The Crystal was gifted to mankind that we might know lasting prosperity.
The Crystal (クリスタル, Kurisutaru?), also known as the Stone of Legend or simply the Stone, is a powerful magical artifact in the world of Eos in the Final Fantasy XV Universe. Acting as the focal point of the story of Final Fantasy XV, it plays a role in most of the Universe and becomes key to the destiny of main protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum.
Another type of crystalline structure in the world of Eos is the Meteor of the Six.
Appearance and role
The Crystal is the divine cornerstone of the Kingdom of Lucis. The Stone has a will of its own, and channels its sacred power through the Ring of the Lucii to the monarch who bears it.
The Crystal is a large stone similar to a geode with a rough dark surface cracked on one side that exposes its shining crystalline core. The Crystal is at least as old as the Astrals, the guardian deities of the planet Eos. Said to have emerged from the planet, its role is intrinsically tied to that of the Astrals and the prophesied True King. The young Lunafreya explains to an eight-year-old Noctis that crowning the King of Light is the "calling" of the Crystal. According to legend, the Crystal is of divine origin and was bestowed to humanity alongside the Ring of the Lucii, which harnesses the Crystal's power for a chosen few. In Verse 2 of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis, the "Mysterious Voice" describes the Crystal as a chrysalis to the soul of the planet.
The Crystal's power is that of light and is a source of unmatched magical power. It is kept by the kingdom of Lucis and protected by the lineage of Lucian kings, held in the Citadel in the Crown City of Insomnia. Its power is so potent that Daemons and those not chosen to wield its power are literally burned away to nothing.
The Crystal's active role in the game's events is debatable. According to the "Magic of the Lucii" lore tutorial it has a will of its own, but in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn – Prologue Aera Mirus Fleuret posits the Crystal has no independent will. During the novel Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, it does appear to act independantly and for the benefit of Eos.
The source of magic and prosperity in Lucis, it is prophesied that, when darkness threatens the world, the Crystal will choose its champion—the King of Light. That King is Noctis, who was marked at the tender age of five.
The Crystal is said to have emerged from Eos itself some 2,000 years ago, and was granted to mankind by the Astrals. As told in Dawn of the Future, when the Crystal was brought to the planet the sky turned blue and the land became fertile. A tower was built to house it and the population soared. The Crystal's role is to pick the "Chosen King" when disaster comes to the world.
During this time, the world was ravaged by the Starscourge, a plague that transforms people into daemons and threatens to shroud the world in an eternal darkness. As depicted in Episode Ardyn — Prologue, the Crystal was tended to by the Oracle Aera in its tower; here she awaited the gods' decision on who to crown king. The Crystal chose Ardyn Lucis Caelum, who had absorbed the malady from the afflicted to save them, and was thus denounced as unclean and unworthy. His ascension to the throne was thwarted, his brother Somnus taking the crown in his stead. According to the Cosmogony Somnus forged covenants with the Astrals and embarked on a quest with the "Oracle" to quell the Starscourge, and daemons disappeared from the realm. Ardyn had become immortal however, and was locked away in Angelgard for two millennia, almost all memory of him erased from history. The Dawn of the Future tells that Ardyn's soul was trapped in the Crystal itself, explaining his immortality.
The lineage of Somnus was charged by the Astrals with guarding the Crystal, interacting with it using the divinely-forged Ring of the Lucii, which can be used to channel the Crystal's power and holds the souls of the Lucian kings to aid the True King when he comes. The Lucis Caelum line's role was not to use the Crystal for personal gain, but to protect it until the True King's prophesied arrival to banish the Starscourge once more. The kings keep at this task for the next 2,000 years, while Ardyn—forgotten—was chained away. He was eventually freed by Verstael Besithia of Niflheim and established himself as chancellor to Emperor Aldercapt to begin his plan for vengeance. Ardyn took the surname of "Izunia" and vowed to have his revenge on the Crystal and the bloodlines chosen to serve it.
The Crystal is implied to be the source of Lucis's rapid development in comparison to the rest of the world, but at the same time it drains the life-force of the king who protects it; he must shield it from outsiders by maintaining the Wall, a magical barrier that engulfs the Crown City. According to documents produced circa the advent of the Kingdom of Lucis, metal procured from adamantoise shell was used in the construction of conduits used to channel the Crystal's power into the Wall around the Crown City.
Having conquered all other lands, bar Lucis, Niflheim reigns supreme. Prince Noctis, the son and successor of King Regis, once recuperated in Tenebrae from a childhood injury. He met the young Lady Lunafreya of the Oracles' bloodline, who told him about his destiny as the Chosen King and the role of the Lucian kings as the Crystal's sworn protectors even if the Crystal and the light it provides for the world belong to everyone. Lunafreya told Noctis that the Crystal's calling is to crown the King of Light who will save the world, and the eight-year-old Noctis promised he would do it without understanding the gravity of the deal.
