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The end of the first day.

The progression of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is divided in days. A day lasts 24 in-game hours—an hour in real time—although the time stands still in battles and menus, during cut-scenes and while in the Ark.

Depending on the day and time of the day, different events may occur: shops and venues may have opening times, some people are around only on certain days, Chaos infusions appear at certain times, and storyline bosses' stats and form may change the later the player battles them in the game. Also when arriving at the Ark, the end of each day may include a cutscene in the Ark. Many of these are triggered by events such as clearing a main quest, and are therefore independent of which day it is.

List of Days

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Day 1

Lightning is awakened by Bhunivelze from her crystal sleep and tasked with the mission of being the savior. She arrives at Yusnaan with the task of comforting Snow and leading his soul with the world. Unable to do so, she retreats to the Ark.

Later, she teleports to Luxerion and stumbles upon a recent mystery of murdering young pink-haired women. She decides to investigate the case.

Day 2

At the start of the second day, a treasure cube containing the Red Mage garb, the Liberator sword and the Juno Sospita shield appears in the Ark.

As she tries to teleport to Nova Chrysalia, Lumina intercepts and introduces herself. She cryptically alludes to the nature of the unseen realm in which they are conversing, and mentions that Hope can't listen in on the events. Lightning thinks she sees Lumina summon an apparition of Serah, but disappears before she can question Lumina further. As Lightning floats through the portal to reach the ground, Hope confirms he was unable to hear anything due to the abundance of Chaos in Lightning's location.

Day 3

At the start of the third day, a treasure cube with the Raise EP ability appears in the Ark.

Day 4

At the start of the fourth day, treasure cubes with the White Mage and Black Mage garbs appear in the Ark.

Upon entering the Ark, Lightning sees an apparition of Serah, who briefly reassures Lightning that there is not long left until the two meet again. However, Lightning notices that she lacked any compassion when she saw Serah and questions whether or not the apparition was simply a reminder from Bhunivelze to keep her focused on her task as Savior.

Day 5

At the start of the fifth day, a treasure cube with the Esunada EP ability appears in the Ark.

Day 6

At the start of the sixth day, a treasure cube with five Bronze Malistones appears in the Ark.

Potions in shops are replaced by Hi-Potions and many shops get new equipment on the sixth day.

Vigilance becomes available to purchase from Forge (Rare).

Snow Villiers is replaced by Snow Villiers+.

Day 7

From the seventh day, monsters' stats will increase. In addition, their ability drops generally increase by one level; for example, Attack Lv. 1 from a Rafflesia on Days 1-6 will become Attack Lv. 2 from Day 7. This can make for a troublesome problem if one intends to farm monsters for specific ability level drops to enhance through sorcery, but has already exterminated a particular species on that playthrough.

Amazon Warrior garb appears in the Ark at the start of Day 7.

Aeronite appears in the Giant's Sandbox in the Dead Dunes from Day 7 onwards, regardless of whether the player has formally started the related quest.

Day 8

At the start of the eighth day, a treasure cube with the Army of One EP ability appears in the Ark.

Noel Kreiss is replaced by Noel Kreiss+. Grendel is replaced by Parandus.

Many new garbs become available on this day. Innocence garb becomes available for purchase in North Station Plaza Outfitters, and Loyal Servant from the Pilgrim's Passage Outfitters in Luxerion. Candy Raver becomes available to purchase in Yusnaan's Augur's Quarter Outfitters. Splendid Admiral and Intruder garbs become available from the Outfitter in either Armor Alley or Hawker's Row in Yusnaan. Urban Outlaw and L'automne become available from the Outfitters in Canopus Farms in the Wildlands. Déjà Vu garb becomes available at Dead Dunes station Outfitters, and Divergence and Sand Fox can be bought from Ruffian.

Day 9

At the start of the ninth day, a treasure cube with the Heartstealer garb appears in the Ark. Carnaval Crusher garb can be bought from Forge (Rare).

Day 10

At the start of the tenth day, a treasure cube with Decoy EP ability appears in the Ark.

Like Day 7, the tenth day causes an increase to monster attributes, and also increases the level of their ability drops. As the player may well have rendered one or more species extinct by this day, farming abilities is an even greater point of concern than before.

Snow Villiers+ is replaced by Snow Villiers++.

