The Maker created fal'Cie. And they, in their desperation to be reunited with the Maker, created l'Cie.
The fal'Cie [fæl'siː] are supernatural beings in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series. Their most prominent appearance is in Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, though they also appear in Final Fantasy Type-0 and its spin-off, Final Fantasy Agito. They are ageless immortals often responsible for the creation and maintenance of the land where humans dwell, and indirectly govern their lives.
Fal'Cie pay homage to the Crystals of the early Final Fantasy series, as per the Fabula Nova Crystallis theme of re-imagining the series's core concepts. Whereas in the early series the Crystals are benevolent, in the Fabula Nova Crystallis the fal'Cie have their own various agendas.
In the Famitsu magazine in June 2009, the fal'Cie of Final Fantasy XIII were revealed to be formed from the crystals residing inside of them that act as their energy sources. Director Motomu Toriyama described the fal'Cie as "god machines surrounding the crystals".
In the official mythology, the beings created by the god Bhunivelze in his quest to reach the unseen realm are referred to as fal'Cie, even though they are generally referred to as deities by humans and future fal'Cie. The original "fal'Cie" created were Pulse, Lindzei, and Etro: Pulse and Lindzei were given powers to create and, according to the mythology, created many fal'Cie of their own, while Etro was discarded and killed herself. Pulse and Lindzei retreated to an unknown realm, leaving their respective fal'Cie to carry out their tasks.
The appearance of fal'Cie varies greatly throughout the series. In Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, fal'Cie are crystal-powered mechanical beings, taking all manner of shapes depending on their creators: Pulse fal'Cie often take on bestial forms, while Lindzei fal'Cie adopt humanoid traits, and many resemble the shape of Lindzei's crest . In the Type series, the beings closest to Final Fantasy XIII's equivalent of fal'Cie come in at least two forms: immortal human-like beings, and Crystals with a limited Will.
While not as powerful as their creators, the fal'Cie nevertheless wield god-like powers, and are instrumental in the creation of l'Cie, usually human "avatars" the fal'Cie choose to exert their will in the world in form of a mission the l'Cie must complete, called Focus. Upon the fal'Cie choosing a l'Cie, the chosen is transported to the fal'Cie's respective creator's abode to receive their brand.
Final Fantasy XIII
- Pulse fal'Cie
Fal'Cie are an existence beyond human comprehension, possessed of incredible magic power. The ones responsible for Cocoon's construction are protectors of humanity, but there are others of their kind as well: the fal'Cie who dwell on Pulse and name themselves enemies of Cocoon.
Humans who encounter Pulse fal'Cie are cursed by being turned to l'Cie and ordered to destroy Cocoon. It is for this reason that most ordinary citizens support the Purge—anyone who may have come into contact with one of these fal'Cie represents a dire threat.
- Sanctum Fal'Cie
The Sanctum fal'Cie are the unfathomable entities that constructed the floating shell of Cocoon in ages past, and even now watch over the world's human inhabitants. Each is assigned a specific task that supports the existence of Cocoon's grateful populace, such as generating energy or manufacturing food. The fal'Cie rarely intervene directly in the governing of society, leaving that responsibility to appointed human representatives.
One theory states that, including the lower hierarchy, the total number of Sanctum fal'Cie exceeds eight million.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
- Fal'Cie and L'Cie
The fal'Cie are supernatural entities that once governed the floating paradise of Cocoon.
These godlike beings possess the power to curse humans, transforming them into 'l'Cie.' Lightning and Serah were once enslaved as l'Cie, and given the task of destroying Cocoon.
Lightning defied the will of the fal'Cie, and steered her fate down a different road. Following the catastrophe, the fal'Cie of Cocoon fell into slumber. A different group of fal'Cie exists on Gran Pulse, but they show little interest in the activities of humans.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
- The l'Cie
Almighty Bhunivelze created three gods for his world: Etro, Pulse, and Lindzei.
Etro was a goddess without any power of her own. In contrast, both Pulse and Lindzei were granted near limitless power, and they built the fal'Cie, servants that possess supernatural powers.
The fal'Cie that served the gods Pulse worked to terraform the expansive lands of the planet, and the world came to be known as Gran Pulse. The fal'Cie which served Lindzei built a world in the sky, and kept humans blissfully unaware within a cage they called Cocoon.
The gods did not reveal themselves, but the fal'Cie were present in every part of humanity's lives. The people depended on them for survival and worshiped them as gods. But there are almost no fal'Cie left in the surviving remnants of the world.