The lab rats had a theory that the Crystal posed some kind of...threat to the daemons. The way they see it, that's the reason the chancellor had the emperor go after it in the first place. Dunno, but that theory holds water in my book. Certainly explains why the kings have always guarded the Crystal, and how they kept the daemons at bay.
The twenty-year-old Noctis is away from the Crown City when Niflheim steals the Crystal during a supposed peace-treaty signing. Regis, Noctis, and Lunafreya are announced to have perished. Lunafreya survives with the Ring of the Lucii in her possession however, and Noctis begins a quest to rendezvous with her and reclaim his throne and the Crystal.
The empire has been overtaken by the forces of darkness. It has begun to employ daemons in its army and harvest miasma to create a magitek infantry, but the Starscourge spreads like a virulent plague among its populace, turning everyone into daemons. The Crystal is believed to have the power to banish daemons, seeing that it always kept Insomnia safe. Though the exact reason the empire steals the Crystal is never stated, Aranea Highwind has heard the empire believes the Crystal poses a threat to daemons. The empire told the public they stole it "for the good of the people". The empire lacks the Ring of the Lucii needed to command the Crystal, and it is stored away in Zegnautus Keep, the seat of imperial power in the capital. Emperor Aldercapt seems to believe a warped version of the prophecy of the Crystal picking a Chosen King, as when he is accosted by Ravus Nox Fleuret, the emperor declares himself the one True King destined to rule the world. However, the role of the Crystal's chosen was never to rule the world, but to be a vessel for its power to become even more powerful than the gods and banish the plague of darkness.
Prince Noctis collects the royal arms of his forebears that lets him wield the power of kings. He forges the covenants with the gods of Eos with help from Lunafreya, and she passes on the Ring of the Lucii to him before her death. Lunafreya was an Oracle said to also wield a power originating from the gods: without her holding the darkness at bay daylight is vanishing from the world with the Starscourge's advancement.
Wielding the ring as his weapon, Noctis infiltrates Gralea, but finds it devoid of human life and swarming with daemons and rogue magitek troopers; even the emperor has turned into a daemon. To his dying breath, the emperor seeks the Ring of the Lucii to gain the power to control the Crystal. When Noctis finds the Crystal in the heart of the Keep, he asks for its power to save the world, but to his surprise is absorbed inside it, and the Crystal's light dims. Noctis enters an otherworldly realm inside the Crystal that is bathed in light: the place where the True King gains the power to cleanse the world.
He encounters the Astral god Bahamut who explains that the Crystal holds the soul of Eos and that Noctis can banish darkness from the world with the power of Providence at the cost of his own life. Noctis sleeps inside the Crystal for ten years, during which time he absorbs the power he needs to fulfill the prophecy. After Noctis disappears daylight vanishes from the world that is overtaken by daemons.
When he returns ten years later, Noctis makes his way to the ruins of Insomnia to where Ardyn has taken the now lusterless Crystal. After overcoming the obstacles Ardyn places on his path to the Citadel, Noctis confronts him in the throne room where the Crystal is mounted on the wall atop the throne. Ardyn has placed himself on the throne, likely to mock Noctis, as the True King is said to receive the Light of Providence there. Noctis kills Ardyn and then calls upon the spirits of past Lucian kings to be able to confront Ardyn's spirit in the "beyond". The spirits of the old kings attack Noctis until his soul is taken by the ring, and his spirit enters a realm of full of light similar to the place inside the Crystal where he had met Bahamut. Noctis uses the power of light to banish darkness from the world and erase Starscourge from Ardyn's soul. Noctis's body disperses into light, the Ring of the Lucii disintegrates, and the sun finally rises.
With the Lucian bloodline terminated and the Ring of the Lucii gone, the Lucis Caelums' servitude to the Crystal seems to be over. It is unknown what becomes of the Crystal afterward, as with no further kings or Oracles, there is no human left to wield divine power in Eos. According to the quest description for "The Cure for Insomnia", Noctis returned the Crystal's power to the planet.
If Prince Noctis's friend Ignis Scientia decides to follow Ardyn after facing him in Altissia, the latter takes him to Zegnautus Keep where the empire has imprisoned the Crystal. A mysterious voice guides Ignis to the Crystal, telling him how only the True King fulfilling the prophecy can save the world.
When Ignis finds the Crystal, he is apprehended by Ardyn, who reveals he lured Ignis there as bait for Noctis, whom he wants to inherit the Crystal's power. Ardyn reveals his true identity as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, who in ancient times was to become the king of Lucis, but considers the title stolen from him by his brother, Somnus the Founder King. Rendered immortal, Ardyn has lived for two millennia as the Starscourge incarnate, awaiting the time he can get his revenge on the Crystal that had discarded him. Ignis knows Noctis will die if Ardyn's plan succeeds, and declares that the world means nothing to him if it means losing his friend.
