A haven, yea. Yet it must fall ere we be saved. Too frail a shell, and humans should not thrive. Too stout a shell and they would not die. Slaughter and salvation! Two irreconcilable Focuses we bore. Yet bound were we in a cocoon prison, impervious to our power. And so we thank you for granting us our longed-for birth. We are the Abandoned One, born but now to die. Our name is Orphan. By our hand, the world shall know redemption.
- —Orphan after assimilating Barthandelus
Orphan is an antagonist and the final boss of Final Fantasy XIII. He is a wheel-like fal'Cie and the source of Cocoon's power, who rests within Orphan's Cradle in an area known as Narthex Throne. Residing within a pool in a deep sleep in a state of unbirth, Orphan is the main power source to fal'Cie Eden, enabling it to siphon power from other fal'Cie to keep Cocoon afloat.
- See also: Datalog/The Fal'Cie
This mysterious being fuels the fal'Cie Eden with the power necessary to maintain Cocoon's complex operational systems, and as such, its death would bring about Cocoon's certain destruction. Nevertheless, its death is what Barthandelus desires, for he seeks to offer the lives of the world’s millions of inhabitants in sacrifice to call the vanished Maker back to this realm.
As Sanctum fal'Cie and l'Cie are themselves incapable of harming Orphan, Barthandelus requires the assistance of Pulse l'Cie. If they can transform into Ragnarok and destroy Orphan, Cocoon's demise will be assured.
Orphan is an angelic fal'Cie that has a cherub face with large eyes. When it first appears, Orphan has assimilated the lifeless body of Barthandelus as a two-colored shell which resembles the image of parents cradling the child that is Orphan's face. The masculine entity, Barthandelus's remains after being absorbed, is purple with a glowing red eye. The feminine figure, the fal'Cie's impression of their creator, Lindzei, is white and gold with a large halo with crests of Lindzei's symbols on the edges, six golden wings reminiscent of a seraphim, and a long serpentine tail with Lindzei's crest at the end. The tail has Latin writing on it, that reads Viator elamentabilis Ragnarok ("Melancholy Traveller Ragnarok") in Cocoon alphabet. In this form, Orphan speaks through the faces of its shell, referring to itself with plural pronouns. When Orphan's first form is introduced, it refers to itself as "The Abandoned One".
As explained in Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega, Orphan's first form represents an image of "parents" conceived by Barthandelus with the motherly figure representing Lindzei. This mirrors classical Renaissance art depicting the Biblical Madonna and Child, emphasized by the Holy Mother of Lindzei being the center of the great wheel, giving her a golden halo. This may reflect how Lindzei is venerated as the holy creator of the fal'Cie on Cocoon. The script engraved on the blade-like structure of Orphan's first form is a revised version of the lyrics "Fighting Fate".
In Orphan's true form, the parental figures disappear. The theme of abandonment is present in the symbolic transition to its true form, and can be seen in Orphan's position as a fal'Cie, its infantile visage and its boss themes, "Born Anew" and "Nascent Requiem". The Cocoon fal'Cie's symbol, which is referred to as the "Lindzei symbol" in the Ultimania Omega, is prominent in Orphan's design, its staggered form in the final battle being especially close to its shape. Etro's gate looms behind the final form of Orphan and when viewed from the front Orphan's body and the gate form the appearance of an eye. Orphan's true form is a cherubic face set in the center of a golden wheel with golden faces and the Lindzei's symbol on the edge. Orphan's final appearance and name allude to the Ophanim (singular form: Ophan), a class of celestial beings described in the book of Ezekiel that guard the throne of God, and are depicted as fiery, eye-covered wheels.
When staggered the wheel disappears and Orphan gains arms. Lindzei's symbol is emblazoned on Orphan's lower half, and the symbols hang on chains from each of Orphan's arms. A larger symbol of Lindzei is set on Orphan's forehead (or behind Orphan's head in the concept art), and above it the text Viator elementabills Ragnarok repeats with the symbol of infinity in the middle. Orphan's entire form when staggered resembles the Lindzei symbol with the white structure that replaces the golden wheel taking on its shape.
Orphan's desire to be reunited with the fal'Cie's Maker is the same as Barthandelus and the other fal'Cie's. Lightning states that Orphan had given up on life long before even being born. Displaying some of Barthandelus's personality aspects, Orphan can be sadistic, as seen when it tortures Fang. Once in its true form, Orphan appears more immature and speaks with a higher pitched voice. When Lightning leads the party into the final battle, announcing they will make the impossible possible and save Cocoon, Orphan shrieks in rage, perhaps alluding to a more infantile personality than that of Barthandelus.