After the deities Pulse and Lindzei departed from the world, their respective fal'Cie were left behind to perform their given tasks. Pulse fal'Cie terraformed the land—named Gran Pulse after the deity—and helped populate it with ferocious creatures, while the Lindzei fal'Cie secure mankind's prosperity by maintaining the planetoid Cocoon, a utopia where people can live safe from the beasts that habit the lowerworld.
The Lindzei fal'Cie seek to summon their Maker by sending a mass of human souls through Etro's gate, the barrier between the mortal world and the unseen realm (afterlife), hoping to force it wide open. Thus they isolate most of humanity within Cocoon, an artificial paradise ruled by the fal'Cie through the governing body of the Sanctum. The Sanctum demonizes the lowerworld as a hell for humans to prevent the populace from wanting to leave, and to have them turn to the fal'Cie for protection.
The fal'Cie's use of propaganda incites a war between those who embrace the crafted paradise, and those who remain on Gran Pulse. The fal'Cie's goal is for a Pulse l'Cie to become Ragnarok, a mythical creature with the power to bring about the end of the world, and destroy Cocoon, hoping the resulting death count would force Etro's gate open, calling their creator back to the world.
While the first attempt during the War of Transgression failed due to Etro's divine intervention, the second almost succeeds in 0 AF. Two Pulse l'Cie, Vanille and Fang, sacrifice themselves to erect a crystal pillar to halt Cocoon's fall. When the fal'Cie that acts as Cocoon's power source, Orphan, dies, the fal'Cie Eden, who distributed Orphan's power to the other Cocoon fal'Cie, enters a dormant state alongside the rest of the fal'Cie, who no longer sustain the crystallized Cocoon.
The only Pulse fal'Cie who is known to be a part of this scheme is Anima, a Pulse fal'Cie who used to be the patron fal'Cie of the Gran Pulse settlement of Oerba, and who branded l'Cie with a Focus to become Ragnarok and lay waste to Cocoon. After the War of Transgression Anima was brought to Cocoon by Cocoon's leading fal'Cie, Barthandelus, where it lay dormant for hundreds of years until it found new l'Cie to brand. Without Anima, Oerba's populace dwindled until it became a ghost town inhabited only by Cie'th, crystalline monsters that l'Cie who fail their Focus become.
The rest of the Pulse fal'Cie appear indifferent to the perils of mankind, and keep following their objectives as presumably tasked by the god Pulse. They appear to have two goals: to find Etro's gate, and to craft an army for the sleeping god Bhunivelze to eventually use to wage war on the unseen realm once the gateway would be found. Thus some fal'Cie—like Dahaka—roam the skies looking for the gate, while some dig the earth, like Atomos. The fal'Cie Titan "selectively breeds" the ferocious monsters of Gran Pulse by pitting them against each other in deathmatches to ensure only the strongest survive. The Pulse fal'Cie constructed the Arks, armories where the strongest of monsters wait in stasis, presumably in wait for the time the door to the unseen realm would be found.
Even after the Catastrophe, many people remain on the crystallized Cocoon, and some push for the fal'Cie to be restored. Hope Estheim and the Academy create a man-made fal'Cie, Adam, but when Hope learns from the Oracle Drive that Adam becomes sentient and repeats the actions of the Cocoon fal'Cie to rule over mankind, he scraps the idea to sustain Cocoon with fal'Cie. Despite the fal'Cie on Cocoon having become dormant, the Pulse fal'Cie continue with their activities, apathetic toward Cocoon's fall and mankind's return to Gran Pulse. A new Pulse fal'Cie is discovered in the Yaschas Massif that appears to record memories to the Oracle Drive, but otherwise remains dormant.
The Proto fal'Cie are man-made fal'Cie. To create them, humans use pieces of dormant fal'Cie and either rebuild them or duplicate the design, but the exact process used to create and sustain them is unknown. Proto fal'Cie bear the abilities of true fal'Cie, including the ability to brand humans as l'Cie and turn them into Cie'th.
To save Cocoon from its eventual collapse, the Academy devises the Proto fal'Cie Project in 13 AF to re-levitate the structure. The Proto fal'Cie Adam is a paradox, as by traveling through time to the Augusta Tower it programs its AI to slaughter the local scientists and cover up the deaths with holograms and kill anyone who learns the truth while ensuring its creation. By 400 AF, Adam repeats the actions of the Cocoon fal'Cie and rules over mankind using the Academy's resources, but two time travelers—Noel and Serah—erase Adam from the timeline by having Hope never complete the Proto Fal'Cie project.
