Final Fantasy Type-0: Change the World 2 -The Penultimate Truth- (ファイナルファンタジー零式 Change the World 2巻 ～最後から二番目の真実～, Fainaru Fantajī Reishiki Change the World 2-Kan ~ Saigo Kara ni Banme no Shinjitsu ~?) is a novel adaptation of Final Fantasy Type-0 and the sequel to Final Fantasy Type-0: Change the World -The Answer-. It was released on June 28th, 2012, and retailed for ¥980. The novel depicts the cycle previous of the one depicted in the game, and thus the plot diverges from the plot of the game.
This novel, together with its predecessor, Final Fantasy Type-0: Change the World -The Answer-, has been translated to French. The French version was released in June 2015 by Lumen and retailed for 15€.
Chapter 7: MachinaEdit
Ace overhears the conversation between Machina and Qun'mi, the dying White Tiger Secundus l'Cie who was looking for a successor. Machina rejects becoming a l'Cie and attacks Qun'mi with a fireball. Qun'mi draws the last of her powers to pass them on and light from her hand flies to the west and she crystallizes. The cadets regroup at the campsite and wonder who received Qun'mi's powers, but judging from the direction, it must be someone within Ingram, the Militesi capital.
The cadets receive a COMM from their commanding officer, Kurasame Susaya, informing them an airship will pick them up, but that when they return, the cadets will face questioning regarding the assassination of the Queen of Concordia. Queen explains the Commandant doesn't get along well with Arecia, and hypothesizes he will exploit the circumstance to put pressure on them. With the Rubrumite army relying on magic, Arecia as the archsorceress is a powerful figure within the Consortium of Eight. Machina and Rem promise to defend their classmates, as they were never adopted by Arecia and thus might escape the grudge the Commandant holds against the class.
Back at Akademeia, the Commandant explains that to uphold the alliance with the Kingdom of Concordia, at least one cadet must become the scapegoat to be executed for the regicide, unless they can prove their innocence. Machina exclaims that they have a witness, Claes Celestia Misca Sancest, the queen's bodyguard. An envoy is sent to Concordia to get a hold of her. Class Zero stays in the interrogation room until Celestia arrives and testifies that she caught the sniper who shot Queen Andoria. Militesi culpability in the regicide has rallied the crown citizens to fight in the war and the Rubrumite-Concordian alliance is renewed. Class Zero is exculpated, with Celestia setting out to discuss military strategy with the Commandant.
Arecia greets the freed cadets who are happy of being acquitted. Machina asks for a private word and meets Arecia at the school terrace, but she treats him coldly. Machina wants to know why Arecia had abandoned her children in enemy territory. Arecia explains she had to prioritize her own safety, as if she was killed the cadets could not be revived either. Machina exclaims that the cadets are not her tools, but Arecia retorts that he is but a newcomer who does not know her children like she does. Machina says that even though Class Zero hides their true feelings of sadness and fear, he can see through their facade. Arecia deems Machina a threat and his influence to weaken the other cadets, believing that discarding emotion is the only way to be strong. Arecia reveals her true motive is to see her children become the Agito. Machina witnesses a vision of a red sky and piles of corpses with red mantles, eyes lifelessly staring in his direction. As the vision dissipates, Arecia is gone. Machina resolves to stay with Class Zero no matter what Arecia says.
Back in Ingram, Brigadier General Qator Bashtar shows Cid Aulstyne, the leader of Milites, a recording by Ines Belfarre that confirms Ace and Nine are alive despite having been killed by Nimbus during the battle at Togoreth. The preparations for "Operation Ragnarok" are complete and the Black Tortoise Crystal has been salvaged from the ruins of the Lorican Alliance. Cid orders it to be sealed and publicizes Qator as the nation's new White Tiger l'Cie. Qator wanted to gain power after being defeated by Class Zero, and now sets out to follow Qun'mi's path.
Arecia visits the Vermilion Bird Crystal and its two l'Cie in an underground chamber, saying that the cogwheels have turned faster than expected, and the time will soon come for the l'Cie to act.
