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Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)/Gameplay

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Odin gestalt mode

Lightning riding Odin in Final Fantasy XIII.

Lightning is a playable character in Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and its downloadable scenario, "Lightning's Story: Requiem of the Goddess", and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. The trilogy has become known as the Lightning Saga.

Lightning is a soldier who wields a gunblade, a sword that can transform into a gun. Her fighting style is fast and she is equally good as a physical and magical fighter, easily able to gear toward either role via equipment choices. She specializes in Lightning-elemental magic, and her Eidolon is Odin. Her trademark attack, or "Limit Break", is the Army of One, and her signature weapon is the Blazefire Saber.

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. 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 casts Ruin as a Commando.

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%.

Protect FFXIII

Lightning casts Protect as a Synergist.

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". It 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 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".

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.

Requiem of the GoddessEdit

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.

Paradigm PackEdit

Guardian CorpsEdit

Army of one feral link

Lightning's Army of One Feral Link.

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 Final Fantasy XIII. Lightning joins the party as a Ravager, and has the Feral Link ability Army of One, her Full ATB Skill from Final Fantasy XIII.

Knight of EtroEdit

FFXIII-2 RoTG Legion of One

Lightning's Legion of One Feral Link.

Lightning has a second recruitable monster form in her Knight of Etro armor, obtained from the "Requiem of the Goddess" downloadable scneario. 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. Thanks to her red-locked passive abilities, Lightning can be the game's best Commando. Her Armor Breaker and Mind Piercer let her hit hard regardless of circumstance, and her Strength and assortment of passive abilities allow her to capitalize on Uncapped Damage.

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 of Luxerion.

Lightning is the sole playable character. 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, weapon, shield, accessories and equipped abilities on the fly via the Schema system, similar to the paradigm system from previous games. Lightning can dodge, block and counter enemies' attacks, 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. She can expend Energy Points inside and outside of battle for various effects, and recharge her energy meter by winning battles.


As part of the Schema system, Lightning can wear various outfits, called garbs, which have different stats and abilities. The player can further decorate her via adornments.


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