced to fight him. Though he tries to make her take his life as a penance for failing to protect Serah, and nearly becomes a Cie'th in the process, Lightning brings him round and frees him of his burden.

In the Dead Dunes, Lightning encounters Fang, who for the past thirteen years has been searching for the holy clavis, a divine relic that can draw in and "purify" souls, needed for the Soulsong, a ritual Vanille will perform before the world ends. When they find it, Fang tries to destroy it as the ritual would erase the dead and kill Vanille, but the clavis ends in the Order's hands. Lightning and Fang agree to meet on the final day to convince Vanille not to go through with the Soulsong.


Lightning encounters Caius.

In the Wildlands, Lightning rescues a white chocobo called Angel of Valhalla from a Chocobo Eater and heals its injuries before setting out across the land. She encounters a depressed Sazh and discovers his son Dajh has been comatose since Nova Chrysalia's formation. She finds Dajh's soul to rouse him and brings Sazh out of his depression. In another part of the Wildlands, Lightning explores the remains of Etro's temple where she finds a resurrected Caius and many Yeuls. She defeats Caius only to learn she cannot save him as he has become bound to the Chaos by Yeul and plans to disappear with the world into the unseen realm. As she leaves, Lightning learns from Yeul that the white chocobo is Odin, her Eidolon.

She comes across the Moogle Village and meets Mog who has been burdened by guilt for his perceived failure to protect Serah, but is delighted to see Lightning again with promises of bringing Serah back. Lightning learns from the souls of the dead, in the form of Cid Raines, that Vanille unknowingly has the power to help them be reborn in the new world.

On the final day, Lightning returns to the Ark to find Hope fading away. She learns Bhunivelze chose him as his host as the god cannot see souls or Chaos in his true form. Hope comforts Lightning, saying her example enabled him to go on and accept his fate. Back in Luxerion, Lumina reveals the truth about the Soulsong: the Order seeks to carry out Bhunivelze's wishes and ensure their own salvation in the new world by destroying the dead and erasing them from the living's memories, so they can be reborn with a clean slate, unburdened by their pasts. The Order has kept Vanille in the dark and tricked her into believing the Soulsong will save the dead from their suffering.

Infiltrating the cathedral with Noel's help, Lightning teams up with Fang and finds Vanille within God's Sanctum in the process of performing the Soulsong. She convinces Vanille the reason the souls kept calling out to her was because they held onto hope, as souls in despair would have been silent. With help from Fang and Snow, Lightning stops the ritual and allows Vanille and Fang to free both their own souls, and the ones threatened by the clavis, to be reborn in the new world.

Bhunivelze Form 4

Lightning faces against Bhunivelze.

Yeul and Lumina arrive and reveal the truth about the fate of Serah's soul to Lightning. Using Hope's body as a medium, Bhunivelze shows up, captures her allies and offers a chance for Lightning to witness the birth of the new world. Upon reaching the heart of the cathedral's dungeons, Lightning is transported to Cosmogenesis, an otherworldly realm where Bhunivelze's true form awaits her.

Lightning learns that Bhunivelze had planned to purge the souls of humanity of their memories and emotions, believing such things are impurities. Bhunivelze wishes to condition Lightning into an emotionless replacement for Etro to oversee the balance of life in the new world, but now that the Soulsong has been thwarted, he seeks to destroy his new world and the dead along with it. Refusing to follow his plans, Lightning attacks Bhunivelze and frees Hope from his hold.

Serah Lightning LR Ending

Lightning reuniting with her friends and Serah, as they depart to the new world.

She intends to sacrifice herself to ensure Hope's escape and trap the deity in the unseen realm, but the illusion of Serah that Bhunivelze had created reveals Lumina's origins to Lightning. Accepting Lumina as a part of herself, Lightning calls for help. Lumina becomes one with Lightning and her heart is restored to normal. Her call is answered as Hope helps her leave the world of her subconscious. They launch a final assault on Bhunivelze and with the aid of her friends and the Eidolons, Lightning severs Bhunivelze's hold on the souls of humanity and the combined souls concentrate their energy to strike the god down.

Lightning and her reunited allies bear witness to the death of Nova Chrysalia and the birth of a new world free of gods with Caius and Yeul offering to become the shepherds of the dead in Etro's place. As the Eidolons fade away, Lightning bids farewell to Odin and sheds tears while recalling moments of her journey, then leads her friends to their new home.

Lightning LR Ending

Lightning in the new world.

In the new world, Lightning begins her life anew. On a sunny day, Lightning emerges from a train arriving in a modern town as she embarks on a peaceful journey to reunite with her friends.

Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-Edit

Lightning is being searched for by the reporter Aoede who is looking for answers for the mysteries behind some people possessing memories of having lived in another world. After meeting with all the principle survivors from Lightning's adventures, but being unable to meet her in person, Aoede ends up encountering Lightning by chance on a train and tries to get an interview. Lightning declines, saying she is getting off at the next station, and Aoede decides not to follow her, deeming her new mission as a mediator in a civil war more important. Aoede thanks Lightning for having fought to give humanity the new world, and Lightning replies she leaves it in Aoede and others' hands. As Lightning departs Aoede notes she looks carefree, and has her own life back at last, as having sent the God of Light to his grave Lightning freed herself from fighting. Positive their encounter is not to be the their last, Aoede hopes Lightning will chance upon hope.

Spoilers end here.


Final Fantasy XIIIEdit

Army of One ffxiii

Lightning unleashes Army of One.

Out of my way!
—Lightning in battle

Lightning has balanced stats providing her with versatility and her outstanding trait is her speed; she may not hit the hardest, but she strikes the fastest. The player can choose to focus on either Strength or Magic so that Lightning would focus on either strikes or spells when using auto battle, because with balanced stats she may use them interchangeably slowing her down, as either constantly casting magic, or constantly attacking, is faster than alternating between the two. However, having balanced stats ensures Lightning can still perform well against enemies who are Halved/Resistant/Immune to physical/magical damage.