When the goddess Etro died, the barrier between the mortal world and the unseen realm was broken and the Chaos of Valhalla was let loose, in time transforming the merged world into what became known as Nova Chrysalia. In this timeless realm transformed by Chaos, the surviving fal'Cie have become dormant. Two fal'Cie can still be found in the Dead Dunes: an inactive Atomos positioned above the entrance to a dungeon, while Titan has been destroyed, his colossal hand looming behind a dune and his head atop another.
The last fal'Cie of the world is Pandaemonium that appeared one day, possibly created by Bhunivelze himself, to build the cities of Luxerion and Yusnaan, and to manufacture supplies and food to people. It now resides in Yusnaan's Warehouse District, producing food for the inhabitants of Nova Chrysalia. Snow Villiers acts as its protector. There is also a cactuar statue erected in homage to the fal'Cie Cactuar who journeyed with and protected Snow during his escapades as a time traveler.
During the final battle with Bhunivelze, beings similar to the fal'Cie Eden are summoned into battle, and Bhunivelze crafts Pulse and Lindzei into a weapon for himself. After the Apocalypse, any remaining fal'Cie are presumed to have been destroyed as the mankind journeys to a new world free of gods.
The four Crystals of Orience take on the roles of the fal'Cie from the Final Fantasy XIII series, although they are never referred to by that name; the three divine servants of Lindzei and Pulse are referred to as higher beings capable of creating fal'Cie. Arecia Al-Rashia, servant of Pulse, created the four Crystals and mingles with the elite of the Dominion of Rubrum to bring together her plan to open Etro's gate. Gala, servant of Lindzei, waits with his Rursan Army for the arrival of the apocalypse known as Tempus Finis. Diva is a neutral observer who records the history of Orience.
In an interview found in Final Fantasy Type-0 Artwork Book: Secret Vermillion History, director Hajime Tabata said the Crystals have a limited Will of their own and, in terms of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, are equivalent to the fal'Cie of Final Fantasy XIII (and were initially referred to as fal'Cie). He also said this means Arecia is a higher being capable of creating fal'Cie.
Arecia, Gala and Diva are part of an experiment to find and open Etro's gate, the gateway between the mortal realm and the unseen realm of the dead. Arecia strengthens a selected group of human souls so they would willingly open the gate, who become known in Oriencian mythology as Agito. Gala chooses one to become the Judge to determine whether Agito has been born into the world, and to release the Rursan Army to slaughter the people of Orience to create a flood of souls to force open Etro's gate.
When three nations have fallen and one Crystal controls all of Orience, Tempus Finis commences. While the Rursus lay waste to Orience, the Crystals send their l'Cie to the Pandæmonium, a sanctuary roused by Gala, also known as the Land of Judgment, to take on the Judge's crucibles to try to become Agito, but spiral after spiral they fail. When Arecia's chosen fail to become Agito and the flood of souls fails to find the Gate, Arecia deems the experiment a failure and the world is reset as another spiral of history is initiated in wait for a new Tempus Finis.
By the events of Final Fantasy Type-0, the spiral has revolved 600,104,971 times, Arecia's chosen souls having decided to become l'Cie of the Vermilion Bird Crystal and lose their free will in most previous cycles; despite the Crystals' efforts to birth Agito, it appears one without free will cannot become one. During Final Fantasy Type-0 (the 600,104,972nd repeat), Arecia's chosen instruments, the members of Class Zero, alter the course of events by rejecting the Crystal's offer. They defeat Cid Aulstyne, Gala's chosen Rursan Arbiter, as mortals, despite having failed his final crucible and been deemed unfit to be Agito. After listening to her children's final words, Arecia respects their wishes to not be revived for another cycle, and frees Orience from the experiment. She destroys the Crystals and vanishes from Orience while Gala falls into slumber.
Fal'Cie appear as ability cards.
Some of the fal'Cie appear in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game.
Final Fantasy XIII
Lindzei's fal'Cie were created to maintain and protect Cocoon, which they proclaimed a utopia to lure humans into moving in. Despite being relied on by the citizens, the Cocoon fal'Cie are unsympathetic toward them and view them as tools to suit their needs as sacrifices. Due to their inability to deviate from their task to preserve Cocoon, the Cocoon fal'Cie manipulate the Pulse l'Cie to destroy Cocoon for them. After the Catastrophe, the Cocoon fal'Cie became dormant and Cocoon deteriorates until it collapses in 500 AF.