Chapter 8: Trey & CinqueEdit
The day after the interrogation Trey exits the dorms with Cinque asking if he overslept. The two make their way to class and meet Celestia along the way who hasn't slept all night, busy in strategy discussions with the Commandant. While Trey greets her formally Cinque surprises Celestia by calling her by a casual nickname. While bookworms like Trey and Queen have a good grasp on proper manners, most other class members remain ignorant. Celestia is not mad and resolves to chat with the two for a bit before she is to return to Concordia. Trey recalls Queen Andoria's final words of being killed being her Focus as a l'Cie. The bell interrupts their conversation and Trey and Cinque rush to class.
Kurasame chastises the two for being three minutes late, but permits the cadets to take a long-deserved break. Nine wants to go out and have fun, but Machina wants to train in the Arena, and Ace and Rem want to join him. Nine turns to Sice who doesn't think her free time is any of his business. Ace invites Trey to take part in the training, but he declines, saying he wants to research something.
Trey heads to the library with Cinque in tow who wants to help him to get away without being invited to train with the others. Trey had always thought l'Cie only act according to the Will of the Crystals, but had found Andoria's actions unnatural and thus wants to discover what the l'Cie's true motive is. Cinque becomes bored with the research but keeps to her word and finds Zhuyu Voghfau Byot's old notebook. It tells Lord Zhuyu's story of becoming a Vermilion Bird Primus l'Cie and of his subsequent gradual loss of humanity—the last page is likely when he was completely taken over by the Crystal, and thus he never wrote in the notebook again. Trey and Cinque learn that Zhuyu had accidentally killed his Class Zero friends during a battle against another l'Cie. Trey wonders why Zhuyu, who hadn't taken action when the Peristylium was under attack, had then aided Class Zero during the battle of Togoreth. He rushes out to talk to him with Cinque following.
On their way to the Crystal Chamber Trey talks about his unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Cinque thinks that she's stupid and thus unable to help, but Trey believes lack of knowledge does not make one "stupid." He retorts that Cinque complements him with her superhuman strength, but Cinque thinks it sounds less like a compliment.
When they meet Zhuyu, Trey asks if the l'Cie act only to incite war, citing examples of Qun'mi having begun the war with her crystal jammer, Nimbus attacking Class Zero and Zhuyu responding, and Andoria dying to give her people the will to fight. Zhuyu simply states that l'Cie follow the Will of the Crystal. Trey laments talking to Zhuyu is pointless as he has lost all humanity, but Cinque thinks that Zhuyu still wearing his Class Zero uniform means there's a part of him that wants to remember he was once human. Cinque demands Zhuyu answer Trey's question properly, bringing up the accident that had killed his friends and the bitterness—human emotion—it had engendered in him. After a long silence Zhuyu confirms Trey's hypothesis.
Trey realizes that he couldn't have gotten the answer out of Zhuyu without Cinque's help and is reminded of another thing that Andoria said: if the war continues to escalate, the balance will shift and the world will be destroyed. He asks Zhuyu if the Crystals desire the end of the world, but Zhuyu denies, saying that the Crystals only wish to temper the people. His usually expressionless face changes as he declares that Milites is relaunching their offense.
Three hours prior in Ingram twelve Helldiver Magitek Armors equipped with Ultima Bombs lined up. Although this is experimental technology, Qator is to use his newly gained l'Cie powers to control the MA on a simultaneous attack on both Rubrumite and Concordian capital cities.
In present time, Celestia is in the company of the dragon Soryu in Mahamayuri when news of the Militesi Magitek Armors arrives. Soryu stays behind to fend them off while another dragon takes Celestia to safety. Soryu falls to the Ultima Bombs and Mahamayuri is obliterated, Trey, Cinque and Zhuyu feeling the reverberations of the explosion back in the Vermilion Bird Crystal Room. Lady Caetuna and Zhuyu teleport out to fend off the attack while Trey and Cinque rush out. Zhuyu destroys three of the Magitek Armors before crystallizing. Caetuna summons various Eidolons, destroying the remaining MA before crystallizing with a smile on her face, knowing that the Peristylium is saved.