Lightning has low HP gain compared to the others and when everyone's stats are maxed out, only Hope will have less HP than her.


Lightning majors in the Commando, Ravager, and Medic roles. Compared to most of her companions she has high physical and magical attack stats (the second highest attack stat behind Fang, and tied for the second highest magic stat with Vanille), making her able to use both Attacks and Ruin effectively, although her weapons give the lowest stat boosts. As her weapon transforms, Lightning can do both long range and melee attacks as a Commando. She learns every skill except for Adrenaline and Deathblow.

Magic-wise, Lightning is utilitarian, able to use all four elemental "-strike" attacks, all elemental magic to the "-ra" rank, as well as Thundaga. Lightning's Full ATB Skill, Army of One, increases the target's stagger gauge based on the current chain count. It is not the best at staggering enemies, but is very effective to boost an already staggered enemy's chain gauge to 999%.

As a Medic Lightning learns Cure, Cura, Esuna and Raise, allowing her to heal HP and ailments as well as revive, but her lack of high level curative spells puts her behind other Medics in the team. She is an offensive Synergist, learning all of the basic protection spells save Veil and learning the "En-" series of spells. As a Saboteur she learns Deprotect, Deshell, Imperil and Poison.

Despite her low HP, Lightning can be a good Sentinel, as she learns all of the role's passive abilities, and when pairing the Elude ability with the Nimbletoe Boots, she can avoid a large amount of damage from enemies.


Base stats:

Stat Beginning l'Cie Mastered Crystarium
HP 200 300 20,000
Strength 15 30 1,700
Magic 15 30 1,700


The storm is here!
—Lightning before performing Zantetsuken with Odin's Gestalt Mode

Lightning's Eidolon, Odin, is a large armored knight with a two-bladed sword joined at the hilt. In Gestalt Mode he transforms into the horse Sleipnir, which Lightning rides while wielding Odin's sword, Zantetsuken, split in two. When not in Gestalt Mode Odin uses a combination of Thunder based spells and physical attacks while acting as a Sentinel and drawing in enemy attacks. Lightning has multiple ways to help with both her Ravager role to boost the enemies' chain gauge, and her Commando role to keep the gauge high.


Lightning Gunblades

Lightning's gunblades.

Lightning's initial weapon, Blazefire Saber, has multiple inscriptions that read "Invoke my name - I am Spark" and "blinding instant" written in the Pulsian alphabet. In Cocoon writing, her name, Lightning, is also engraved on the weapon. Blazefire Saber is her balance weapon befitting her jack of all trades role.

Gladius boosts her STR augmenting her physical attacks at the cost of her magical attacks, which is not too bad considering she has access to all elemental strikes. Edged Carbine is the counterpart that boosts her MAG.

Her Lifesaber gives "Improved Raise", but as she is rarely the primary MED it is not so useful. It also has the synthesized ability "Low HP: Power Surge".

Hauteclaire has high stats, but has "Stagger Lock".

Axis Blade is her speed weapon with "Attack: ATB Charge" and the ability to synthesize "ATB Rate", this weapon transforms Lightning into a speed demon and allows one to abuse Army of One and "Random: Instant Chain", as each of the 11 hits in Army of One have a chance to instantly fill an enemy's chain gauge simultaneously allowing Lightning to gain ATB segments at the end. However, if upgraded into Omega Weapon it will not synthesize the "ATB Rate" ability , and it maxes out at low stats.

Lionheart has "Quick Stagger" that allows Lightning to stagger enemies in "near stagger" status when they are flashing red with their chain gauge filled to 90%~92%. "Quick Stagger" is somewhat situational, but has balanced yet average stats. It has the benefit of instantly staggering enemies when at a preemptive strike.

Organyx has the highest stats for all of Lightning's weapons, but is crippled by the "Leadenstrike" ability, making her slow.

Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit


XIII-2 Lightning on Odin

Lightning battling Caius while riding Odin.

Lightning is briefly controlled by the player during the prologue where she fights Chaos Bahamut and Caius. Lightning wields a new gunblade given to her by the goddess Etro that has engraved writing in Etro script: "Gladius in turba aetern a induratus vincula inseparabilia rum", which translates to "The blade forged in everlasting chaos shall cleave the unbreakable chain" in English.

While her previous weapon was kept in a holster slung from her belt, Lightning's new gunblade can be summoned and dispelled at will. She can use Snipe as a physical attack; Lightning Strike, an electric attack; Ullr's Shield to heal; Focused Bolts and Graviton Mines. She has six ATB segments and the battle works as a tutorial to familiarize the player with the battle system.

Paradigm PackEdit

Guardian CorpsEdit

Lightning appears in downloadable content as a Paradigm Pack "monster" who joins Serah and Noel after they defeat the Lightning boss at the Coliseum, appearing in her Guardian Corps attire from the original game. Lightning joins the party as a Ravager, and has the Feral Link ability Army of One, her Full ATB Skill from Final Fantasy XIII.

Requiem of the Goddess2

Lightning in "Requiem of the Goddess".

Lightning returns in the downloadable episode "Lightning's Story: Requiem of the Goddess". She initially has at her disposal four roles: Paladin, Mage, Shaman, and Knight, but, at level 3, the Conjurer role and, at level 6, the Sorcerer role are unlocked.

The roles are enhanced versions of existing paradigm roles: Paladin of Commando's, Mage and Shaman of Ravager's, Knight of Sentinel's, Conjurer of Synergist's, and Sorcerer of Saboteur's. Lightning can perform Legion of One as a Feral Link.

Lightning has a different method of development than Serah and Noel; after gaining enough Crystogen Points, Lightning will level up and upgrade her stats and learn new abilities or roles, similarly to older Final Fantasy titles. She gains Crystogen Points whether she wins or loses.