The other Cocoon fal'Cie share Orphan's desire to be with their creator and orchestrate an event where Pulse l'Cie can become Ragnarok and destroy Orphan to send Cocoon plummeting to Gran Pulse so Etro's gate would be opened by the countless extinguished lives. Orphan is birthed when Barthandelus is defeated by Lightning and her party of Pulse l'Cie, after Menrva dives in to complete the fal'Cie's birth. Assimilating the dying body of Barthandelus as it rises, Orphan thanks the group for giving it life and overpowers them while demanding Vanille and Fang to complete their Focus.
Orphan tortures Vanille first, ordering her to assume the form of Ragnarok. Unable to bear the sight of her suffering friend, Fang promises to fulfill Orphan's wish and Orphan releases Vanille. Lightning and the others try to stop her and transform into Cie'th. Orphan delights in Fang's suffering before she transforms into Ragnarok that destroys the barrier around Orphan, but she is unable to defeat the fal'Cie and reverts to human form. Disappointed, Orphan tortures Fang and heals her wounds before resuming the torture to force her to become Ragnarok again.
Vanille refuses Fang's pleas to run with the intent to fight the fal'Cie. Orphan's shell is destroyed by Lightning and the others who are back in their human forms. Sinking into the pool, Orphan emerges in its true form as it tells the confident l'Cie they are overstepping their limit. Lightning tells Orphan not to underestimate them and declares they will end it and save Cocoon. Once defeated, Orphan sinks back into the pool as the other Cocoon fal'Cie shut down with its death. Cocoon is saved when Fang and Vanille become Ragnarok together and create a crystal pillar to sustain the floating continent above Gran Pulse.
Orphan is fought as the game's final boss in two states. The first uses a blade-like shell created from Barthandelus with elements of the fal'Cie's impression of Lindzei. Lindzei's face is also present on the wheel's plates on Orphan's back. After the shell is destroyed, Orphan appears as its true self during the final battle, assuming a near-invincible wheel-like form that when staggered causes him to assume a weakened angel form.
In his true form, Orphan is at level 51 and has 3,390,000 HP while his previous form is exactly double that amount. His incredible defense is what makes him challenging in his final form even while losing half of his total HP. If his first form is taken into account, the total hit points equal 10,170,000. This makes him the final boss with the most HP, a record previously held by Safer∙Sephiroth with a maximum of 400,000. However, the damage cap and damage dealing potential of the player is also much higher than in other games.
Creation and developmentEdit
Orphan's battle models were designed by Chikako Nakano. The Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega reveals the planning side told Nakano he was free to do what he wanted, except for two points: the game designers wanted Orphan to appear as a child after its transformation; before Orphan transforms, the developers wanted it to be extravagant. For Orphan's first form Nakano used an orphan's parents as the motif, having the transition from shelled form to true form give meaning of "an orphan being born from the loss of parents".
Initially Nakano had heard Dysley would transform into Orphan, so the first form's right side Nakano included a face that looks like Barthandelus. The mother on the left side is Lindzei as Dysley envisions it, but it differs from the god's actual appearance and is more sinister.
Orphan's final form, when staggered, can be defeated by the Instant Death effect by Vanille's Full ATB Skill Death. As explained by battle planner Nobuyuki Matsuoka in Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania, this is done to pay homage to The Final Fantasy Legend in which the final boss can be instantly defeated with the weapon Chainsaw, which may inflict instant death.
In the heart of Cocoon, Orphan provides for its people while dreaming of their destruction. The countless lives he has helped support will be sacrificed with joy, unless the fury of the l'Cie can stop him as they fight for survival.
- —The Fal'Cie Orphan's CollectaCard
Orphan appears as boss-type enemy in Curtain Call.
Orphan appears in Pictlogica Final Fantasy as an enemy.
This lonely deity has the most amazing three-way conversations in all of Cocoon.
- —In-game description.
Its in-game description refers to the fal'Cie Eden which Orphan uses to communicate with the Cocoon populace.
Etymology and symbolismEdit
An orphan is a child whose parents are dead or have abandoned them permanently.
In its first form, and second form's decorations, the face of Orphan's angelic half refers to the design of Sol Invictus, the Roman Sun God. Furthermore, the angel's posture and the color scheme of Orphan's first form (and Dysley's attire) reflect the art style and sacred "purple and white" coloring used by the Byzantine Empire.
- Orphan's first form makes a cameo appearance in Final Fantasy XIII-2 in a flashback as Lightning falls through the Historia Crux.
- In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Orphan is only mentioned once by Hope when in the Yaschas Massif.