The legends had told of her coming... Banisher of darkness, bringer of light, redeemer of souls. She'd come at the end of days...to guide our souls to salvation.
Savior (解放者, Kaihō-sha?, lit. Liberator) is the warrior chosen by Bhunivelze to usher in the new world in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. According to a prophecy stored in an Oracle Drive, the savior is a harbinger of doom who will attempt to destroy the world, and that a hero will rise up to prevent the savior from performing their task.
Scripture tells believers that a savior will appear at the end of the world to do God's bidding and save the souls of the people.
When the day of salvation comes, all life will end. The souls of those chosen by Bhunivelze will be saved and reborn in the new world. The one who is tasked with delivering them is known as the savior.
In this sense, the savior also heralds the coming of the end. For the heretics who do not believe the teachings of the Order, or the promise of a new world, she is thought to be little more than a harbinger of destruction.
I was chosen to rescue lost souls and guide them past the end of this world and into the next. I became...the savior.
The savior is a figure of legend: a woman with rose-colored hair chosen by Bhunivelze to free burdened souls and guide them to a prosperous new world. The savior's true purpose is to gather souls for Bhunivelze so he can purge them of their past selves and allow them to live in eternal bliss. Lightning is chosen to be the savior, accepting the task primarily to save her sister Serah's soul, secretly stolen from her by Bhunivelze while she was sleeping. Serah's heart now resides inside Lumina, the manifestation of Lightning's vulnerable side. She is also chosen because she has the potential to become his new, emotionless version of the Goddess Etro, keeping the balance of the universe while Bhunivelze rules the new world.
There exists a prophecy in a surviving Oracle Drive, which states the savior will destroy the world and its people, rather than save them. Noel Kreiss has become obsessed with the prophecy, intending to kill the savior and ensure the prophecy comes to pass. The group known as Children of Etro rebels against the Order of Salvation, who worship Bhunivelze. To ensure the failure of the savior's mission, the cult intends to kill anyone who could be her, and thus Lightning is brought into conflict with the Children of Etro and Noel, both of whom want her dead.
She also ends up fighting Snow Villiers, who wishes to die as a punishment for failing to protect Serah. During her quest to help Snow in Yusnaan, Lighting performs the role of the savior in a play called The Song of the Savior. After meeting Oerba Dia Vanille at the Luxerion Cathedral, Lightning laments that she saves souls by granting them what they wish for, and if Vanille wishes for death, she must let her have it. When she visits the Wildlands she learns of the legend of the Angel of Valhalla, a white chocobo whose appearance is said to herald the end of the world. She meets Caius Ballad and Paddra Nsu-Yeul at the Temple of the Goddess, but learns she doesn't have the power to save them.
When Lightning and Bhunivelze finally come face-to-face, Lightning rebels against her assigned role upon having learned Bhunivelze's vision for mankind is little else than slavery. She decides to save humanity and create a world free of gods. Lightning and her allies break Bhunivelze's hold on the world, and fell the god together before witnessing the creation of a new world where humans can determine their own destiny. Despite Bhunivelze's hidden agenda, Lightning ended up fulfilling the legend: freeing the souls of humanity from their burdens and leading them to a new world.
The term has the eponymous theme titled "Savior of Souls". Composed by Naoshi Mizuta, it is modeled after "Blinded By Light", and made with classical and electronic elements. It serves as one of the many battle themes, appearing most frequently in the Wildlands.
"The Savior's Words" is another song associated with the Savior. It was composed by Mitsuto Suzuki and performed by Wollny Andreas.
- To the scarlet streak of light
- To the one that breaks the silence
- You illuminate the night
- In most awe-inspiring ways
- Sent up from high above
- A name like a precious poem
- Let me sing this song to you
- Gracious savior of our souls
- Lightning's task as the savior is akin to that of a Psychopomp, a being in various mythologies who escorts the newly deceased souls and gives them safe passage to the afterlife.
- Lightning is tasked with saving souls rather than hearts. The English localization makes no distinction between the two, but they are separate entities in the Japanese version.
- When Lightning first confronts Snow in Yusnaan Palace, she is taking the souls of his guards by attacking them, but throughout the rest of the game she has to fulfill people's desires to get their souls. Killing monsters also seems to manifest souls.