Knight of EtroEdit

Lightning has a second recruitable monster form in her Knight of Etro armor. Unlike her Coliseum counterpart, she is a Commando with the Feral Link Legion of One. She can be obtained by defeating Chaos Bahamut with a five star rank with Lightning's level at 9 or lower. Occasionally, when this Lightning defeats an enemy, it may burst into feathers when turning into crystal.

Lightning is the only "monster" with the Uncapped Damage passive ability, which allows her to break the 99,999 damage limit, and Immovable MAX, which makes her almost immune to interruption. Her main strength is her attacking and casting speed that more than compensates for her low Strength and Magic stats in comparison with other DLC monster Commandos.

Tameable Monster
Name Lightning Role Commando
Traits Early Peaker, Strong, Divine
Composition Biological Start Grade Monster Grade 5
Max Level 13 HP 7,750
Strength 649 Magic 589
ATB Segments 6 Stages 1
Innate Affinities
Feral Link Legion of One (Unleash a devastating flurry of blows. Damaging varies by situation. Input type: Complex)
Crystarium Development Graph
Green: HP / 10 Red: Strength Purple: Magic
Lightning Commando Development
Ability Type Level Infusible
Attack Command Initial N
Ruin Command Initial N
Blitz Command Initial N
Launch Auto Initial N
Smite Auto Initial N
Armor Breaker Auto Initial N
Enhanced Commando Passive Initial N
Lifesiphon Auto 2 Y
Faultsiphon Auto 3 Y
Attack: ATB Charge II Passive 4 Y
Mind Piercer Auto 5 N
Auto-Bravery Auto 6 Y
Adrenaline Auto 7 Y
Blindside Auto 8 N
Ravage Auto 9 Y
Scourge Auto 10 Y
Ruinga Command 11 Y
Immovable: MAX Passive 12 N
Uncapped Damage Auto 13 N


7336Lightning 03

Lightning in the Coliseum.

A copy of Lightning is fought as a downloadable (DLC) boss in the Coliseum alongside Amodar. Once defeated Lightning can be recruited as a Ravager into the Paradigm Deck. Lightning comes complete with an arsenal of Ravager spells, and physical variations of the spells she would normally have. Her Feral Link is Army of One, a special attack of hers that was her full ATB skill in the previous game.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIIEdit

Lightning Returns-Sneaking

Lightning sneaking around the city.

Lightning is the sole playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. In the field, she can crouch, jump, climb, and perform other actions akin to those featured in stealth adventure games. In battle, Lightning can change her attire and equipped abilities via the Schema system, similar to the paradigm system from previous games. Lightning can dodge, block and counter enemies' attacks in battle, and will level up by completing game events and side quests.

Lightning starts with 2,000 HP, 200 Strength, 200 Magic, 100 ATB, and 100 ATB Speed.


As part of the Schema system, Lightning can wear various outfits, called 'garbs', which have different stats and abilities.


Creation and developmentEdit

Final Fantasy XIIIEdit


Lightning's early and final designs.

Early in development, Lightning was meant to be a flirtatious character with more sex appeal. To make Lightning a more serious heroine in the veins of previous heroes, Cloud Strife and Squall Leonhart, Fang's character—originally a man—was rewritten as a woman, and some of Lightning's traits were transferred to her.[3] The final version of her character was made less Asian-looking than originally conceived, and her original silver hair color was given to Hope Estheim in favor of pink.[4]

During development, Lightning's real name was to be "Averia", referring to a species of flowering plants. At this stage, "Éclair" was used during auditions in place of Averia to keep the name secret.[5] Lightning's real name in the English version of Final Fantasy XIII was changed to Claire due to the word "Éclair" being used to refer to a type of pastry in English-speaking countries, a problem not present with the Japanese name due to different romanization.[6]

Lightning's initial concept was a 'strong woman': it was personality-based instead of plot-driven, unlike the initial concepts for some other Final Fantasy heroines of the past. After her character's mindset and role were locked down, Square Enix turned to Tetsuya Nomura for the character design. Director Motomu Toriyama has said that, "With Lightning, one look at the design made me say 'This is it!' She looked so cool and strong that there was no need for any retakes."[7] Despite Toriyama's claim, Lightning's appearance has developed from its initial concept. Square Enix released an initial CG render of Lightning before any of the other characters were seen; when the rest of the cast were revealed, Square released another render of Lightning with differences from the initial release: In the early materials she had slightly less feminine traits, her hair was a faded crimson rather than pink, and her eye color was a lighter shade of blue. Though her outfit remains the same, its overall color scheme was lightened.

The idea for Lightning to have a sword that can transform into a gun relates to the game's Eidolons; one of the gameplay themes chosen for Final Fantasy XIII was transformation, and the Eidolons can turn into vehicles; if summons could transform, they thought weapons should be able to as well.[8] Odin was originally more harsh looking and dark colored, but the developers wanted Lightning to be a knight with a white horse and the color scheme was lightened. Since Lightning had lost her parents at a young age, and tried to take their place and raise Serah, Odin was imagined as someone she would project a fatherly image onto.[9]

Lightning's house was originally meant to be a visitable location in Final Fantasy XIII, but ended up being cut from the final product. Concept art from Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega shows Lightning lives in a peanut-shaped house standing over water with a portion of the roof opening up.

Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit

FFXIII-2 Lighting Artwork

Lightning's new outfit was designed by Isamu Kamikokuryo in cooperation with Tetsuya Nomura, who drew a rough outline of her armor. Kamikokuryo then did the main work on the design, adding a number of details.[10] Kamikokuryo originally designed Lightning's new outfit as a qipao, and later as a sci-fi-style outfit, but he was told the design did not fit in the game's atmosphere. The final design was inspired by the valkyries, warrior maidens in Norse mythology, with the feather motif in her outfit representing a light and delicate side to her.[11]

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIIEdit

Lightning's default "savior" outfit was designed by Tetsuya Nomura and the design is said to be play on her light, speed, and elegance. Director Motomu Toriyama wanted something that emphasized Lightning going into her final battle, the red and white components of Lightning's original outfit from Final Fantasy XIII, and represented Lightning using the word 'strength' as the main focus. Using the red color to represent strength and line the inside of Lightning's outfit, Nomura designed her new armor to have more of an impact, with the final result being about half white and half red.[12] He was instructed to design Lightning's armor based on "a leather body suit" and the arms off a spinal column. In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII the player can dodge and block enemies' attacks; when Lightning's outfit was created the shield came into the design, and the developers thought to utilize it in battles by allowing her to block attacks, enabling the creation of various fighting styles.[13]


Concept art of Lightning's default outfit, the Equilibrium.

Lightning's alternate costumes were designed by Toshiyuki Itahana.[14][15]

Whereas Lightning had been depicted as a hardened and cold soldier-type in Final Fantasy XIII, and near god-like in power in Final Fantasy XIII-2 making her distant, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is intended to portray a more human side to her. The game explores how Lightning became the strong woman she is, and what she is struggling with. By displaying her sadness and sorrow, the writers hope to show more of Lightning's human side.[16]

Lightning's in-game model is not repurposed from the prior two installments, but was created from scratch. Her overall proportions were reevaluated to accommodate for the schemata.[17] Compared to previous games, her model has an increased bust size, which varies between different outfits.[18]

Motomu Toriyama has said Lightning's story ends in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, as this game is meant as a finale to the Final Fantasy XIII series. But as Lightning is a popular character, even when compared to other Final Fantasy characters, Toriyama did not rule out a possibility of her appearing in future Final Fantasy titles, not as a protagonist, but as a guest character.[19]


Ali Hillis as Lightning in Dissidia 012
"I make my own fate. I'll keep looking for hope until I find some."

Lightning's Japanese voice actress is Maaya Sakamoto, while her English voice actress is Ali Hillis. The two have voiced Lightning in all her appearances thus far. Maaya Sakamoto also voices Aerith Gainsborough from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Diva from Final Fantasy Type-0, and Aya Brea from The Third Birthday. Additionally, Aya and Lightning in their respective PlayStation Portable games wearing the other's outfit is a reference to their shared voice actresses.

Musical themesEdit

Of all the main characters in the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, Lightning has the largest amount of themes associated with her, to signify her status as the consistent protagonist in all three games.

Final Fantasy XIIIEdit

"Lightning's Theme"
FFXIII Lightning's Theme
Trouble with the audio sample?

"Lightning's Theme" is an acoustic orchestral variant of the main battle theme, "Blinded By Light". Her theme displays the fragile interior she tries to suppress. The melody is interwoven with many different tracks and appears in several forms in the game.

A "prototype" version of her theme titled, "M33 Lightning NW Version", can be found on the album Final Fantasy XIII: Original Soundtrack PLUS.

This was the early take on "Lightning's Theme". In this version, piano was central in the refrain. It was a small enough undertaking that I ended up having it rearranged with a live recording for the final version, but the synthesized version was also rather popular, and we considered using it alongside the recorded one. I remixed this version for inclusion on the CD.
—Track commentary by Masashi Hamauzu

A piano arrangement of her theme, called "Lightning's Theme ~ Blinded By Light", is found on the album Piano Collections: Final Fantasy XIII. The track also received a chiptune arrangement from SQ Chips 2's bonus CD.

Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit

"Lightning's Theme ~Unprotected Future~"
Final Fantasy XIII-2 - Lightning's Theme
Trouble with the audio sample?

"Lightning's Theme ~Unprotected Future~" is a slower, more melancholy and harmonious rearrangement of her original theme. The theme plays during Serah and Noel's encounter with Lightning in New Bodhum 700 AF, and as the background theme for the area following the encounter. In "Requiem of the Goddess", it plays as Lightning floats through the Historia Crux after her fight against Chaos Bahamut.

Lightning's battle theme is "Etro's Champion" that plays in the game's tutorial battle when Lightning battles Chaos Bahamut in Valhalla. Other rearrangements of her theme are "Divine Conflict", "An Arrow Through Time", "A World Without Cocoon", "A Fading Miracle", "Etro's Gate", and "Tears of the Goddess". All of these tracks are composed by Masashi Hamauzu.

A track called "yuza_050", is another rearrangement of "Blinded By Light" on Final Fantasy XIII-2: Original Soundtrack PLUS, which plays when Noel, Serah, and Mog arrive in Valhalla.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIIEdit

She has two distinct themes: "Lightning's Theme -A Distant Glimmer-" and "Lightning's Theme -Radiance-". They are softer and more fragile compared to the themes from previous games to display her emotions and loneliness. "Claire Farron" is also one of her themes.

Lightning's theme is used in the battle themes "Lightning Returns", "Crimson Blitz", "Savior of Souls" and "High Voltage". It is also used in "Lumina's Theme", "The Song of the Savior -The Chosen One-", "The Song of the Savior -Grand Finale-", "Last Resort", and the ending themes "Humanity's Tale", "Credits -Light Eternal-", and "Epilogue".

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Retro-spective TrailerEdit

The 16-bit versions of "Lightning's Theme" and "Blinded by Light" appear in the trailer.

Other appearancesEdit

Final Fantasy XIVEdit

Lightning XIV

Lightning in Final Fantasy XIV.

Lightning appeared in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn during the Lightning Strikes event to commemorate the release of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Final Fantasy XIV producer, Naoki Yoshida, said the sidequest was tied directly into the Lightning Saga, but not linked with the lore and story of Final Fantasy XIV.[20]

The rewards from this event consisted of Lightning and Snow's costumes as well as a set of weapons from the trilogy.

Since Patch 2.1, the female playable characters can have Lightning's hairstyle by using the Aesthetician's service.