With both Vermilion Bird l'Cie crystallized and the ally kingdom destroyed, Rubrum's outlook is grim. The Concordians have lost control over their monsters and dragons now that the Azure Dragon Crystal is destroyed. Trey shares what he had learned from Zhuyu to the rest of the class. Kurasame explains the battle plan for the next operation at the Big Bridge outside Ingram and tells the cadets to absorb dead bodies' phantoma should the need arise.
Class Zero is divided into pairs and are to covertly move about the battlefield and destroy enemies, but Trey and Cinque are defeated by Gabriel empowered by Qator's new l'Cie powers. When they come to they find themselves tied up alongside Machina and Rem whose squad was defeated by Militesi biological weapons, the same that had wiped out their village eight years ago. Cid Aulstyne visits the captives, asking if it is true that they can be revived. Trey confirms, knowing that lying would be pointless. Cid wants to know who can revive them, but none of them is willing to answer. Cid allows them more time.
Trey asks why Cid is so desperate for victory as to use Ultima Bombs and a virus for warfare. Cid explains his motive lies beyond world domination: to seal up all the Crystals and thus liberate mankind. Cinque thinks that Cid's method of liberating mankind is flawed because the wars kill people who thus won't see the liberated world. Cid rebuffs her comment and leaves. Trey feels that while he complements Cinque with knowledge, Cinque complements him with emotion, and resolves to protect her.
Chapter 9: Cater & EightEdit
After Cater and Eight defeat Colonel Faith and his MA, the Blackburn, they receive word through the COMM that some of their comrades have been captured and Kurasame orders them to return to the base camp. The camp hosts many injured soldiers and cadets with the White Magic specialized Class Fourth doing their best to help. The only other Class Zero members who made it back are King and Seven whose squad was wiped out by Nimbus.
Kurasame deploys King and Seven to help Nine's squad that is being surrounded by enemies, and Cater and Eight to rescue Trey, Cinque, Machina and Rem. The Commandant has decided that, due to the perilous task of sneaking into enemy territory so close to Ingram, only two Class Zero members are to be deployed on a rescue mission. Celestia, who now works to aid Rubrum, offers Cater and Eight a one-way passage on her dragons, saying that even without the Azure Dragon Crystal the dragons she had personally reared continue to stay loyal to her. Kurasame is to meet them at a rendezvous point with chocobos for their return trip.
Eight wonders if he should have picked a stronger weapon than his fists, but Cater thinks fighting unarmed suits him. Eight flashes back to his childhood when the friendly Cater had been the first person he had lowered his guard for. As night falls they set off to the mission, and three Class Second cadets, who were infected by the incurable Militesi virus, volunteer to join Cater and Eight to make best use of their time left.
Cater, Eight and Celestia ride one dragon and the other three ride another. Cater asks why Celestia continues to fight even after Concordia has been destroyed. Celestia explains that all she has left is her fate as a military officer and asks what Cater and Eight fight for. Eight replies it's for their friends. As they alight, the Class Second cadets give up their lives to summon three Bahamuts, and the Bahamuts and Celestia attack Ingram. The memories of the cadets as well as Celestia are erased from Eight and Cater's minds.
Eight again mentions that he chooses to fight unarmed and Cater realizes this is his way of rebelling against the Crystals' memory erasure: Eight wants to remember the pain he inflicts upon his enemies. They defeat the Blackburn and a number of snipers who lie in wait for them and Colonel Faith dies trying to fulfill the final wishes of his fallen underlings, lamenting that Class Zero—who can be revived—cannot understand those who fight scared of losing those important to them. Cater and Eight move on, already having forgotten the identity of the dead man in front of them.
Cater and Eight find Cinque and Rem in the camp for prisoners of war, but Trey and Machina have been taken for interrogation after protecting the girls by insisting that Cinque and Rem know nothing. They find the boys drenched in blood, but it is too late to save Trey. Eight had always viewed Machina and Rem as unreliable since they cannot be revived, but gains respect for him seeing how Machina had staked his life to protect Arecia.