- Orphan: Representing sunlight and in an unborn state, Orphan resides in a pocket dimension from where it powers the other Cocoon fal'Cie via the fal'Cie Eden that acts as an intermediary.
- Eden: The fal'Cie responsible for monitoring all functions of Cocoon, whom Cocoon's capital is named after. Siphoning its power from Orphan, Eden communicates with a Sanctum representative and is believed to be the authority in Cocoon by its citizens.
- Phoenix: The fal'Cie in charge of Cocoon's weather, it shines like a sun in the middle of Cocoon while overseeing numerous fal'Cie who manage the wind and rain.
- Carbuncle: Responsible for the production of food in Cocoon.
- Kujata: Provides Cocoon with power. It is based at the Euride Gorge and is the fal'Cie who made Dajh Katzroy a l'Cie.
- Barthandelus: The Cocoon fal'Cie's leader who masterminds the events of Final Fantasy XIII in the guise of Primarch Galenth Dysley to ensure his kind's reunion with their Maker through Cocoon's destruction. Barthandelus is the fal'Cie who turned Cid Raines into a l'Cie.
- Menrva: Barthandelus's familiar and a living construct holding his power while he is in human form.
- Palamecia: A colossal fal'Cie modified by the Sanctum to serve as PSICOM's airship.
- Leviathan: Provides Cocoon with purified water.
- Siren: It is unknown what this fal'Cie's function is, but it is located in a shrine in Bodhum and is glimpsed during a cutscene between Snow and Serah. It is a humanoid figure holding a wing-shaped harp. Although not named in-game, the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega guide identifies it as Siren.
- Protera: Lifts and moves the Pulse Vestige from Bodhum. Its appearance is detailed in the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega, where it is described as a "Shield fal'Cie". The Palamecia was carrying the Vestige at Hanging Edge.
While some Pulse fal'Cie search for Etro's gate through terraforming and observation, some become revered as patron deities in Gran Pulse villages, such as Anima of Oerba and the nameless fal'Cie of Paddra who became inactive for unknown reasons, despite still being able to enact its purpose to project images from the Oracle Drive.
Unlike their Cocoon-based brethren, Pulse fal'Cie are mostly indifferent to human presence yet still brand them when the need arises. Most Pulse fal'Cie remain active prior to the Catastrophe and afterward some are either destroyed or become inactive. During the events of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the Pulse fal'Cie appear to have become dormant, and are likely destroyed when the Apocalypse commences.
- Anima: Originally located in Oerba, it turned Vanille and Fang into l'Cie prior to being transferred to Cocoon where it entered hibernation. By the events of Final Fantasy XIII, Anima is reactivated as it turns Serah, Lightning, Snow, Hope, and Sazh into l'Cie with a Focus to become Ragnarok and lay waste to Cocoon.
- Atomos: A spherical fal'Cie who digs underground passages in the Mah'habara Subterra before the events of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII where it remains immobilized within the Dead Dunes.
- Bismarck: Protects the Sulyya Springs; trespassers into the waters are eliminated.
- Titan: Forces an artificial selection process to produce more powerful species on Gran Pulse. In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the remains of his body are scattered across the Dead Dunes.
- Dahaka: Based at Taejin's Tower, Dahaka roams about Gran Pulse's skies in search for Etro's gate before Lightning's group enters its domain and destroys it.
- The unnamed dormant fal'Cie in Yaschas Massif with the power to record Oracle Drive prophecies.
- Fenrir: The largest of the Pulse fal'Cie, it causes century long eclipses whenever active in search for Etro's gate. During Final Fantasy XIII-2, a paradox occurring at Oerba in 200 AF activates Fenrir in the year 10 AF, and the eclipse only affects the Yaschas Massif region.
- Cactuar: The fal'Cie responsible for Snow's second branding in Final Fantasy XIII-2. Along with Snow, Cactuar spends some time in the Sunleth Waterscape fighting the Royal Ripeness.
- Pandaemonium: The last remaining fal'Cie who built the cities on Nova Chrysalia; now resides in Yusnaan. It manufactures food for the population from Chaos, and is protected by Snow.
While not named "fal'Cie", the Crystals of Orience and certain figures take a similar their role of maintaining the world, selecting people to carry out deeds for them by branding them l'Cie, or selecting them to become Agito to further the agenda of the Fabula Nova Crystallis deities.