Triple TriadEdit

Lightning appears as a legendary (5-stars) card. It used to be the most powerful card with its total number of 36 (9 A 7 A) before Square Enix quickly decreases it to 27 (9 1 7 A) during an emergency server maintenance they had shortly after the Gold Saucer update.

Lightning Card
FFXIV TT Lightning
Card No. 80
Totaltotal stats of the card 27
Type None
Description "It's not a question of can or can't. There are some things in life you just do."
Obtain Win the Manderville Tournament of Champions.

Final Fantasy Tactics SEdit

FFTS Lightning Sprite2

Lightning appeared as a recruitable character. She was of the Visitor race and had Guardian Corps and Savior as her main jobs. Her attacks were Dual Shot and Crimson Blitz respectively, and her ability was Army of One.

Dissidia Final FantasyEdit

Lightning appears in Dissidia Final Fantasy as a set of two player icons to represent Final Fantasy XIII, though these icons can only be obtained through passwords.

Tetsuya Nomura and his staff originally wanted to include Lightning in Dissidia Final Fantasy, but left her out to avoid revealing her abilities before Final Fantasy XIII was released.[21]

Dissidia 012 Final FantasyEdit

Lightning (Dissidia 012)

Lightning is one of the warriors summoned by Cosmos to oppose Chaos, and stands as the hero and sole character representing Final Fantasy XIII. Initially traveling with Tifa, Laguna, and Vaan, Lightning is left behind when she battles Kuja. Shortly after an army of manikins sweeps over the land, Lightning is attacked by Kain.

Returning to Cosmos to tell her what is happening, Lightning faces the Warrior of Light, who reveals he and Kain are putting the others to sleep on purpose to avoid them falling to the manikins and risking not being revived in the next cycle of the war. Lightning rejects this plan and leads Kain, Tifa, Laguna, Yuna and Vaan to the Lands of Discord where the six sacrifice themselves to seal the portal to the Void the manikins are emerging from.

Lightning's alternate outfit gives her white hair and a more subdued color scheme to match her concept art by Yoshitaka Amano. Her second alternate costume gives her the generic female Guardian Corps uniform, a dull orange and brown outfit with a cap. As a fourth bonus outfit available with purchase of The 3rd Birthday, Lightning dresses as Aya Brea, wearing torn blue jeans and a midriff bearing sleeveless black shirt.

Nomura has stated he personally would include Sazh in a Dissidia sequel over Lightning, but his only request for such a game would be Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV - Kain and Lightning were the first two new characters confirmed for Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.

Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015)Edit

Lightning returns in the arcade version of Dissidia Final Fantasy. She is classed as a Speed-type character.

Theatrhythm Final FantasyEdit

Theatrhythm Lightning
A member of the Guardian Corps which protect Cocoon, a floating continent where people live in paradisaical peace. Events lead to her receiving the curse of the Pulse fal'Cie from the underworld and being pursued by the very Sanctum forces that she herself has been a loyal part of. As she runs from these authorities, her Focus is revealed and it drives her to stand in defiance of the sacred beings her people call gods.
—Online description

Lightning is a default playable character in Theatrhythm.

She is a Spell and Support oriented character. Her Limit Break, Omega Weapon, adds +75 to her Strength and Magic.

Level HP CP Strength Magic Agility Luck
1 325 10 18 17 15 13
10 1,296 15 41 40 33 29
20 2,375 20 66 65 54 46
30 3,454 25 91 89 74 64
40 4,532 30 116 114 95 82
50 5,611 35 141 139 116 100
60 6,690 40 167 164 136 118
70 7,769 45 192 188 157 135
80 8,066 50 199 195 163 141
90 8,363 50 207 203 169 146
99 8,632 50 213 209 174 151
iOS Stats
Level HP Strength Magic Agility Luck
1 212 A A A B
99 5634 A A A B
Reactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Fire 7 Initial
Counter (Lv1) 5 Level 5
Thunder 7 Level 15
Libra (Lv1) 20 Level 20
Cure 8 Level 30
Omega Weapon 18 Level 40
Blizzard 7 Level 45
Counter (Lv2) 10 Level 50
Fira 14 Level 60
Thundara 14 Level 75
Blizzara 14 Level 80
Counter (Lv3) 16 Level 85
Proactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Sinewy Etude (Lv1) 7 Initial
Agility Up (Lv1) 4 Level 10
Bluff 15 Level 25
Hero's Rime (Lv1) 18 Level 35
Agility Up (Lv2) 8 Level 55
Sinewy Etude (Lv2) 10 Level 65
Hero's Rime (Lv2) 26 Level 70
Sinewy Etude (Lv3) 15 Level 90
Hero's Rime (Lv3) 35 Level 95

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain CallEdit

Theatrhythm CC Lightning

Lightning returns as a playable character, and is one of the few characters to have a 2nd variation. Her 1st variation is her appearance in Final Fantasy XIII, donning her Guardian Corps attire, and is available from the start, while her 2nd version is the main representative of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, wearing her Equilibrium outfit, and can be available from the start by transferring save data from the second demo of Curtain Call. However, if the player did not select either among their party of four, or download the demo for the latter, she can later be unlocked by collecting Red and Green Crystal Shards, respectively.

Both versions of her are Balance oriented. Her 1st variation's Limit Break, Omega Weapon, functions the same as before, adding +75 to her Strength and Magic, while her 2nd version's Limit Break, Army of One, deals damage based on her Strength, Agility, and Stamina.

