The Guardian Corps is an organization on Cocoon in Final Fantasy XIII. It is a military department of the Sanctum, tasked with more domestic issues compared to PSICOM. As revealed in the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega, Nao Ikeda, who designed most of the game's support cast, designed the Corps with more color to contrast to the PSICOM uniforms, which are mainly black.
Lightning's standard attire in Final Fantasy XIII is a variant of the Guardian Corps female uniform, with a white coat with light green shoulders, no leggings, and various other additional details.
The Guardian Corps is the branch of the Sanctum military responsible for maintaining peace and stability within Cocoon.
Within their assigned jurisdictions, the soldiers of the Guardian Corps fulfill the role of police officers and protectors, working to eliminate all manner of criminal activity as well as rampaging wildlife. As a unit that works alongside the general population, it rarely employs heavy weaponry or cruiser-class airships. However, the Corps does retain squads of highly mobile shock troops.
A counterpart to PSICOM, Guardian Corps soldiers are often assigned to protect citizens and secure cities during times of strife. In the days before the main events of Final Fantasy XIII, Guardian Corps regiments investigated the town of Bodhum and the nearby Pulse Vestige, as the Sanctum was concerned about Pulse "infection".
Lightning, a member of the Corps, talked with her leader, Amodar, about the mystery surrounding the Vestige. PSICOM units had been called in to survey the area, piquing Lightning's interest. Amodar warns her not to delve into the matter and instead asks about her family and encourages her to watch the fireworks. Later, PSICOM soldiers begin the Purge of Bodhum, commanding anyone in the vicinity to board trains and depart Cocoon for Pulse.
Guardian Corps agents are absent during the Purge incident at the Hanging Edge, where it is made apparent the Sanctum does not merely wish to escort supposedly tainted individuals, but eliminate them altogether. PSICOM units engage in open warfare with the Purgees and the resistance group, NORA. When Lightning and Hope Estheim reach Palumpolum, PSICOM commander Yaag Rosch cooperates with the local Guardian Corps units to secure the city and hunt down the fugitive l'Cie. When some Corps members protest against Rosch's methods of herding citizens around and shooting suspicious individuals on sight, he reminds them that the l'Cie are dangers to Cocoon.
After Cocoon has been crystallized by Ragnarok, Guardian Corps soldiers are seen helping evacuate the citizens. In Final Fantasy XIII-2 it is revealed that immediately following the catastrophe, the Guardian Corps took control from the Sanctum, Cocoon's governing body. A provisional government was formed, consisting primarily of military personnel.
This was spearheaded by the Cavalry, an elite unit of the Guardian Corps. Seeking to rebuild society on the strength of human science and free from dependence on the fal'Cie, they founded an institute called the Academy and slowly the provisional government transferred authority to this new organization. The responsibility for defending the populace from Gran Pulse's hostile creatures passed to the institute, and drawing on personnel from the former Guardian Corps, the Academy Security Regiment was born.
- Wide-Area Response Brigade (GC-WARB)
- Bodhum Security Regiment (GC-BSR)
Guardians of Bodhum, and where Lightning had served alongside Amodar.
- Woodlands Observation Battalion (GC-WOB)
Patrols the forests of Gapra Whitewood.
- Palumpolum Security Division (GC-PSD)
Patrols the town of Palumpolum.
- Nautilus Security Regiment (GC-NSR)
Guards the massive theme park Nautilus.
- The Homeguard
Guards the capital city of Cocoon, Eden. Known as Capital Guard Division (GC-CGD) in Japanese.
Guardian Corps units are fought as enemies in Final Fantasy XIII.
Many of the appearances of Guardian Corps outside of Final Fantasy XIII are related to Lightning's appearances in other media.
In addition to her normal Guardian Corps uniform, Lightning has two recolors. The dark version is based on the color scheme of Lightning's Equilibrium garb in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and the beige and teal appears in Final Fantasy XIII concept art for the generic female Guardian Corps uniform.
The player can get a Guardian Corps Badge as an adornment in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
If the player has save data from Final Fantasy XIII when they start up Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII on the same console, they get the Guardian Corps garb.
Some Guardian Corps troops appear as enemies in Final Fantasy Record Keeper.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
The Guardian Corps garb appears in Puzzle & Dragons as part of the Final Fantasy collaboration. It serves as the base outfit for Lightning.
Corps is a term used for several different kinds of organization. Within military terminology a corps may be: an operational formation, sometimes known as a field corps, which consists of two or more divisions, such as the Corps d'armée, later known as I Corps ("First Corps") of Napoleon's Grande Armée); or an administrative corps (or mustering) – that is a specialized branch of a military service (such as an artillery corps, a medical corps, or a force of military police).