Day 11

At the start of the eleventh day, a treasure cube with the Martial Monk garb appears in the Ark.

Like Day 6, many shops get new equipment on the eleventh day. X-Potions are added to general stores, but do not replace Hi-Potions.

Day 12

At the start of the twelfth day, a treasure cube with the Quake EP ability appears in the Ark.

Day 13

The player must have completed the five main quests to allow the story to progress beyond the twelfth day. If not, it is game over, and the player must restart from Day 1; however, the option of making their development carry over is available in this instance, effectively making it a variant of New Game+.

At the start of the thirteenth day, the Ark's daily treasure cube will upgrade the Equilibrium, Dark Muse, and Mist Wizard garbs to Equilibrium+, Dark Muse+ and Mist Wizard+.


Day 14.

If the player has completed a large number of sidequests, instead of Day 13 being the Final Day, an Extra Day is unlocked. There is a hidden calculation that the game uses to determine if enough sidequests have been completed. Note that Canvas of Prayers quests do not count in the calculation.

Higher rated sidequests contribute more towards the unlock threshold:

  • ★-rated sidequests are worth 0.02
  • ★★-rated sidequests are worth 0.04
  • ★★★-rated sidequests are worth 0.08

Approximately speaking, when the player's total equals 1.00, the Extra Day will be unlocked. However, the exact nature of the calculation used is unknown, with the Piggyback Official Guide stating only that it is not purely a straightforward sum, and that it depends partly on what order the sidequests are completed in. Nonetheless, a value reasonably above 1.00 will generally be sufficient to assure meeting the criteria without worrying about the precise details.

The main feature of the Extra Day is the ability to access the Ultimate Lair, a bonus dungeon in the Dead Dunes that is filled with Last Ones and the superboss Ereshkigal.

Final Day

This day will only take place if the player unlocks the Extra Day; otherwise, the Final Day will be on Day 13 instead.

The day starts with a cut scene where Hope disappears, saying his role is over and thus he is being discarded by Bhunivelze. He urges Lightning to keep hope alive in finding Serah, and tells her it was her presence that always kept him from being afraid. Being left alone in the Ark, Lightning ponders whether Hope abandoned her, or if it was the other way around. Mog appears in the Ark and takes over Hope's shop in selling Lightning items in exchange for EP.

At the start of the fourteenth day, a treasure cube with five Silver Malistones appears in the Ark.

On the evening of the Final Day, Vanille is to perform the Soulsong, a ritual meant to erase the souls of the dead from the living's memories and give them a "clean slate" in the new world. Lightning and her companions stop the ritual, but her friends are absorbed by Bhunivelze. Lightning decides to fight the god to end the reign of the divine over humans, and together with her friends and sister slays the god. Lightning and her companions arrive to the new world.

Many garbs become available in Luxerion on the Final Day. Innocence, Candy Raver, Sand Fox, Champagne Gold and Nightmare garbs become available in all Outfitters in Luxerion. Urban Outlaw becomes available in the Outfitters outside the Cathedral. Lilitu garb becomes available from Outfitters in Luxerion in Hard Mode.

Bhunivelze is replaced by Bhunivelze+ on Day 14, but only on New Game+ playthroughs.

Spoilers end here.

Enemy Development

As the game progresses, several days mark points where almost all enemies gain improved attributes to increase the challenge they pose. The only enemies excluded from this are Ereshkigal, Cactair, Aeronite, and all of the main quest bosses.

Parameter Day range
1 – 6 7 – 9 10 – 12 13 14
Enemies' HP ×1.0 ×1.6 ×2.0 ×3.0 ×5.0
Enemies' Strength & Magic ×1.0 ×1.3 ×1.6 ×2.0 ×3.5
Gil reward ×1.0 ×1.5 ×2.0 ×3.0 ×5.0

These factors stack additively – rather than multiplicatively – with the factors imposed by the game difficulty. For example, consider a Cactuar fought on Day 12 on Hard mode. Cactuar's default gil reward is 5,000 gil. The multiplier for Day 12, ×2.0, is added to the Hard Mode difficulty multiplier, x3.0, to make a cumulative x5.0 multiplier, resulting in 25,000 gil received.

Main quest bosses have their own development, as all but Caius have at least one upgraded form:


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