Lightning StatsEdit

Level CP HP Strength Magic Agility Luck Stamina Spirit
1 9 204 11 15 15 12 11 12
50 37 3523 88 117 117 92 190 91
99 50 5419 133 176 176 138 136 138
Reactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Aero 7 Initial
Counter (Lv1) 5 Initial
Weapon Break (Lv1) 3 Level 5
Fire 7 Level 10
Armor Break (Lv1) 2 Level 20
Blizzard 7 Level 25
Thunder 7 Level 45
Counter (Lv2) 10 Level 50
Weapon Break (Lv2) 6 Level 55
Libra (Lv2) 15 Level 60
Aerora 14 Level 70
Armor Break (Lv2) 7 Level 75
Added Cut (Lv3) 15 Level 85
Counter (Lv3) 16 Level 90
Proactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Sinewy Etude (Lv1) 7 Level 15
Mana's Paean (Lv1) 7 Level 30
Regen (Lv1) 12 Level 35
Omega Weapon 20 Level 40
Hero's Rime (Lv1) 18 Level 65
Regen (Lv2) 18 Level 80
Hero's Rime (Lv2) 26 Level 95

Lightning #2 StatsEdit

Level CP HP Strength Magic Agility Luck Stamina Spirit
1 9 223 19 16 12 9 11 16
50 38 3928 157 129 98 74 92 133
99 50 5928 232 191 145 110 137 196
Reactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Invisible (Lv1) 6 Initial
Weapon Break (Lv1) 3 Level 10
Blizzara 14 Level 20
Haste (Lv2) 6 Level 25
Fira 14 Level 30
Libra (Lv1) 20 Level 35
Army of One 18 Level 40
Invisible (Lv2) 9 Level 50
Weapon Break (Lv2) 6 Level 65
Thundara 14 Level 70
Added Cut 15 Level 75
Gravity 19 Level 85
Doomsday 17 Level 90
Weapon Break (Lv3) 10 Level 95
Proactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Lance (Lv1) 8 Initial
Hastemarch (Lv1) 7 Level 5
Spirit's Hymn (Lv1) 7 Level 15
Lance (Lv2) 14 Level 45
Hero's Rime (Lv2) 26 Level 55
Bluff 15 Level 60
Lance (Lv3) 20 Level 80

Pictlogica Final FantasyEdit

Lightning appears in a Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII-themed event in Pictlogica Final Fantasy donning her Equilibrium garb.

Final Fantasy Airborne BrigadeEdit

Lightning is 21 years old, kupo.

Lightning is an ally and a summonable Legend in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade. She is depicted in her Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII outfits, an event-related Santa outfit and a Samurai outfit. She has also been depicted as wearing the following garbs from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Equilibrium, Hidden Justice, Red Mage, Blue Mage, Miqo'te Dress and SOLDIER 1st class. She can be unlocked in the Japanese version by purchasing the correct issue of Mobage. Her abilities are Army of One, Crushing Blow, Gestalt Drive, Imperilga, Launch, Lightning Strike, Smite, Thunderfall, Elementa and Flourish of Steel. Her EX abilities are Flourish of Steel, Watera, Aeroga Blast, Cross-slash ver. Lightning, Thundaga, Lightning Strike, Magic Slash, Smite and Crushing Blow.

She was first introduced as an event ally in the event, Winter Holiday Campaign while wearing an exclusive Santa suit. Leveling her up in this event granted the player the Lightning II summon stone, along with each level-up at a specified number granting players an additional summon stone. The Lightning III summon stone was obtained from inviting a certain number of friends to play Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade.

She was present as an ally during the coinciding events, Final Fantasy Special Event Parts 1 & 2 - Shattered World and Final Fantasy Special Event Parts 1 & 2 - Showdown, in which she was unlocked by clearing the Sunleth Waterscape stage. In this event, her overdrive granted players a massive increase in their attack. Leveling her up to 99 in these events granted the player her individualized SSR weapon, Jatayu. In battle, Lightning is armed with her Blazefire Saber and uses the abilities Smite and Flourish of Steel.

Final Fantasy ArtniksEdit

Impresario-ffvi-iosThis article or section is a stub about Final Fantasy Artniks. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Final Fantasy All the BravestEdit

Lightning ATB
This lady of the Bodhum Security Regiment is a true pro, and far from a yes-woman.

Lightning is an exclusive character only available from the Premium Character Shop as a random downloadable content. She uses the Lightning Strike ability during battle. Her Blazefire Saber is available as a drop from Beta Behemoths in the Archylte Steppe map. It grants +4 attack to the Warrior, Red Mage, Blue Mage, and Onion Knight classes and to Firion, Terra, Celes, Zidane, Tidus, Ashe, and Lightning. Her Omega Weapon is available as a drop from Orphan. It grants +10 attack to the same people as the Blazefire Saber.

Final Fantasy Record KeeperEdit

A former member of the Guardian Corps, a peacekeeping force in Cocoon. Lightning cuts her ties with the Corps and rebels against the Sanctum to save her beloved sister who has been branded l'Cie.
—Character Profile
FFRK Lightning

Lightning is a playable character who could be first be recruited during the Challenge Event Lightning Strikes as the First Time Reward for completing the event's Vile Peaks Delusions stage on Classic difficulty. She has also appeared in the Challenge Event Fang's Oath, and is currently recruitable after accepting and completing the Bonus Quest "Complete Hanging Edge Classic (XIII)".


Lightning is a Pulse l'Cie. Her combat role is Physical/Magic Hybrid.

Lightning is a balanced fighter with average physical stats, but very high Speed and a strong skillset. She is her Record Realm's representative Knight in addition to being a Spellblade, and is also one of a very few able to wield a gun, giving her ranged attack potential. Her Blazefire Saber is currently her best weapon, as it lets her work both ways via her Soul Break.

