Nova Chrysalia, a world diseased by Chaos. Made up of four regions, a monorail provides transportation for travel throughout this realm. Lightning, the protagonist, begins her final adventure in this plague-ridden land devoid of hope. However, her journey won't be long, as the Chaos has bled through the soil, drawing near the world's end.
Nova Chrysalia (called Novus Partus (ノウス゠パルトゥス, Nousu Parutusu?) in the Japanese version) is the main setting of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. After the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2, the Chaos of Valhalla flows into the mortal world through Etro's Gate as a result of the goddess' death and Gran Pulse and Valhalla blend to form Nova Chrysalia.
Over the next five centuries the land that makes up Nova Chrysalia decays as a result of Valhalla's chaos, until only four continents are left. After Lightning awakens from crystal stasis, the world faces Apocalypse in thirteen days.
Template:See Also The people call this land—which falls further under the sway of the Chaos each day—Nova Chrysalia.
In this world, there is no aging, though the people can and do die from accidents and illness. By losing the natural progression to death, they have also lost the natural propagation of life and no new children have been born in all the centuries since the Chaos first broke into the world. For the past 500 years, the world's population has dwindled and society grown stagnant.
With no changes to mark the march of years, the decades slip past as fleeting as the seasons once did. Children stay forever innocent and simple in their hearts. Some believe that God in his mercy must have taken from humanity some parts of their hearts that would allow them to truly know the horrible fate they have been trapped in. All so that they might live on forever in peace, instead of falling prey to the despair that is their only inheritance on this world...
Located in the Sea of Chaos, Nova Chrysalia comprises four continents connected by monorail and is surrounded by a lagoon whose waters fall into an endless abyss. Two of its continents are urbanized, while the other two have natural terrain. Nova Chrysalia's untamed continents feature plains, deserts, wilderness, rocky terrain, and ruins, as well as sites originally seen on both Gran Pulse and in Valhalla. Since Gran Pulse is Nova Chrysalia's original form, parts of its land are still present in Nova Chrysalia, although they have been heavily altered. Equally, parts of Valhalla are present, including Etro's Temple. The architecture of the urban areas have gothic, mechanical, and fantasy elements.
Other than the world decaying, another side effect of Valhalla's Chaos is the disruption of the cycle of life; people never age but can suffer unbearable illnesses, and new children cannot be born, for the souls of humans no longer have a guide (Etro) to herd them between realms. Though rendered biologically immortal, people can still die if killed, and anyone who questions the phenomenon or tries to discover the truth behind it is silenced. Most are unaware five centuries have passed and the world is coming to an end since each day feels like a blur. Another side effect of Chaos infecting the world is that people's hearts have become burdened and hopeless, or been corrupted.
Nova Chrysalia is composed of four main continents, each with a unique theme and individual architecture.
Luxerion, the "divine city of light", is the world's largest city and acts as the capital city. The city is steeped in religious and gothic imagery, being home to the Order, who worship Bhunivelze. The city also features a sect called the Children of Etro who fight against the Order's rules and worship Etro. They are responsible for a string of recent murders where all the victims have rose colored hair, similar to Lightning, for the Children of Etro wish to kill the "evil Savior". Lightning encounters Noel Kreiss here as the vigilante Shadow Hunter, and Oerba Dia Vanille, who is under the protection of the Order. The city contains mainly gothic architecture with a mono-chrome color scheme, including a Clock Tower and Cathedral, in contrast to the Warren, a set of run-down slums. The highroad connects the city with the Wildlands.
The other urban area, Yusnaan, is the "city of revelry", acting as the world's center of entertainment. Snow Villiers is the "patron" of the city, having lived there for many centuries and earned the people's trust. It is the smallest of the continents and features grand and architecture. Lavish theatrical plays are held daily and it also home to the Slaughterhouse - a coliseum where Lightning can fight. Guards surround the city trying to protect Snow and will engage Lightning in combat on sight. The highroad connects the city with the Dead Dunes.
