Orphan's Cradle, also known as the Nascent Throne, is the final dungeon in Final Fantasy XIII. It exists in an alternate dimension created by the fal'Cie Eden, accessible only by a cathedral-like room in the Sanctum building which towers over the city of Eden, called Edenhall (actually the fal'Cie Eden itself). Unusual for a final dungeon, the main body of the area is one room, the Tesseracts, which reconfigures itself several times. A tesseract is the four-dimensional extension of a cube, sometimes known simply as a hypercube.

The Cradle is the resting place of Orphan, the fal'Cie that powers Cocoon. The fal'Cie Eden's servants create two portals inside the first chamber, one of which enables the player party to return outside to Edenhall, and another leads to the Vallis Media on Gran Pulse. There is a third portal that leads to the Narthex, but it cannot be used until further into the Cradle.

Orphan's Cradle comprises the thirteenth chapter.

Datalog[edit | edit source]

This is the dimension created by the fal'Cie Eden at the command of Barthandelus. The very structure itself is the true form of the being that sits at the center of Cocoon, overseeing the endless functions that keep the floating city running.

The sea of data flowing through Eden has materialized as physical matter, forming a shell that shelter the sleeping Orphan in a space that hovers between reality and dream.

Story[edit | edit source]

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

Final Fantasy XIII[edit | edit source]

The Cavalry transformed into Cie'th.

The party walks into the heart of Edenhall where three statues flank the front and sides. They discover the Cavalry has turned into the Sacrifice Cie'th, and as they walk in, the room collapses, revealing a different dimension where floating platforms whiz past.

Three feminine fal'Cie—white, black, and gold—reveal warp zones for the party to return to either the city of Eden or Gran Pulse, which Hope figures to be a "gift" from Barthandelus. As the party encounters more Cavalry members turned into Cie'th, Hope remarks it to be a part of Barthandelus's plan to get one of them to become Ragnarok by making them feel guilt.

The party opens the gate into the Narthex where Barthandelus awaits. Barthandelus provokes the party by crushing Serah and Dajh's crystallized forms, but Lightning realizes they are fal'Cie smoke and mirrors. The party defeats Barthandelus and he collapses into a pool, merging with and awakening Orphan.

Fang becomes an incomplete Ragnarok.

Orphan entices the party into giving in to hatred to summon Ragnarok and deliver its end. Fang succumbs to its demands, but her friends try to stop her. Everyone but Fang and Vanille turn into Cie'th, and attack Fang, She transforms into an incomplete Ragnarok, unable to defeat Orphan before reverting, and Orphan tortures her to have her become Ragnarok again. When Vanille defies the fal'Cie her friends revert the Cie'th transformation, and Fang is released. Deducing it was another fal'Cie illusion, the reunited party decides to fight Orphan, who has shown its true colors as an enemy of Cocoon. Orphan's final form emerges from the pool, and as they decide to save Cocoon, their l'Cie brands burn out and turn white.

After Orphan has been defeated Orphan's Cradle vanishes, as the fal'Cie Eden—the entity in charge of projecting it—loses power. The party is left hovering midair above the city of Eden, as Cocoon falls from the sky.

Final Fantasy XIII-2[edit | edit source]

The Narthex is glimpsed during Lightning's monologue with Yeul sitting on the bench.

Spoilers end here.

Treasure[edit | edit source]

Item Location
Librascope The Tesseracts
Cherub's Crown The Tesseracts
Millerite The Tesseracts
Seaking's Beard x20 The Tesseracts
Supercharger x4 The Tesseracts
Aegisol x2 The Tesseracts
Gale Ring The Tesseracts
Tear of Woe x9 The Tesseracts
Shamanic Spear The Tesseracts
Perfect Conductor x4 The Tesseracts
Turboprop x5 The Tesseracts
Particle Accelerator x2 The Tesseracts
Uraninite The Tesseracts
Tetradic Crown The Tesseracts
Starblossom Seed x6 The Tesseracts
Black Mycelium x8 The Tesseracts
Rhodochrosite The Tesseracts
Adamant Bangle The Tesseracts
Weirding Glyph The Tesseracts
Elixir The Tesseracts
Scarletite The Tesseracts
3,000 gil The Tesseracts
5,000 gil The Tesseracts
Ethersol The Narthex

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Creation and development[edit | edit source]

Orphan's Cradle in Oerba from Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega.