Level HP Attack Defense Magic Resistance Mind Accuracy Evasion Speed
1 198 12 8 8 9 8 20 20 111
10 998 29 24 18 22 18 20 20 119
20 1,723 49 38 30 36 30 20 20 127
30 2,393 69 52 43 51 43 21 21 134
40 3,029 89 64 57 65 57 21 21 141
50 3,642 109 77 72 80 72 22 22 148
60 4,237 128 88 87 95 87 22 23 155
65 4,528 138 94 95 102 95 23 23 158
70 4,816 148 100 102 109 102 23 23 161
RankMax: 5 4 4 2 2 2 2 3 3 5

Lightning can use Black Magic spells up to rarity rank 3, White Magic spells up to rarity rank 2, Spellblade abilities up to rarity rank 4, Combat abilities up to rarity rank 5, and Celerity abilities up to rarity rank 5.

Her default Soul Break is Blitz which at the expense of one Soul Gauge segment deals physical non-elemental damage to all enemies equal to 110% damage potency of a conventional attack. The sword Blazefire Saber (XIII) allows Lightning to use Blaze Rush which at the expense of one Soul Gauge segment deals three successive physical non-elemental attacks to random targets, each hit equal to 170% damage potency of a conventional attack; summed up 510% damage potency. The gun Peacemaker (XIII) allows Lightning to use Crushing Blow which at the expense of one Soul Gauge segment deals five powerful physical lightning attacks to all targets and increases Attack by 10 upon Mastery. The light armor Corps Field Uniform (XIII) allows Lightning to use Stormborn which at the expense of one Soul Gauge segment temporarily empowers the user with lightning.


Lightning can equip the following weapon types: daggers, swords, guns, and spears. The sword Blazefire Saber (XIII) allows Lightning to use Blaze Rush. The gun Peacemaker (XIII) allows Lightning to use Crushing Blow.

She can equip the following armor types: hats, light armor, armor, and bracers. The light armor Corps Field Uniform (XIII) allows Lightning to use Stormborn.

She can equip accessories.

FFI PSP Black Mage MapThis article or section is a stub about a character in Final Fantasy Record Keeper. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Final Fantasy ExplorersEdit

FFE FFXIII Lightning cg

Lightning appears in Final Fantasy Explorers.

FFI PSP Black Mage MapThis article or section is a stub about a character in Final Fantasy Explorers. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Final Fantasy World Wide Words Edit

FFWWW Lightning
FFI PSP Black Mage MapThis article or section is a stub about a character in Final Fantasy World Wide Words. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Final Fantasy Brave ExviusEdit

Lightning appears as an obtainable unit.

FFI PSP Black Mage MapThis article or section is a stub about a character in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Final Fantasy Trading Card GameEdit

There are several cards depicting Lightning in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game: five Lightning-elemental cards, including a promotional card from V-Jump, and four Shine-elemental cards, not including a limited release.

Th Lightning-elemental cards depict her Final Fantasy XIII appearance, her portrait from Final Fantasy XIII-2, and a promo artwork from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and her default garb, while the Shine cards present her as a swordsman, and as a knight of Etro. The promotional card from V-Jump presents her as a knight.

Triple TriadEdit

Lightning appears as an opponent and on Triple Triad cards in the version available via Final Fantasy Portal App. On Easy she uses the rule Same. On Normal she uses Same and Chaos. On Hard she uses Same, Plus and Chaos and the rare five star cards of herself can be won from her, among other cards. She uses the trading rule One.

World of Final FantasyEdit

Lightning World of Final Fantasy

During Tokyo Game Show 2015 Lightning appeared in World of Final Fantasy wearing her Equilibrium outfit.

Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit

Itadaki StreetEdit

Lightning appears in Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Mobile as a rank "A" opponent. She is the only Final Fantasy XIII character to appear in the game.

Square Enix Legend WorldEdit

Lightning from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII makes an appearance as a card.

Puzzle & DragonsEdit

Lightning will appear as an obtainable character in a Final Fantasy collaboration event starting on March 21, 2016.

FFI PSP Black Mage MapThis article or section is a stub about a character in Puzzle & Dragons. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Other mediaEdit


Promotional artwork of Lightning's l'Cie mark by Jonathan Jacques-Belletête.



Lightning in a commercial for the PlayStation 3.

Lightning was voted Japan's number one favorite Final Fantasy female character.[22] According to Motomu Toriyama at a presentation for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning is considered a role model in Japan due to her courage, speed, and elegance. She has appeared on the 500th cover of Dengeki PlayStation magazine500th Dengeki cover with Noel, Serah, Noctis, Machina Kunagiri, and Rem Tokimiya.

Lightning, Sazh, Hope, Snow and Noel appeared as models for the Showcase Prada 2012 Men's Spring/Summer Collection.

Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, the art director of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, another game franchise owned by Square Enix, drew an artwork of Lightning for the New York Comic Con 2011 "East Meets West" panel of her l'Cie brand, which is never actually shown in the game. Isamu Kamikokuryo, the art director of Final Fantasy XIII, also drew an artwork of Deus Ex, which was revealed in the same event.

In a live-action PlayStation advertisement, titled "Michael" - PS3 Long Live Play, Lightning is seen listening to a story told by Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series and her gunblade is placed on the weapon rack as the soldiers are entering the tavern. A live-action Lightning has also appeared in Japanese commercials for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

In March 2014, Nomura judged a Lightning fanart contest for deviantART and chose three favorites among the submissions.[23]

In 2016 Square Enix and Louis Vuitton collaborated to have Lightning model the fashion name's spring/summer collection clothes and handbags. As the model for the Series 4, Lightning is to appear on various magazine advertisements and star in promotional videos for the campaign. In addition, she became the new face of Louis Vuitton all over social media.


In Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, parts of Lightning's outfit and design appear as

. The available parts are her hair, her uniform with cape and skirt, and her boots. The player can use these with their avatar as individual components or combine them to approximate Lightning's full appearance in tandem with other, generic avatar parts. All of the parts can be equipped as an "ensemble".

In The 3rd Birthday, the main character Aya Brea has several different outfits she can wear. One of these is Lightning's outfit. Just like any other outfit for her in the game, this outfit can be torn up as she takes damage. Lightning's l'Cie marking is revealed as more damage is done to this outfit. She can use Lightning's Blazefire Saber in gun mode.