The Dead Dunes is a desert region filled with ancient ruins and is home to a bandit group called "Monoculus". Likely to be the dried up Archylte Steppe from Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2, the desert contains skeletal remains of many towering beasts and large monuments from the past. Ruffian is the settlement at an oasis where the bandits live. The ruins located underneath the sands are vast and mysterious and hold within them an ancient treasure that both the bandits and Secutors from the Order are searching for. Lightning encounters and aids Oerba Yun Fang in this area, who has become the leader of Monoculus. The ruins feature distinctly Arabian and eastern themed architecture. The highroads connect the Dead Dunes with Yusnaan and the Wildlands.
The Wildlands, is the largest of the four continents and is a region full of natural terrain. Containing distinct reminders of Gran Pulse and Valhalla, the Wildlands features forests, rocky crags, and ruins of both Gran Pulse and Valhalla. There is wildlife roaming free as well as small villages located sparsely throughout the land. Notable locations include the ruins of Academia, the city once built to be the capital for humankind, and features Etro's Temple, unchanged from its original state. Lightning encounters the Angel of Valhalla, a legendary white Chocobo, in the Wildlands, who she is charged with nursing back to full health. Here she can also find Sazh Katzroy, who stays with his son, Dajh Katzroy, and Caius Ballad and Paddra Nsu-Yeul in the Temple of the Goddess. The highroads connect the Wildlands with Luxerion and the Dead Dunes.
Above the land floats the Ark, a structure within Bhunivelze, Hope Estheim's new Cocoon that still floats above Nova Chrysalia. Here, time doesn't flow, meaning Lightning can rest, talk to Hope, replenish her supplies, reattempt fights and give Eradia to the tree of life, Yggdrasil.
As revealed in the secret DLC ending of Final Fantasy XIII-2, multiple other areas of both Gran Pulse and Valhalla were, at some stage, part of Nova Chrysalia, including the Dying World. These parts may still be present in Nova Chrysalia, but just simply have changed and altered so drastically that they are now unrecognizable.
When Noel Kreiss seemingly killed Caius Ballad in Valhalla, he destroyed the Heart of Chaos and, thus, destroyed the goddess Etro. Without Etro to contain the Chaos of Valhalla and the Unseen Realm, the Chaos flooded in Gran Pulse in the year 500 AF, resulting in the birth of Nova Chrysalia.
Over the course of centuries, the Chaos slowly eradicated away Nova Chrysalia. Therefore, by the time of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, after five centuries, all that is left are four continents. However, the effects of the Chaos mean that the world will end in 13 days time. Bhunivelze, having woken up from his crystal sleep, elects Lightning his Savior to herd souls to a new world that he will create.
Lightning initially arrives in Yusnaan, attempting to apprehend Snow and save his soul. However, after she is unsuccessful, she returns to the Ark, following which she is sent to Luxerion to solve the string of murders. In Luxerion, she learns that the killers are a religious cult called the Children of Etro who see the Savior as a sign of destruction, believing she will bring about the Apocalypse and have started to kill women with rose colored hair, thinking any of them could be the Savior. The Shadow Hunter, Noel's moniker, is predicted to kill the Savior and so Lightning searches him out. Confronting Noel, he reveals that a prophecy in an oracle drive has led him to want Lightning dead so that he can reunite with Yeul. After fighting her, he destroys the Oracle Drive, realizing that killing Lightning isn't what Yeul would have wanted him to do, which inadvertently brings Yeul to him, telling him that they will soon be reunited.
Returning to Yusnaan, Lightning tries to sneak in close to Snow's palace through using a supplies route, however, Lumina destroys the route and Lightning is forced to play the role of an actress in a play, the "Legend of the Savior", so as to gain entry to Snow's palace. Chasing Snow down, Lightning discovers that he has almost gone insane carrying the burden of his guilt over Serah's death. After Lightning calms Snow down, she is able to reason with him and saves his soul.