Eight carries Machina while Cinque takes Trey's body, but they are being followed by flying MA. Eight contacts Kurasame to change the rendezvous point, but Kurasame wants to stick to the original plan. When the cadets reach Kurasame he has glowing red eyes and summons Shiva to annihilate the MAs still at their heels.
Chapter 10: King & SevenEdit
Ace, Queen, Jack, Deuce, Seven and King have returned to the base camp, the latter two having also liberated Nine and Sice. When Eight's team returns from the rescue mission Kurasame acts unlike his usual self and Eight reveals to his perplexed classmates that their CO has become a l'Cie.
As the cadets rest Kurasame returns to Akademeia to report the news. Though the Consortium of Eight rejoices the birth of a new l'Cie, Kurasame alone cannot turn the tide against Milites that still has both Nimbus and Qator. Kurasame declares that his Focus is to annihilate Milites with a Verboten Eidolon, requiring the souls of one thousand Agito Cadets. When the cadets return to Akademeia, Kurasame invites them to a final briefing, explaining the cadets are to lure the enemies to Rubrumite area beyond McTighe while Kurasame will summon the Verboten Eidolon on the Akademeia terrace. Kurasame appoints King and Seven as the new commanding officers of Class Zero, elaborating how a good CO analyzes every situation and keeps calm while making crucial decisions even in the heat of the moment, a skill that Queen lacks making her unsuitable for the role.
The class believes Kurasame sought to become a l'Cie since his deteriorating body will soon make him unable to take part in the war. Seven recalls how she and King were the first children Arecia adopted and how they had taken care of the younger class members together. After half a month of preparation, the day before the summoning, Qator learns of the Rubrumite plan and how completing the summoning would take at least six hours. However, turning back now would mean losing the chance to approach the Rubrumite capital, and thus Qator decides to push onward to McTighe within the six hour window, doubting Rubrum would forsake the 150,000 people living there.
The next day the cadets persevere for five hours until being exhausted, at which point Seven and King call the rest back to step in themselves. They encounter Gabriel and order the troops to pull back into town and counter-attack from there. Once in McTighe they regroup with their classmates. When Qator arrives he finds McTighe abandoned, the civilians having been evacuated. Qator hastily orders his troops to retreat while a COMM reaches Class Zero that the Verboten Eidolon is coming. The cadets escape McTighe on chocobos as thirteen knights descend from the sky, painting the ground red with Militesi blood.
The fourteen members of Class Zero rush to the Akademeia terrace for a final word with Kurasame. Before crystallizing he explains that even though it was also his Focus, completing the summoning was still his personal choice, and that the cadets, too, must choose their own paths in life.
Chapter 11: Machina & RemEdit
Milites suffers staggering casualties from Kurasame's Knights of the Round. Though Qator manages to return to Ingram, Nimbus has perished, having survived 19 minutes against the knights. Rubrum launches an all-out offensive and the Vermilion Bird army marches upon the Militesi capital.
Four months after the summoning, Class Zero hang out in their classroom when Nine rushes in, followed by a tonberry whom he had helped on a previous mission. Machina wants the class to keep the monster as a pet and its presence reminds Queen of Kurasame; as Kurasame was a l'Cie, memories of him have not been erased even after his sublimation, and the class can still mourn for him. The final battle is approaching and Machina is glad he hasn't been holding the others back too much, the rest of the class insisting Machina and Rem have helped them immensely.
Machina's former classmate from Class Second, Carla Ayatsugi, enters looking for him. As Machina leaves with Carla, Rem rushes after them and learns Machina had asked Carla to help him research Tempus Finis. In his private chat with Arecia she had claimed that he weakens Class Zero and would understand when Finis is upon them. They recite the verse from the Nameless Tome, "when nine and nine meet nine, the depths of reason shall stir..." and ponder what the "nine" represents. One theory is that it refers to the year 999, but Machina prefers the theory that the number simply denotes the end. Rem and Machina guess it denotes the time the wars bring about the end of the world. They hypothesize that the verse "within the whirling wheel, nestled in the infinite spiral," means that Orience has been engulfed in war for a thousand years. The tome speaks of the long-awaited arrival of the Agito, Machina and Rem thinking it refers to the Agito Cadets ending the war. Arecia had told Machina she had raised the other twelve members of Class Zero for the battle to come. Machina and Rem think that even if the war ended, the world would still be mired with various unresolved problems, and think Arecia had referred to those problems with her comment.
