One born of a dragon
Bearing darkness and light,
Shall rise to the heavens Over the still land.
The moon's light eternal
Brings a promise to Earth
With bounty and grace.
A prophecy is a prediction of what will happen in the future, and a recurring story element in the Final Fantasy series. There is a prophecy on the coming of the Warriors of Light in the original Final Fantasy, and similar themes recur in the rest of the series. Prophecies in Final Fantasy may either be spread by a prophet, or simply exist as cryptic ancient texts with murky provenance.
The world lies shrouded in darkness.
The winds die...
The seas rage...
The earth decays...
But the people believe in a prophecy, patiently waiting for its fulfillment.
'When darkness veils the world, four Warriors of Light shall come.'
After a long journey four young warriors did at last appear...
...and in the hand each was holding a crystal.
Lukahn is a renowned sage who foretold the coming of the Warriors of Light. Lukahn and his prophecy are known throughout the southern continents, and even some people in the north have heard of the coming of the Warriors of Light. He stands with the Circle of Sages, presumably their leader, and hints at the cycle of death that plagues the world. His prophecy states that in a time of darkness, four Warriors of Light would appear to restore light to the Crystals and balance to the elements of the world.
The Light Warriors' mission is to destroy the Four Fiends of each of the four elements and to save the world by restoring the light to the Crystals they hold. After defeating the Four Fiends, the Light Warriors travel into the past to defeat the cause of all the evil, Chaos, who turns out to be their first foe, Garland. The evil force had created a cycle of destruction passing through time that the Warriors of Light bring to an end by destroying Chaos.
The Gulgan thus prophesied: "The earthquake was only the beginning. The great tremors that swallowed the crystals, the light of our world, only to spawn monsters from the depths of the scarred land, are nothing but harbingers of what has yet to come. Something is coming...fathomless, ominous, and full of sorrow... But hope is not yet lost. Four souls will be blessed with light, and so it shall begin..."
The Mysidian legend is passed down in Mysidia that foretells of a Chosen One destined to end all evil in the world. Final Fantasy IV has various translations and thus there are different versions of the legend. The Elder of Mysidia believes that Cecil Harvey is the Chosen One because he wields the Mythgraven Blade, and the Chosen One is said to be wielding this sword. King Giott interprets this legend to justify the existence of the Lunar Whale, an airship said to be able to travel to the moon.
Although the word "prophecy" is never mentioned, the events that transpire could be seen as predestined. The opening theme is "Liberi Fatali", "fated children", which refers to Squall Leonhart and his friends and speaks of them discovering a truth and to bring light to a dark world. This could be seen as homage to the archetypal Final Fantasy storyline of the coming of the Warriors of Light.
Sorceress Edea and Cid Kramer were a married couple who operated an orphanage for the children orphaned by the Sorceress War. One day, a dying sorceress from the future appeared from a time portal alongside a teenage Squall Leonhart, whom Edea recognized as an older version of a boy currently under her care. The sorceress died and passed on her powers to Edea, and Squall introduced himself as a SeeD from Garden, saying they were Edea's idea before disappearing back into the time portal.
Edea came to believe that one day Squall, a boy in her orphanage, would defeat an evil sorceress. To prepare him for this future ordeal Edea and her husband Cid started the Garden to train Squall as a SeeD operative, along with other aspirants and children from the orphanage. SeeD's true purpose as an anti-sorceress force was concealed by introducing it as a mercenary force for hire. As the SeeD's true purpose is to battle a sorceress, they specialize in magic use. Squall grew up in Balamb Garden and trained to become a SeeD though he never learned of his role in the Garden's founding. Cid and Edea keep following with the premonition Edea had had with the future Squall, however, and Cid eventually promotes Squall to the head of SeeD and Garden telling him this is his destiny.
It turns out that the evil sorceress Edea had seen the older Squall defeat is Ultimecia who resides in the far future. The tale of the SeeD defeating her has gone down in history as the tale of the "Legendary SeeD" and she seeks to avert her fate by eradicating SeeD from the world. She plans compress all time and space to become a living god and thus escape her demise, but her casting the time compression magic is what allows Squall and his friends to travel through time to her era and kill her before she can attain her goal.
