Pulse fal'Cie and l'Cie are bad news. That's why Cocoon kicked them out. Live too close to the fal'Cie? One-way ticket to Pulse! That's the Purge in a nutshell.
The Purge (パージ, Pāji?) is a form of forced displacement and social cleansing in Final Fantasy XIII. The Sanctum, the fal'Cie-run government of Cocoon, conducts it to expunge those believed to have been 'touched' by Gran Pulse.
Final Fantasy XIII
To the millions who call Cocoon home, the lowerworld of Pulse represents a constant source of fear. Suspected association with Pulse means stigmatization as an enemy of the state and all mankind—even for born and raised citizens of Cocoon.
The recent discovery of a fal'Cie from Pulse near the city of Bodhum caused widespread civil unrest. After placing the city's entire population under quarantine due to the possibility of contamination, the Sanctum then announced its intent to forcibly relocate the affected to Pulse in an emergency measure dubbed by authorities as the Purge.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
During the catastrophe that befell Cocoon, the Bresha Ruins were the site of terrible casualties. The reason for this can be found in the Purge.
The Purge was the name given to the mass deportation of Bodhum's residents. The fal'Cie manipulated the actions of the Sanctum and the elite army known as PSICOM, sowing chaos and inciting conflict among Cocoon's populace.
Many civilians fled to Lake Bresha and its ruins to escape the Purge, but a great majority were crushed by ancient structures that collapsed when Cocoon's momentum was suddenly halted.
After PSICOM discovered a Pulse fal'Cie within a Pulse Vestige in the town of Bodhum, everyone in the city at the time became tainted by association to Pulse. The people of Cocoon cried out for their expulsion, so PSICOM quarantined the town and rounded up the people, regardless of whether they were citizens or tourists. They forced the deportees to wear "Purge clothing" (traceable restraint garments fitted with a metal device that binds their hands, controlled by a remote held by a PSICOM soldier). PSICOM loaded them onto "Purge trains", and fired upon those who tried to resist or run.
As told in Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise-, Lightning quit her position in the Guardian Corps and volunteered to be Purged to save her sister Serah, whom Anima was holding captive. Sazh Katzroy infiltrated Bodhum and also joined the Purge to save his son before joining Lightning in her mission to reach the fal'Cie before the Sanctum could take it to Pulse. Despite being from Palumpolum and only on vacation in Bodhum, Hope Estheim and his mother, Nora, were quarantined and forced to join the Purge. Believing the Sanctum's claim that the Purge is a forced migration to Gran Pulse, Vanille joined it willingly, choosing to accompany Hope and Nora after meeting them in line for the train. While Alyssa Zaidelle visited her friend Nena Stein, they were sentenced to the Purge together.
Final Fantasy XIII Gaiden Shōsetsu: Yumemiru Mayu, Akatsuki ni Otsu revealed tens of thousands of traceable restraint garments were made for the Purgees to wear like everything was ready before the Sanctum's announcement. PSICOM also detained the airship crews that landed in Bodhum during the Sanctum's report. Those with any relation to the Sanctum, the army, and their families were exempt from the Purge to quell the government's fears of soldiers inciting an armed rebellion. The soldiers stationed at the blockades placed around Bodhum allowed passage to people without checking if they were l'Cie, like those who just left Bodhum on business and the trapped tourists' relatives. PSICOM essentially let in anyone who said they wanted to be Purged, including a reporter named Aoede who believed the Purge to be a sham and joined to secretly record footage that would expose the truth and use it to further her career.
The army confiscated the Purgees' belongings without checking them before loading them onto a different train car. The Purge trains headed to the Hanging Edge on Cocoon's outskirts to exile the Purgees to Pulse; however, as Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments Before confirms, the deportation was a ruse with the Sanctum ordering PSICOM to covertly slaughter the victims within the unpopulated area.
- Hope Estheim
- Nora Estheim
- Oerba Dia Vanille
- Sazh Katzroy
- Alyssa Zaidelle (introduced in Final Fantasy XIII-2)
- Aoede (introduced in Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-)
As the Purge train enters the Hanging Edge, Lightning attacks the soldiers on board and frees the Purgees. PSICOM forces fire at the train and summon their militarized beasts to attack it and the rebelling deportees. When a Manasvin Warmech brings the train to a halt, Lightning and Sazh defeat it and fight through PSICOM's forces.
