- "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
In his true form, Orphan is voiced by Hiro Shimono in the Japanese version and Michael Sinterniklaas in the English version. The two halves of his shell are voiced by Mie Sonozaki and Masaru Shinozuka in the Japanese version, and Julia Fletcher and S. Scott Bullock in the English version. In both versions, the right half of his shell shares its voice actor with Barthandelus, likely because Barthandelus's body has been made a part of Orphan's shell by this time.
- 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.
Residing within a pool in a deep sleep, Orphan is the main power source to Eden, enabling it to siphon power from other fal'Cie to keep Cocoon afloat. By the game's end, Orphan is awakened from its rest after Galenth Dysley's defeat when Menrva dives in to complete the fal'Cie's birth.
Assimilating the dying body of Barthandelus as it rises from its rest, Orphan reveals having the same desire to use Ragnarok to destroy Cocoon as a means of forcing Etro's Gate to open and reunited with the fal'Cies' Maker. Though it would mean its own death and that of all other Cocoon fal'Cie who need its power to remain active; Orphan's true desire was to be killed all along, living so long in keeping Cocoon alive yet unable to die and in a state of unbirth. In fact, through Barthandelus's Pulse propaganda, Orphan was setting up its own executioners by the time it could be born and thus be able to die.
Orphan thanks the group of having freed it from its bondage, overpowering them while insisting Vanille and Fang to complete their Focus. Torturing Vanille first so she can transform, Orphan accepts Fang's offer to become the monster in Vanille's place while promising to fulfill Orphan's wish.
Lightning and Cocoon-based Pulse l'Cie try to stop her, only to become Cie'th as Orphan delights in Fang's suffering before she transforms into Ragnarok. Though Fang destroyed the barrier around Orphan, she is unable to defeat the fal'Cie as she reverts to her human form. Orphan proceeds in torturing Fang and healing her wounds to torture her more, trying to force her to become Ragnarok again.
Refusing to stand by, Vanille refuses to Fang's pleas to run with the intent to fight the fal'Cie. Luckily, Orphan's shell is destroyed by Lightning and the others, back in their human forms. Sinking back into the pool, Orphan emerges in its true form as Lightning tells the fal'Cie that they will end it and save Cocoon before the party destroys it once and for all.
As Orphan dies, the now powerless Cocoon fal'Cie enter a deep rest as Cocoon begins to fall from the sky. However, because the party felled Orphan in their human forms, Fang and Vanille retained the power to become Ragnarok as they use it together to save Cocoon and foil the Cocoon fal'Cies' plan.
- "You overreach yourselves."
Orphan is fought as the game's final boss in two states. The first is using a blade-like shell created from Barthandelus with elements of the fal'Cie's impression of Lindzei, as an angelic figure, projecting from the right side with her 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. 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 that of other games.
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.
- "This lonely deity has the most amazing three-way conversations in all of Cocoon."
- —In-game description.
Orphan is the final boss of the Archylte Steppe Premium World from Final Fantasy All the Bravest. He uses Merciless Judgment against the party, and drops the Omega Weapon for Lightning.
It's in-game description refers to the fal'Cie Eden which Orphan uses to communicate with the Cocoon populace.
An orphan is a child permanently bereaved of his or her parents. This is proved when Orphan's first form is introduced, referring to itself as "The Abandoned One", and the symbolic transition to its true form. This also can be seen in Orphan's position as a fal'Cie, infantile visage and boss themes, "Born Anew" and "Nascent Requiem". In addition, Orphan's final appearance and name allude to the Ophanim (singular form: Ophan), a class of celestial beings described in the book of Ezekiel. They are celestial creatures guarding the throne of God, and are generally depicted as fiery, eye-covered wheels.
- The script engraved on the blade-like structure of Orphan's first form appears to be a revised version of the lyrics "Fighting Fate" written in the Cocoon alphabet. While in its first form, Orphan refers to itself with plural pronouns.
- 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.
- Orphan's final form, when staggered, is not immune to 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.
- 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.