Three days later the class is to set off for Ingram for the final showdown against Milites. Arecia sees them off, and after encouraging her twelve children, turns to Machina, sighing that despite her warnings he has still decided to stay in the class. Machina is unbothered and thanks her, as she had repeatedly revived Class Zero and thus allowed them to stay together until the end. Arecia asks him to take care of her children.
Two weeks later, deep within Militesi territory, Class Zero chats upon a camp fire contemplating how they have grown. Ace, who used to want to discard the past to move forward, sometimes secretly visits Izana's grave, though Machina and Rem know. Queen still mourns Kurasame's crystallization and fears the sadness is her handicap, but Rem thinks she has become more humane.
Rem wants to know everyone's plans for after the war and graduation from Class Zero. Ace wants to own a chocobo ranch and raise birds for companionship rather than for war steeds. Deuce wants to become a musician. Jack wants to become a comedian. Cinque wants to become an adventurer. Trey wants to become a scholar. Queen wants to become a teacher, but rather than teaching war history, she wants her curriculum to be about great historical figures and biology. Cater laments she never got to enjoy regular student life, such as romance, and thus would like to experience it after the war is over. Eight wants to be a competitive martial artist. Seven wants to start an orphanage for all the children orphaned during the war to follow in Arecia's footsteps. Sice wants to become a chef as one of her dearest memories is of the soup Arecia had offered after adopting her. Nine can't decide what he wants to do and asks Machina and Rem for advice. Machina thinks he should become a farmer as Orience will suffer from food shortage after the war. King wants to be a policeman. Machina wants to rebuild Orience, and Rem wants the same but is too timid to admit it.
Rem and Machina continue talking after everyone else turns in, marveling how everyone has changed. Machina admits to initially fearing Class Zero as the cadets were raised to be weapons, unable to comprehend the value of life knowing Arecia will revive them should they fall. During their stay in the borderlands while on the run Machina had resolved to help the others see the value of their own lives, inspiring him to keep fighting.
The next day, the class is divided into four teams. Three teams are deployed to destroy the crystal jammers installed on every side of the governmental building that Cid is upholding as his final stronghold, and the final team of Machina, Rem (who are susceptible to the jammers) and Ace are to infiltrate the building the moment the jammers are out. As they head in Ace declares he continues fighting to spare the people who cannot be revived the same burden. Machina's reason is to prevent people from being used as weapons. They encounter Qator on the Gabriel, Cid's last line of defense, but overcome him with the other teams' help even if Qator is empowered by his status as a l'Cie. Qator abandons his malfunctioning MA and Rem stops Machina from impaling him, saying they have already won.
As they reach Cid he talks about his futile mission of creating a peaceful world as the Crystals' memory erasure makes it impossible for people to learn from the past. Rem declares that if the Crystals are the reason behind the endless war, they will destroy them. Cid feels his mission will be achieved even if Rubrum claims victory and commits suicide. Voices ring in the class members' minds, chanting "When nine and nine meet nine, the depths of reason shall stir. When the seal of creation is broken, a voice like thunder shall sound, and thou shalt know—" Something takes over Rem as the skies turn red and thunder claps, and she chants "We have arrived."
Chapter 12: AreciaEdit
Thirteen Rursus appear before Rem, who has become the Judge. She orders the Rursus, magical knights whose appearance spells the end of the world, to attack Class Zero who decide to retreat, even the reluctant Machina. When King contacts Rubrum he learns from Naghi Minatsuchi that the entire world is mired in the Rursan crisis. When they contact Arecia, she bids the cadets farewell as she can no longer help them. Machina realizes this is the Finis he had read up on: each nine in the verse is the end of a nation. Qator joins the class, explaining that the Crystals trap Orience in endless war to prepare the people for Finis and that Rem was chosen as the Judge for her strong heart and desire to end the war.
