Pulse, known as Hallowed Pulse in the Analects and sometimes referred to as the Maker, is a deity in Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy mythology. Pulse is said to have created the world where Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 take place, and it used to be worshiped by many of the tribes inhabiting the world, who named the planet after it, calling it Gran Pulse. Cocoon inhabitants refer to the world of Gran Pulse simply as Pulse. In Final Fantasy XIII, though its appearance is brief, Pulse is a figure with a half covered face of a man.
The aspects Pulse represents are seen throughout the Fabula Nova Crystallis series. They hold an affinity to the earth and the material world, being tasked to delve and search through the universe by corporeal means to find Etro's gate. Pulse abides by the principles of Darwinism and the more primal aspects of nature, where only the strongest survive. Pulse's ways are often standalone, culminating into tests of might and will among each individual, and when he has given his blessing to the survivors, he will leave and let them fend for themselves. As a result people's perception of Pulse ranges: as a provider and hallowed god of the earth, to a tyrannical and dark deity representing savagery and barbarism.
VII. Hallowed Pulse
- It was the Great and Hallowed Pulse who, seeking to expand divine domain, parted the chaos and fashioned realm within; made fal'Cie, and charged them with this world's completion.
- The fal'Cie, anxious to please the hand that shaped them, labored devotedly at the task they had been given. They made l'Cie of men so that they, too, might be able to aid the greater cause. Men, in turn, offered praise and prayer to Hallowed Pulse, naming their great land in honor of its architect.
- Yet still the architect departed.
- -- On the Nature of Fal'Cie
According to the official Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, the god Bhunivelze took control of the mortal world after banishing his mother, Mwynn, to the unseen realm. To find the gateway and take control of both realms, Bhunivelze created Pulse to search land, sea and sky for the gate to the unseen realm. Etro was created to aid Pulse, but her similarity to Mwynn caused her to be discarded, which led to her becoming the one who operates the gate between the realms. To aid in his duty, Pulse created multiple fal'Cie before vanishing from the world. Since Pulse's departure, humans came to revere the deity and he was often identified as the "Maker".
While the Pulse fal'Cie continued with their objective, the Lindzei fal'Cie, who oversee Cocoon, scheme to reveal Etro's gate by the means of a mass sacrifice to bring back their creators. The Cocoon fal'Cie use Pulse l'Cie to see that goal through and when Anima brands Lightning, Snow, Sazh and Hope as its l'Cie, they and Vanille are brought before Pulse in a Historia Crux-like dimension, referred to as the gods' domain in the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega. Emerging from his crystal, Pulse brands the l'Cie with its tendrils.
Great and mighty Pulse! From far-flung reaches come to me!Bhunivelze summoning Pulse
In the Temple Ruins, Lightning and Fang find murals depicting the story of the gods and humanity. Fang mentions Pulse using the people of the world and threw them away similar to the way Lindzei treated the people of Cocoon. Pulse appears during Lightning's battle with Bhunivelze in the realm of the gods, transformed into a half of a twin scythe for his creator to wield. Pulse is presumably destroyed during the battle.
Pulse is the master of Arecia Al-Rashia, tasking her to find Etro's gate in Orience by picking out twelve people from the Akademeia and see if the quality of their souls is enough to become Agito and open the gate. Arecia created the Crystals of Orience, as evidenced by their chosen l'Cie bearing the brand of Pulse. The Crystals continue this function during the 600,104,971 cycles of war, which are spiritually depicted in Final Fantasy Agito.
The armistice in the the era of Final Fantasy Type-0, the 600,104,972nd repeat of the cycle, was proclaimed by three of Orience's major nations as "in the name of the Divine Pulse", noted by Celestia quoting from the Fabula Pact. During the coming of Tempus Finis, Class Zero, Arecia's chosen instruments, are given the option of becoming l'Cie to fight against the Rursan Army. While in the previous cycles the twelve accepted the role, the present group refuses it and defeats the Rursan Arbiter, freeing Orience from the cycle, as Arecia abandons the experiment to find Etro's gate with the Agito.
Behind the scenes
When Pulse brands the party as l'Cie in Final Fantasy XIII, Pulsian script floats in the air. When deciphered, the text reads words like "variable", "average", "multiplication" and "000 number". The sound of church bells heard when the party enters the dark realm where they meet Pulse in Final Fantasy XIII is also heard in Final Fantasy XIII-2 whenever chaos engulfs the world: when Lightning is taken to Valhalla, and in the end of the game. The bells toll thirteen times, an allusion to the number 13, a recurring theme in the whole of Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. In its concept art Pulse has church bells attached to its body.
Pulse has a playing card in the Serendipity card games in Final Fantasy XIII-2 (available in "Sazh's Story: Heads or Tails?"). It depicts Pulse as a man striding under what could be stylized Cocoon juxtaposed against Gran Pulse. The card reads in Etro script: "Gaze held aloft, his strides bring ruin", referring to Pulse's wish to destroy the world to open the way to the unseen realm. The playing cards are also used in Final Fantasy XV.