Elsewhere, after making their way to the Hanging Edge, Snow Villiers and his friends in the Bodhum neighborhood watch group NORA mount a resistance against PSICOM to protect the Purgees. They recruit those willing to help them drive PSICOM back and eventually find a group of deportees stranded on a bridge, including Nora, Hope, and Vanille.
Answering Snow's call for volunteers, Nora and several other Purgees join NORA's cause while the rest evacuate to another location for safety. NORA and its volunteers battle PSICOM and their militarized beasts but are defeated when a Skytank destroys the bridge they are on, killing many who fall off, including Nora. Amid the chaos, the Palamecia brings the Pulse Vestige into the warzone.
Lightning and Sazh make their way to the Vestige while, having survived the fall off the bridge, Snow and Gadot rejoin the rest of NORA before Snow heads for the Vestige on an airbike to rescue Serah. Having witnessed Nora's death, Hope and Vanille steal Gadot's airbike and follow Snow. The rest of NORA saves Aoede from nearly being killed by an attack vessel, and she joins the group. Elsewhere, Alyssa and Nena flee the army with other fugitives and go into hiding. As PSICOM withdraws, their hiding place's ceiling collapses, rubble traps Alyssa, and she suffocates.
Countless victims die in the massacre, the Hanging Edge is destroyed, and Lake Bresha crystallizes when the Vestige's remains fall into it. Lightning, Snow, Sazh, and Hope are turned into Pulse l'Cie, becoming targets for PSICOM, who also hunts Vanille and the other Purge survivors. A Dreaming Cocoon Falls into the Dawn details how Aoede, the NORA members, and some Purge survivors, took refuge in an ancient Pulsian building located between the layers of Cocoon's outer shell after escaping the Hanging Edge. Later via newscast, the Sanctum announces the Purgees arriving at their new homes on Pulse, deeming the Purge a success and that more Purges may yet be necessary.
When the Sanctum finds Lightning, Hope, Snow, and Fang in Palumpolum, the army gathers civilians suspected of contact with the l'Cie. Snow's intervention saves them, but this doesn't deter the populace's outcry for the Palumpolum residents' Purge. As revealed in Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments Before, the Sanctum never carries out the act but approved it in advance.
AS told in Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-, Aoede helped expose the Sanctum's conspiracy by airing Purge footage with Maqui's help hacking the broadcast signals. Within six months after Cocoon's fall, the new provisional government confirms the truth behind the Purge to the public. PSICOM dissolves with its remaining members exiled to Pulse's frontier lands and their family names tarnished, while the remaining Sanctum members are arrested for the conspiracy.
In Final Fantasy XIII-2, the Lamentable Rest area of the Bresha Ruins has a cemetery with an epitaph dedicated to the Purge victims.
The Purge robe is a Rarity 5 armor.
Behind the scenes
Fang is the only Final Fantasy XIII main character not involved in the Purge.
In addition to "Purge", the terms "deportation", "relocation", and "migration" are used as euphemisms, with Dysley referring to the citizens involved as "brave Pulse pioneers". Coincidentally, the trophy granted to the player for taking 10,000 steps on Pulse is titled "Pulsian Pioneer". During Final Fantasy XIII, some party members borrow the term for their own use. After the group decides to take on Galenth Dysley on the Palamecia, Snow comments, "Time to Purge a Primarch!". Later, when the group faces several Berserkers in the Fifth Ark, if Sazh is in the party, he will say, "If you gotta Purge something, why don't you start with those?!"
The Purge train's electronic board displays the words "CHIBA", "INAGE", etc. in Cocoon script. These refer to the stations of a Soubu Main Line railway line in Japan.
A question in the Brain Blast quiz in Final Fantasy XIII-2 refers to The Purge. The airline providing flights between Cocoon and Gran Pulse came up with a special offer that proved disastrous because of its name: "Smile and say 'Purge'".
Purgees have varying amounts of blue rings and diamonds on their Purge robes' hoods. While unexplained, it could indicate a Purgee's threat level as some have hoods with only one ring and no diamonds. The number of rings/diamonds may also depend on one's proximity to the Vestige around the time of its discovery; the more rings/diamonds a Purgee has on their hood, the more they're considered potentially 'tainted' and dangerous. The Final Fantasy XIII Scenario Ultimania reveals the Purge restraint garments have the purpose of "sealing the l'Cie curse" and serving to identify and discriminate the wearer.