In the Dead Dunes, Lightning discovers that there is an ancient relic in the ruins. Called the "holy clavis", Lightning helps Adonis by ending God's Wrath, which earns her entry to Monoculus. The bandits' leader, Fang, asks for Lightning's help to find the relic. Travelling to the ruins, Lightning and Fang see three murals concerning the birth of humanity and the Gods, gifting them entrance to the Holy Clavis. However, when they arrive, the Secutors from the Order grab the Clavis. Fang reveals that the relic will be used by the Order to force Vanille into performing a ceremony known as the Soulsong where she'll give her life to end the dead's suffering, though this will actually destroy the souls of the dead. Agreeing to meet up in Luxerion on the final day, to stop the Soulsong, Lightning and Fang part ways.
In the Wildlands, Lightning hears a strange girl's voice telling her to find the "Angel of Valhalla". She soon discovers that the Angel of Valhalla is a legendary Chocobo who has been sighted in the area. With the help of Dr Gysahl, she tracks down the bird, but finds it gravely injured. With the help of the residents of Canopus Farms, she nurses the Chocobo back to health. Riding the Angel of Valhalla, Lightning is able to enter Etro's Temple to discover the secrets of the "great Chaos". She discovers that the "great Chaos" is in fact the love of Yeul for Caius manifested as Chaos. This love binds Caius to the Chaos such that Lightning is unable to save his soul. Meanwhile, Sazh despairs as his son, Dajh, is trapped in a perpetual slumber, for his soul has left his body. Lightning completes quests to find the five fragments of Dajh's soul and restores Dajh to life, thus saving Sazh's and Dajh's souls.
When the final day arrives, Chaos has claimed all of Nova Chrysalia, except for Luxerion. Lightning travels to Luxerion to stop the Soulsong, but the Order try to stop her. With the help of Noel, she is able to travel further into the Cathedral. She then encounters Fang and together they persuade Vanille to abandon the ceremony. With the help of Snow, they dispatch the Order and Vanille and Fang guide the souls of the dead to await rebirth. However, Bhunivelze then steals Snow, Fang, Vanille, Serah and Noel, holding them hostage to ensure that Lightning follows his command.
Approaching Bhunivelze, Lightning learns of his true intentions - to cleanse the living souls of their memories of the dead to give them a free start as puppets for Bhunivelze, with Lightning acting as a new Goddess like Etro and guiding the cycle of death and rebirth. Defying Bhunivelze, Lightning mortally wounds him and saves Hope from his clutches. With the strength of humanity, including the dead, Lightning is able to over power Bhunivelze and send him into the depths of Chaos. In this abyss, Caius and Yeul appear, stating that they will become the guides for the dead and hold back the Chaos. Letting the last Yeul go, Caius, Bhunivelze and all the Yeuls are sucked into a void of Chaos, taking the remains of Nova Chrysalia with them.
With Nova Chrysalia destroyed and existing only in the new Unseen Realm of Chaos, Lightning and the rest of humanity depart to the New World to begin life anew.
Nova Chrysalia initially started out as a single island, but as the game's concept and development grew, the island also grew, eventually developing into its final, four-island form. Much of it was designed by Isamu Kamikokuryo around the concept of a dying world, taking architectural influences from Gothic architecture, Middle Eastern Asian motifs, and the machinery of the Industrial Revolution. Each of the four islands was based on different real-world locations: Luxerion was inspired by Paris, Yusnaan by Las Vegas, the Dead Dunes by Cairo and the Wildlands by Costa Rica.
When the game was announced, Nova Chrysalia was known as Novus Partus, even in the localisation. Novus Partus then later became solely the Japanese name for the world.
"Nova Chrysalia" is the eighteenth track on the third disc of the game's soundtrack. It will be played in various locations throughout the world after 12:00PM.
Nova Chrysalia's Japanese name, Novus Partus, means "New Offspring" in Latin.
Nova Chrysalia is made an alternate Latin word for "new", and an invented name stemming from "Chrysalis", the cocoon a caterpillar forms around itself while metamorphosing into a butterfly.
- The concept artwork of Nova Chrysalia present on the official Japanese site has animated water.
- Gamasutra.com – Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Featured in GameStop's Power Up Rewards Epic Rewards Giveway