The Seventh Ark is a dummied out location in Final Fantasy XIII. It was once considered to be downloadable, if DLC was to make an appearance in Final Fantasy XIII, and was intended as a location where Lightning and her companions would fight powerful enemies.
It is an Ark of Gran Pulse origin overseen by the fal'Cie Nemesis. It was meant to be accessed via a teleport gate in the Orphan's Cradle after completing the dungeon. It seems that the exit point for the Seventh Ark is the Narthex portal; the third portal may have been intended as the entrance to Seventh Ark, but was changed to lead into the Narthex in the final game. The location is a remix of elements used in the Fifth Ark. It is an alpha area and not fully debugged. It is likely parts of the code were removed as it was meant to be released as DLC, and the leftovers are for making the DLC smaller in size.
A Datalog entry exists across all versions of the game, although only the Spanish version is known to have a complete entry for it, as the English one says: "PLACEHOLDER — TO BE TRANSLATED LAST AS THIS IS GOING TO BE DELETED ANYWAY".
The Spanish entry for the Seventh Ark translates to:
- Locales — The Seventh Ark
One of the military installations of which the legends of Gran Pulse speak. The Fifth Ark is clearly an arsenal ready to combat invaders; the Seventh, instead, has as its principal function to awaken the hidden power of the l'Cie.
If one hacks a save to point to the Seventh Ark they will start in what's supposed to be the entry area, a big hall with four switches and a corridor to another hall. There is a cutscene of the party arriving at the Ark, deducing it is not the same Ark they visited before as it looks different. The party speculates Barthandelus plans to use all the Arks to unleash Pulse weapons on Cocoon to destroy it from the inside, or has yet to give up on using the party to defeat Orphan and thus the Seventh Ark exists to train them further for his doomsday plan.
The second hall has three doors beside the entry corridor, they are locked and the minimap indicates there's nothing behind them. Pressing any of the switches will either leave the player unable to move or start a boss battle against Nemesis. Last option is the cutscene where all four switches are spinning and the corridor doors open (although they are already open either way). Other areas exist but they are unfinished and disconnected.
The only practical content in the starting area the cutscenes and the heavily broken boss fight against Nemesis. Nemesis never does anything (its AI script does not load), and many attacks don't connect. The dialogue before the area's boss would depend on the current party leader. After felling Nemesis, the party leader comments they do not need to use their power for evil, but for saving Cocoon.
The area may have been intended to work thusly: The switches are portals that would teleport the party to the large areas of the Ark. After advancing through them and fighting a boss in each area (possibly the other dummied enemies that were used in later installments: Ereshkigal, Raspatil, Gorgyra) the party would return to the beginning and the switch would show it was activated. Activating the four switches would open the doors to the last switch that would lead to the final battle against Nemesis.
A disconnected area can be visited if one hacks their party to teleport. Most of the tiles do load but interactive objects (like elevators), monsters and some tiles still don't load. The place was meant to feature a Metal Gigantuar, an enemy that got moved to Final Fantasy XIII-2 instead. Other non-functional enemies on this level are Cryohedrons and Pulsework Champions. The red non-interactable objects are treasures that cannot be picked as they are "in-range with an enemy". The party will not always follow the leader into certain areas, either glitching even though there is no obstacle, or they will simply wait for the leader to come back, like there is a certain path one was intended to follow.
Some battles can be initiated and there is an area with many enemies in various combinations. It seems the mobs are hooked up to a supposed-to-be quest system, as after defeating them the camera approaches to the character and a textless menu pops up. Interacting with it teleports the party back to the initial area and triggers the Nemesis battle. Once Nemesis is defeated, the party is teleported back into the starting area. Returning to the area with enemies and defeating any other group will teleport the party back to the start area, and so on.
Due to the extensive data mining, several enemies were discovered that would appear in the Seventh Ark.
- Gigantuar Prime
- Pulsework Champion
- Rotten Tomato
- Alpha Behemoth
- Beta Behemoth
- PSICOM units
- Nemesis, Left Manipulator, Right Manipulator (Boss)
In the corridors of the Seventh Ark "Lake Bresha" plays and when the party teleports to fal'Cie Nemesis's chamber "The Vestige" plays. When the fal'Cie reveals itself "Saber's Edge", but during the battle the game's battle theme, "Blinded By Light", plays.
The Ark is seventh of its kind, there having been rumored to be thirteen in total.
Noah carried seven pairs of each clean animal species and one pair of each unclean animal species, each pair a male and female, into a giant ship called the Ark. The Ark was built by God's command to survive the deluge He sent to purge the world from the sins committed by mankind.In the Bible,
- The text that appears on the activated switches reads in Pulsian writing: "time showing the rest of".