Seventh Ark was once considered to be a downloadable location, if DLC was to make an appearance in Final Fantasy XIII. It was intended to be accessed from a portal in Orphan's Cradle. It would have been where Lightning and her companions could have fought powerful enemies.[1]

There were once plans to have Orphan's Cradle crash in Oerba after the events of Final Fantasy XIII, as a concept art for it exists for Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Musical themes[edit | edit source]

"The Cradle Will Fall"

The theme "The Cradle Will Fall" (終焉の揺籃, Shūen no Yōran?, lit. Cradle of Demise) is the background track of Orphan's Cradle. The event sequence that marks the game's finale plays a succession of "Fighting Fate", "Born Anew", "Sinful Hope", "Fabula Nova Crystallis", "FINAL FANTASY XIII - Miracles", "Focus", and "Nascent Requiem".

Other appearances[edit | edit source]

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy[edit | edit source]

Orphan's Cradle.

Orphan's Cradle's Tesseract default area appears as an arena. Orphan's Cradle is a large, long arena, the central area consisting of a circular platform with two staircases and various archways and protrusions around a small circular platform in the middle. At one end of the arena is a series of rectangular platforms spaced evenly apart, while at the other end, there is a four-pronged platform with two ends arcing downwards.

Uniquely, the arena is ringed by a continuous banish trap that teleports characters to the central area-there are no walls or ceilings. The archways are destructible, and thus the only solid surface is the ground itself. In the stage's Ω version, other platforms of various design and size appear in the air. The stage is unusual in that the banish trap always resets fighters to the center of the stage, rather than the nearest solid platform.

The Fal'Cie Husk is the battlegen item obtained through stage destruction in Orphan's Cradle.

Story[edit | edit source]

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

Lightning, Vaan, Laguna, Yuna, Kain, and Tifa rest before making their final journey to the manikins' spawning area, before being ambushed by Golbez and Exdeath. Kain fights Exdeath alone, letting the others escape, and kills Exdeath before bidding farewell to Golbez, having assisted the warlock in his plans thus far, but choosing to help his comrades succeed in sealing the manikins rather than remain behind to live to the next cycle of the war.

In the 13th cycle of war, after Cosmos's demise, Ultimecia explains her goals of time compression to the Cloud of Darkness, which involves compressing time and space so as to erase all from existence with exception of Ultimecia herself. These actions do not worry Cloud of Darkness, who sees the witch's actions with pure apathy.

Spoilers end here.

Pictlogica Final Fantasy[edit | edit source]

The Narthex Throne.

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy[edit | edit source]

Orphan's Cradle appears as the BMS for "Blinded By Light", "Fighting Fate" and "Desperate Struggle".

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call[edit | edit source]

Orphan's Cradle

Orphan's Cradle returns as the BMS for "Fighting Fate" and "Desparate Struggle".

Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade[edit | edit source]

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Final Fantasy Record Keeper[edit | edit source]

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Gallery[edit | edit source]

Artwork and key art

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Lindzei statue in Narthex.

  • In one of the promotional artworks for Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning sits on a floating couch in The Narthex. The party and Serah are also seen in The Narthex on the cover of the Final Fantasy XIII Scenario Ultimania. The promotional shots for Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories- of the cast being interviewed also feature the white couch, as does the Ark in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Strangely, Sanctum enemies can be found in the area that have not yet been turned Cie'th who work together with the Sacrifices when provoked.
  • The Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega reveals the female statues in the Narthex are statues of Lindzei, the deity whose fal'Cie created Cocoon. The Lindzei statue resembles that of the Cocoon fal'Cie's symbol, which they also use to brand their l'Cie.
  • In the very first steps taken in Orphan's Cradle, it appears as a small, holy sanctuary with what appears to be sunlight passing through the windows. If the player decides to check the area map while it is in this state, it will have its own map background.
  • A dark mist swirls around the large circular gateways at each end of Orphan's Cradle. Its appearance is like that of Chaos.

References[edit | edit source]

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