Ignis puts on the Ring of the Lucii he had gained from Noctis earlier, and gains its power for the price of his own life. He defeats Ardyn who yet returns, as he is immortal. The dying Ignis is found by Noctis, Gladiolus and Prompto, who had been brought to the Keep by Ravus. Noctis grieves how incapable he is to protect those close to him, and asks for the Crystal's power to save Ignis. When Ignis is healed, sylleblossom petals swirl in the air around them, implying a connection to Lunafreya. Noctis takes the ring and walks into the Crystal.
When Noctis sleeps for ten years, he receives various memories from the Crystal, such as how it was first brought to Eos and a grand hall was built to house it. After Noctis returns to Insomnia, he cooperates with Ardyn to destroy Bahamut in both the physical and the heavenly realms after learning Bahamut views mankind as a disposable sacrifice to banish the Scourge. When Bahamut is killed, magic is also lost and the Astrals and the Crystal itself vanish. Before shattering, the Crystal–apparently of its own will–absorbs all remnants of the Scourge, cleansing Eos.
Crystals are a recurring motif in the Final Fantasy series, and its most recurring concept, appearing in every installment. Crystals in Final Fantasy represent the power that sustains the world, and their power of light is often juxtaposed with darkness, which is sometimes shown as the emptiness known as the Void. The powers of light and dark tend to remain in balance and depend on each other, as the Void is the typical place of genesis for the crystals. In Final Fantasy XV the kingdom of Lucis (Latin for "of the light") is associated with the powers of light, but their royal color is black and the grim reaper is a royal symbol. The imperial lands are mired in the powers of darkness, but are associated with the color white.
The people chosen to carry out the crystals' will are known as the Warriors of Light, who are always the main playable characters in a Final Fantasy game. In Final Fantasy XV the Crystal bestows its power to the line of Lucian kings.
In later installments crystals gained the role of being the collective souls for entire planets, with the souls of all living beings returning to the planet. The Crystal in Final Fantasy XV is said to hold "the soul of the star". Though dark and dull on the outside, the otherworldly realm it leads to appears boundless and is bathed in glimmering light. The exact nature of the realm inside the Crystal is never explained, but where Noctis Lucis Caelum meets Bahamut is described as the "heart of the Crystal". In Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, the Crystal is shown to be intrinsically linked to Bahamut, and to house various memories of the planet itself. This is similar to other Final Fantasy installments, where the crystals have appeared as pieces of crystallized consciousness.
Final Fantasy XV introduces the concept of the bonding of the souls where one's soul is linked to those of his ancestors as seen with the Lucian kings. The "bonding of the souls via the Crystal" could also be seen as having a meta-element, of the theme of the crystal literally linking the series and its myriad Warriors of Light, and thus, also all the people who play the series. By the end of the game the Crystal has lost its light, as it has been transferred to the True King. This could represent how, even if the Crystal is the symbol of the series, its enduring light is the player.
As Final Fantasy XV started as Final Fantasy Versus XIII and part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy, elements of that subseries are present in its design. Souls appearing as floating immaterial crystal shards remains for Final Fantasy XV, now representing the power of the Crystal, the bonding of the souls, and the Astral realm. Noctis's ten-year slumber inside the Crystal also hearkens to the concept of the crystal stasis in the Fabula Nova Crystallis games.
The track "In the Light of the Crystal" plays in the vicinity of the Crystal. It is a version of the traditional Final Fantasy crystal theme, the "Prelude", with an ominous tinge and elements of imperial themes.
Creation and development
The Crystal was part of the story ever since the game was known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. In the earlier materials, such as the Final Fantasy XV E3 2013 trailer, it was implied that every nation once possessed a Crystal but lost them due to warring over them, the only one remaining being Lucis's Crystal. It hearkens to the traditional Final Fantasy storyline of the different nations of the world protecting their own Crystal. Final Fantasy XV has only one Crystal, and it gains properties introduced later in the series as the world's soul.
- The Ring of the Lucii has a small clear gemstone in the grasp of the armored figure on the ring's front. The ring allows one to channel the Crystal's powers.
- An evil empire stealing the crystals is an archetypal Final Fantasy storyline, which is also reprised in Final Fantasy XV.
- King Regis appears to talk to the Crystal in the Omen short film, but the identity of the voice who answers is ambiguous.
- The Crystal with its cracked shell and glowing inside looks a little bit like Cocoon from Final Fantasy XIII. Its shape with a pulsating red core and a thick vein-like "stem" also make it reminiscent of an actual heart or a living organ in general.
- The small crystal on the Ring of the Lucii doesn't shine unless it is absorbing a soul or channeling the Crystal's power. Similarly, the Crystal of Eos is black on the outside and only shines on the inside, which is connected to an otherworldly realm. After Noctis enters the Crystal, it dims.
- The Crystal existing as a doorway to a spiritual realm could liken to Etro's gate from the Fabula Nova Crystallis series.
- Whiskers: Crystal fishing lure is fashioned after a moogle and the Crystal.
- In Episode Ardyn, Ardyn is chained similarly to the way the Crystal is kept in Zegnautus Keep.