Arks (アーク, Āku?) are Gran Pulse armories in Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2. Two Arks are seen: the Fifth Ark hidden underneath Eden, and the Thirteenth Ark that floats above Academia four centuries later. A location called the Seventh Ark was considered to be a downloadable location if DLC was to be made for Final Fantasy XIII. There, Lightning and her companions would fight powerful enemies. This never materialized, but hackers have unveiled the location as dummied content.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has a location known as the Ark, but it appears manmade rather than made by Pulse fal'Cie. The Academy may have named it in homage to the mythical Arks of the fal'Cie.
They say the fal'Cie made the Arks in preparation for battle against the menace that lurks beyond. Where is this "beyond" of which they speak? Do they mean Cocoon, and the demons that dwells within? If so, they are mistaken. The legends of the Arks date far before that sphere was even crafted; whispers even hint at Arks displaced around the time of Cocoon's creation, spirited away to be hidden in its shell.
What, then, is the "menace"? What distant threat confronts us, and to what purpose? The gods vanished from this place. Are they now residents of the "beyond"?
- —On the Nature of Fal'Cie
According to legend, Arks are Gran Pulse's floating armories that hold living weapons in stasis in preparation for war with outside forces. Arks are hidden all around the world and most of their locations are unknown. Arks were built by the fal'Cie thousands of years ago, and even though their purpose is a mystery to humankind, they are used for training l'Cie to become strong enough to fulfill their Focus. The Arks levitate via the power of items known as Graviton Cores.
Gran Pulse citizens had searched for the legendary Arks, but never found them. On Cocoon, Lightning's party visits the Fifth Ark that they find hidden under Eden. As told in Final Fantasy XIII Gaiden Shōsetsu: Yumemiru Mayu, Akatsuki ni Otsu, a university student called René discovers another Ark hidden beneath Eden when being hunted by purger fal'Cie. The Arks being hidden underneath Eden may explain why Gran Pulse citizens never found them, if many were, in fact, brought to Cocoon.
The purpose of Arks is not revealed in Final Fantasy XIII, but the official mythology on Fabula Nova Crystallis tells the god Bhunivelze created the world of Final Fantasy XIII in preparation to fight the goddess Mwynn. After tasking the god Pulse to find a way to the dimension where Mwynn resided, Bhunivelze turned himself into a crystal to sleep until time would be ripe. It can be thus gathered that the Arks were intended to be used in Bhunivelze's battle against Mwynn, as all that is known of their purpose is that they were constructed to fight a great menace in "the beyond".
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,
- There being thirteen Arks is an allusion to the number 13, a recurring theme in the Lightning Saga and all of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series.