The Crystals are semi-sentient objects of political power: each of the four is held by a different nation of Orience. They erase the memories of the dead from the living, ensuring that pain and remorse do not hold the population back, but also making mankind unable to fully feel the devastation of war or learn from the past. Arecia Al-Rashia forged the four Crystals that have survived each successive cycle of war. As revealed in the case of Ryid Uruk, a denizen of the Lorican Alliance under the Black Tortoise Crystal, the Crystals cannot bestow their powers upon people of mixed heritage beyond a certain age.
The mysterious Rursus Crystal, presumably forged by Gala rather than Arecia, manifests the Rursan Reavers, raises Pandæmonium and brands one to become the Rursan Arbiter. The Rursan Crystal was featured in early drafts of Final Fantasy Type-0, and is still mentioned in the Rubicus entry on the Rursan Reaver as their creator.
- Arecia Al-Rashia: An immortal servant of the deity Pulse who created the four Crystals of Orience. She is the head of the Sorcery Division in Akademeia, the magic academy of the nation of Rubrum that trains Agito Cadets as per the Will of the Vermilion Bird Crystal. Arecia is aided by Joker and Tiz, two "rejected" souls from her project to cultivate the Agito. She attempts to use the souls of Class Zero to find and open Etro's gate.
- Gala: The leader of the Rursus Army and servant of the deity Lindzei. Gala arrives when the balance between the nations is upset, his army slaughtering the population in an attempt to force Etro's gate open. Gala chooses Cid Aulstyne to be the Rursan Arbiter.
- Diva: The overseer of the world, charged with recording all events, including those pertaining to Arecia and Gala.
- The Vermilion Bird Crystal: The Crystal to bestow the Power of Magic. The Vermilion Peristylium based in the Dominion of Rubrum is dedicated to refining the use of magic.
- The White Tiger Crystal: The Crystal to bestow the Power of Weapons. The people of Milites, through the White Peristylium, gain technological prowess, including the use of magitek armor.
- The Azure Dragon Crystal: The Crystal to bestow the Power of the Dragon. It allows the diminutive people of the Kingdom of Concordia to communicate with and command monsters.
- The Black Tortoise Crystal: The Crystal to bestow the Power of the Shield. The gigantic people of the Lorican Alliance are granted extra strength and robustness in comparison to the other countries.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
While no longer using the terminology of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, Final Fantasy XV was originally a part of it as Final Fantasy Versus XIII and contains thematic and design elements. Astrals oversee the world of Final Fantasy XV and are worshiped as gods though they boast wildly differing opinions towards humanity—Shiva openly cares for and supports humanity, Ramuh takes a neutral stance in his role as observer of the planet's natural law, while Leviathan holds disdain towards them. Astrals contribute to the destiny of the chosen True King along with the world's Crystal by forming pacts dubbed "Covenants". These elements mirror the lore and behavior of the fal'Cie and their roles in human lives.
Behind the scenes
A Final Fantasy XIII datalog entry mentions "the total number of Sanctum fal'Cie exceeds eight million". This most likely means "countless" instead of literally eight million, because the number eight often signifies large quantities in Japanese culture. Producer Yoshinori Kitase has said in an interview the number of fal'Cie is "incalculable".
When first seen in Academia at 400 AF, Adam has the same appearance as the Pulse Vestige that contained Anima in Final Fantasy XIII.
The Ultimania books for Final Fantasy XIII show various concept art for fal'Cie that do not appear in the final game.
- Nemesis: A purple palette swap of Anima, Nemesis would have been a boss in the DLC dungeon Seventh Ark who would fight similarly to Anima. This concept was later used for the Proto fal'Cie Adam in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
- Ramuh: A Pulse fal'Cie towering over the landscape, portrayed as an old man smoking a pipe.
- Gilgamesh: Wields swords of various sizes that dwarf even large buildings.
- Squid fal'Cie: Planned to dwell in the Sulyya Springs.
"Fal'Cie" is an anagram of ciel (French word for sky, from the Latin caelum), and fa in this context is derived from the Latin famulus, meaning "servant". When combined, the name (famulus caelum) may translate to "Sky's Servant".
It is also possible that "fal'Cie" is a play on the word "fallacy", from the Latin fallācia, meaning "a deceptive, misleading, or false notion or belief.
Many fal'Cie are named after summons from previous Final Fantasy games. Dahaka's Japanese name has been used on multiple occasions for common enemies, as has Barthandelus's. Adam and Eden are names from the Book of Genesis, although Eden is also a summon in Final Fantasy VIII.