Class Zero must become the Agito by felling the Judge, and decide to head to the flying temple Pandæmonium with the conviction that they are not killing Rem, but releasing her. Qator takes the class on his Gabriel, and once at the temple, crystallizes. The Judge is bemused the class has come so far and unleashes more Rursus upon them. Machina draws phantoma from the first one they fell, but the next four they bring down are revived. As Machina feels helpless facing a horde of enemies that come back to life after being killed, a Rursan Reaver strikes Queen down when she shields Machina. The Judge reminds the class that Arecia no longer helps them, and thus they cannot be revived. Machina realizes that the first Rursan Reaver they downed hadn't come back to life because he had extracted its phantoma. The cadets form a circle around the dying Queen to protect her and kill all the Rursus by taking their phantoma. Queen fears death because all memory of her will be erased, and the others try to comfort her, but soon all they know about the dead girl amid them is that she was once their classmate.
The path to the Judge is clear, but everyone is weakened from fighting the Rursus. The Judge kills everyone but Ace and Machina with a bolt of lightning. Ace asks Machina to extract all of their phantoma to give him the power to defeat the Judge. As Ace also dies, Machina absorbs his classmates' phantoma as his memories of Ace and their final conversation are erased. With the souls of the twelve members joining with his, voices of encouragement ring in his ears although he cannot recall whom they once belonged to. As he faces the Judge, Rem's voice begs him to stop her. Machina fells the Judge using Rem's ultimate spell, Holy, empowered by the combined powers of Class Zero and Machina himself. Rem is back to her old self, and though dying, is glad she could be with Machina in her final moments.
The lone Machina is angry and confused that things turned out this way after all the hardships they went through. If only he were stronger, he could have protected everyone. If only he had been a l'Cie. Arecia approaches him and telepathically imparts the truth about Orience to him: the world is locked in an endless spiral to be repeatedly destroyed in Tempus Finis, the participant souls gradually changing through the cycles, as even if their memories are erased, the souls remember the truth. Arecia repeats that Machina's presence among her children weakens them, and asks if he wants the world to be reset for another cycle. Machina wants the spiral to revolve so he will have another chance to save those important to him. Arecia tells him to rest until the time again comes.
Arecia observes the bodies of her dead children. The Agito was not born in this cycle either. She thinks the world as a giant piece of machinery that she has created, all its people as its cogwheels, existing solely to shape the person who will become the Agito. Arecia, who isn't human, can't comprehend people's hearts nor does she intervene with the flow of history apart from raising Class Zero.
Arecia feels that the bond between Machina and Rem and her children is a detriment. The events of this cycle have sparked a thirst for power in Machina, as well as a fear of loss. To distance Machina from Class Zero, Arecia decides to make Rem weak. She extracts her children's phantoma and rewinds the world's clock.
In the distant past, the people of Orience had weak bodies and possessed no magic, technology, or ability to control beasts. One day, they discovered the four Crystals whose blessings allowed them to wield special powers, and thus started the thousand-year war.
In the final war the White Tiger Secundus l'Cie Qun'mi attacks Akademeia with her crystal jammer. A lone dominion soldier sacrifices his life to deliver a COMM system to Ace, leading to Class Zero triumphing over Qun'mi and the Vermilion Bird Peristylium being saved. Class Zero meets Machina and Rem again during the Capital Liberation. Later, Machina mourns the loss of his brother on his grave, feeling like something is amiss, when Rem calls out to him to hurry to their new class. Voices of bickering ring out from inside the classroom, someone refusing to take orders from anyone but "Mother" and then a crash. Kurasame's voice asks Machina and Rem to step in.
The world clock rewound, the cogwheels meet each other again. The doors to a new fate have opened. This is the final story in the spiral.