Lightning's costume was released on November 6, 2014 Gunslinger Stratos 2.

Lightning will appear in Puzzle & Dragons in a Final Fantasy collaboration event starting on March 21, 2016.[24]


LRFF13 Lightning Play Arts Kai

Play Arts Kai from Lightning Returns.

A special edition PlayStation 3 featuring an image of Lightning was released on December 17th 2009 in Japan. On the day of the US release of Final Fantasy XIII, a special edition Xbox 360 featuring Lightning on a faceplate was released. The faceplate was only available through preorder on certain websites and stores.

Released a month after the game's release, the 50ml bottle of ~Lightning~ eau de toilette was contained in an imprinted glass bottle with a strap with Lightning's pendant. The scent is described as a "sweet peach smell followed by rose and then a feminine musk".

The lightning bolt pendant Lightning wears in Final Fantasy XIII has been released as official merchandise. The pendant is made of .925 silver, is accented with a gold and black rhodium coating and within the pendant there are three cubic zirconia which can roll up and down if the pendant is shaken.

A Final Fantasy XIII-2 bundle was released in Japan on December 15th, 2011, with a black 320GB PlayStation 3 Slim with an image of Lightning. Lightning's Final Fantasy XIII-2 merchandise include a Play Arts action figure and a coffee tumbler.

On December 14th, 2010, all Japanese Square Enix Members with an "Ultimate" status on their name received a special Christmas present from Tetsuya Nomura: an art plate with an original illustration of Lightning with the text, "She must not be forgotten". On September 22nd, 2011, North American Square Enix Members with an "Ultimate" status also received the Lightning illustration.

Glico, the snack company has been working with Square Enix to promote Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII in Japan. Pocky and Almond Peak will have Lightning on their boxes.



Claire is a French name, the feminine form of the common name Clair. As the feminine name, Claire directly translates as the English adjective "clear" or the English noun "light" (radiance/brilliance) (e.g. "claire de lune" meaning "moonlight"), while Clair can mean light-colored, bright and pale, among other meanings.

Éclair is a French word that means "lightning", but is also the name of a type of bakery pastry. This is why she is renamed "Claire" in the Western releases.

Lightning strikes are electrical discharges on a massive scale between the atmosphere and an earth-bound object.

Farron comes from the Gaelic language, meaning "thunder".

The combination refers to thunder coming after the lightning.


  • As shown in the first Final Fantasy XIII trailer, Lightning had a Gravity Bomb device at her disposal, which would generate an electrical shield or manipulate time and gravity.
  • Lightning's eidolith is the shape of a pink rose bloom, and red petals can be seen when she summons Odin and changes it into Sleipnir in Gestalt Mode.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise-, it is mentioned Lightning is better at housework than Serah, but Serah is the better cook. Lightning describes their father as easy-going, passionate but not always reliable, and compares Snow to him, possibly explaining her initial hatred towards him.
  • In her official CG render, Lightning is not wearing her lightning bolt necklace, though it is present in her render on the Final Fantasy XIII summary website.
  • Art director Isamu Kamikokuryo consistently draws Lightning and Serah with blonde hair in concept art, despite their more "official" appearances. Additionally, Kamikokuryo's Lightning concept art for Final Fantasy XIII-2 has a black armor with gold or white outlines. This may have contributed to Lightning's design in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII where she has black armor.
  • Lightning's render for Final Fantasy XIII-2 has her sword and shield in opposite hands. She also holds her sword in her left hand on the cover box art for Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Lightning on Etro's throne at the end of Final Fantasy XIII-2 resembles the Final Fantasy XIII promotional artwork of her sitting in the Narthex, and the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega has a piece of artwork depicting Lightning on Etro's throne in the same pose.
  • Similar to her sister Serah, Lightning's official render isn't used in the menu screen in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and instead an alternate render from Final Fantasy XIII is used.
  • All models in Final Fantasy XIII-2 are of lower resolution than those in its predecessor. The game data includes high-res model of Lightning's Final Fantasy XIII appearance that is never used anywhere, which was likely used as a place-holder throughout production.
  • The Lightning Mask is an adornment for monsters found in Void Beyond, if the player has a Final Fantasy XIII save file on the HDD before starting Final Fantasy XIII-2. A Lightning Mask for Lightning can be obtained in Lightning Returns.
  • Lightning resembles a Red Mage, using primarily Black Magic and White Magic in conjunction and being balanced with physical combat.
  • Two different CG renders of Lightning are used in Final Fantasy XIII: her main render is used for menus, while the field messages which display during the gameplay use her render from the game's cover.
  • Lightning has the largest set of outfits of all the characters in the series: she has over ninety different outfits including crossover and downloadable costumes.
  • Lightning is Toriyama's favorite character out of those he helped create, alongside Yuna and Princess Yoyo from Bahamut Lagoon.[25]
  • All of Lightning's default weapons across the Lightning Saga have eponymous musical themes.
  • The Steam version of Final Fantasy XIII comes with 6 Trading Cards, all of them featured Lightning.

External linksEdit


  3. IGN - Final Fantasy XIII Update
  5. (2010-02-01) Final Fantasy XIII Scenario Ultimania (in Japanese), 10–13, Tokyo: Studio Bentstuff.Invalid citation format.
  8. Q&A: FFXIII's Yoshinori Kitase and Isamu Kamikokuryo
  9. (2010-10-04) Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega (in Japanese), 340-341, Tokyo: Studio Bentstuff.Invalid citation format.
  13. Interview with Motomu Toriyama and Yuji Abe for German gaming site Spieletester
  17. – Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Alters Lightning's Silly Sorceress Pose
  19. Lightning’s Story Is Truly Over, But She May Be A Guest In A Future Final Fantasy — Siliconera
  23. Best Lightning Fan Art As Chosen By Tetsuya Nomura