Squall's estranged sister Ellone has a power to send her and others' consciousnesses across time, and tries to use it to change the timeline, but fails and later tells Squall that changing the course of events is impossible, further reinforcing the theme of destiny. The battle theme "Premonition" plays in battles against sorceresses, being a "premonition" for the fated battle against Ultimecia. The theme shares much of the same central melody as "Liberi Fatali".
The Oracle Drive is a device created by the Farseers. The seeress Yeul would transfer her visions of the future into it to be preserved as prophecies. These archives images are usually but broken fragments of the seeresses' prophecies, and to gain a clear picture one would need to amass a collection of these images and piece them together. Yeul stopped using an Oracle Drive after Caius Ballad became her Guardian, as he is immortal and able to remember all of her prophecies. After Caius abandons her at the end of time, Yeul records her final prophecy to an Oracle Drive: the coming of a new world where she will be reunited with Noel Kreiss, an aspirant Guardian who had been Caius's apprentice and helped him protect her.
When Serah Farron joins Noel on their journey through time, they come across ancient Oracle Drives and learn of the possible futures through them as they are studied by the research organization Academy. Serah learns she and Yeul both possess the "Eyes of Etro" that make them seeresses, and she keeps experiencing strange visions whenever the timeline changes. The visions are not restricted to the past or future, but a seeress can witness any period in history. The gift doubles as a curse as it drains the seeress's life force each time she has a vision, and if she has one strong enough, the seeress will die. The seeress knows the moment of her death, but according to the law of the Farseers, is forbidden from changing history to save herself.
A Fragment entry Message of the Orbs also posits that the most famous of Yeul's prophecies was of the monster Ragnarok being summoned by Fang and Vanille. "They shall come from the far north, and the black-haired one shall be of the family Yun, and the red-haired one of the family Dia." The Day of Ragnarok was also prophesied by Lachesis, "messenger of the magic world", in the The Book of Haerii. According to the prophecy Ragnarok would bring down Cocoon after two girls would transform into the beast. The events being prophesied is not mentioned in Final Fantasy XIII.
Lumina has planted a false prophecy to an Oracle Drive in Luxerion that shows Noel killing Lightning to save the world. Noel becomes obsessed with the prophecy, as it also contains a vision of himself reuniting with Yeul. When Lightning arrives in Luxerion Noel stalks her until they meet face-to-face. They duel, but Noel realizes killing Lightning is not what Yeul would want him to do, and destroys the Oracle Drive. Yeul's spirit appears from the Drive and tells Noel they will see each other again soon. The Oracle Drive's final prophecy is fulfilled when Noel departs to the new world with Yeul.
The opening loading screen to the game has the following lines:
- In a time unknown, only a prophecy keeps hope alive in people's hearts. "When darkness veils the world, the King of Light shall come."
This is homage to the similar opening of the original Final Fantasy that calls for the coming of the Warriors of Light.
The King of Light as per the prophecy is the king who wields all of the Crystal's power who can banish Starscourge from Eos. Paintings depicting the prophecy are kept in the Citadel, and the Cosmogony books allude to it as well.
There exists an ancient Prophecy whose full account is never given, but White recites the following as part of it:
- "The Vile 4 will steal the Power
- and divide the World behind 4 doors.
- At that time the Knight will appear."
Thus, in essence the Prophecy is the motivation for the entire game - the Vile Four have stolen the Crystals and sealed the doors of the Focus Tower, cutting the four regions of the world off from each other. The Crystal of Light believes Benjamin is the knight the Prophecy speaks of, and thus is destined to defeat the Vile Four and save the Crystals.
Prior to the events of the game, Captain Mac goes on a voyage and finds a lost verse of the prophecy:
- "The one behind the 4 is
- darker than the night,
- and rises midst the land."
This part of the prophecy refers to the Dark King, who is stationed in Doom Castle atop the Focus Tower. With Mac's Ship, Benjamin enters Doom Castle and finds the Dark King. When confronted, the Dark King claims that the Prophecy was a rumor he started centuries ago, but if he was lying or not is not revealed. Either way, Benjamin defeats the Dark King and saves the world, fulfilling the Prophecy's predictions.