- The following article is based on a subject that has not been officially named in any official Square Enix material; the current title is merely a placeholder.
The world is about to disappear forever. When you hear the bell toll, you have to fly up, into the sky—find the Ark. You can be born, every last one of you! My soul will burn...Let the flames of my atonement be your guide. The light will answer your prayers...Living and dead, all of humanity, come together now. Look up to the sky...And discover the new world.
The New World (新世界, Shin Sekai?) is the world created to replace the dying Nova Chrysalia in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. The birth of a new world where Lightning would reunite with her sister, Serah, and all of her old friends, acts as Lightning's main drive and crux of her quest; her duty as the savior is to save the souls of the dying world and ensure their rebirth in the new world. The world is not named beyond "new world".
The new world resembles Earth with its continents mirroring those of the real world, and the town seen during the epilogue FMV features modern buildings, roads and cars, a modern train and a train station, and there is a plane in the sky that creates a contrail. Additionally, the souls of humanity appear to fly by celestial bodies strongly resembling Saturn and Mars, two planets that share the Earth's solar system. The world has a moon and familiar plant life with grass, wheat and Flanders poppies.
- The murals: The Birth and Death of the World
Bhunivelze is the god who rules all things.
He holds the world within his grasp, bestowing favor on the pure and faithful. The souls that are strong enough to stay true until the final day will be reborn in the new world. The death that awaits them at the end of the world is a blessing: a gift from God.
The weak souls that lose their will disappear into the unseen realm and wander forever in the endless sea of Chaos. The death of those who have turned away from God will be an eternal curse.
After Gran Pulse's transition into Nova Chrysalia, the deity Bhunivelze saw the world he had wanted to save lost. He decided to create a new world free of Chaos with Lightning to guide the still living human souls to it through the Ark, a task intended to mold Lightning into a replacement for the deceased Goddess Etro. Bhunivelze entrusted the Order of Salvation, the religion established by his human devotees, to destroy the souls of the dead so humanity would be free of their memory and no longer pained by sorrow. Upon learning of this, on the final day Lightning stops the Soulsong and convinces Oerba Dia Vanille to guide the dead to the Ark to have a place in the new world. Seeing it now tainted by the dead, Bhunivelze resolves to destroy the new world he had crafted to wipe out all souls and create another world with his own version of humanity.
After Bhunivelze is defeated, allowing their last incarnation to leave with Noel Kreiss as a normal human, the multiple incarnations of the seeress Paddra Nsu-Yeul assign themselves to become the new goddess of death with Caius as a shepherd to guide the dead into the new unseen realm. Lightning, her friends and the souls of humanity journey to a new world to be reborn.
Humanity was reborn in the new world with some retaining vague memories of their past life on Gran Pulse and in Nova Chrysalia. As mankind is no longer under the control of the gods, conflict stirs. A reporter called Aoede investigating those with memories of "another world" comes across Hope, one of few to have his memories intact. Being guided to Sazh, NORA, and Serah, the reporter embarks on a quest to find Lightning to uncover the mysteries of the phantom memories. During her journey she learns of their past lives, eventually speaking to Snow, Noel, Yeul, Fang and Vanille, and getting a second interview with Hope. Having run out of leads of where to find Lightning, Aoede returns to her job as a war correspondent on a landlocked region consumed by a civil war. A near-death experience while on the battlefield allows Aoede to meet Caius and an incarnation of Yeul who have remained in the unseen realm before she returns to her body.
Some time later, Aoede has a chance meeting with Lightning in a train. Seeing how carefree she looks after refusing to be interviewed, Aoede watches Lightning step off the train on her peaceful journey to reunite with her friends. Aoede gives up on a chance of an interview as she is heading to an important meeting, having become a negotiator between the warring factions, but believes their encounter is not to be their last.
Creation and developmentEdit
During an interview in the Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania, Motomu Toriyama stated he did not have a solid idea about what the new world should look like, and requested his design staff to draw inspiration from "anywhere in Southern Europe", and to have Lightning appear in ordinary clothes. When asked whether the new world and the real world are connected, he "wasn't sure".
The original idea for the epilogue FMV was to have Lightning meet her friends and allies, or to hear them via a smartphone, but the idea was scrapped: in Toriyama's words, the story started with Lightning, so he felt it should end with her. In a later interview with Siliconera, Toriyama said that the world was similar to Earth, and that what happened next was left up to players' imaginations. Writer Daisuke Watanabe also reiterated that the ending was intended to be slightly open so that players could imagine what would happen next, which carried over into Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-.
It appears the train and the station in the epilogue FMV are modeled after a location in France. The signs at the train station in the new world have writing in French: Blanc-Château ("White Castle", the name of the village) and Gare ("Station"). The locomotive is a A1AA1A 68000, owned by the French rail company SNCF (the station totem is also used in every French station). The logo on the first car "SCFF" imitates an old logo of the SNCF.
"A New World" is the fourth track on the fourth disc of the game's soundtrack. It plays during the scene in the Luxerion Cathedral when Fang and Vanille release the souls of the dead so they can be reborn. A different tune plays during the final FMV, simply titled "Epilogue", which is the last track on the fourth disc.
- The concept of a new world being born when the old one dies is a recurring theme in many mythologies including ancient Egyptian, Indian, Chinese and Norse as well as Shintoism.
- ↑ (2013-12-19) Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania (in Japanese), 742-743, Tokyo: Studio Bentstuff.Invalid citation format.
- ↑ Lightning’s Story Is Truly Over, But She May Be A Guest In A Future Final Fantasy
- ↑ 『ファイナルファンタジーXIII REMINISCENCE -tracer of memories-』著者、渡辺大祐氏にインタビュー - Famitsu.com
- ↑ http://corporalfarron.tumblr.com/post/83316773670/epilogue-analysis-theory-where-and-when-lightning-is