An irrepressible, fiery young man, Snow dives headfirst into danger using nothing but his powerful physique as a weapon. Easily swayed by emotion, he is prone to rash words and actions. Nonetheless, many are won over by his outgoing and optimistic nature.
In Final Fantasy XIII, Snow leads the neighborhood watch group NORA in the town of Bodhum. He is determined to save his fiancée, Serah Farron, despite Serah's sister Lightning's disapproval of their relationship. He eventually sets on a journey to save Cocoon—a fal'Cie-built utopia where they live.
In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Snow goes off in search of Lightning who has disappeared. In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Snow is the patron of the city of Yusnaan, awaiting the time he can reunite with Serah.
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 2.1 Early life
- 2.2 Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise-
- 2.3 Final Fantasy XIII
- 2.4 Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i-
- 2.5 Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments Before
- 2.6 Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After
- 2.7 Final Fantasy XIII-2
- 2.8 Era of Chaos
- 2.9 Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
- 2.10 Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Merchandise
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Etymology
- 11 References
Profile[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Snow has light blond hair, blue eyes, and a stubble beard. He wears a black bandanna, black gloves, large gray boots, a light blue vest over a black shirt, and a striped blue scarf hanging from a belt. He wears a beige trench coat with frayed hems that functions as his weapon as it is fused with Antimatter Manipulation Principle (AMP) technology. Snow wears a cat pendant, the logo of NORA. Snow's foot size is 33 centimeters (about a foot long). His l'Cie brand is on his left forearm and his eidolith crystal is in the shape of a heart.
In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Snow's attire has darkened. He no longer wears his bandanna, vest or scarf, and has a shorter beard and slightly longer hair. He wears a dark red shirt under a dark gray trench coat with frayed hems. His hair is swept back and exposes his ears. He bears a new l'Cie brand from the Pulse fal'Cie Cactuar on his left arm, closer to his elbow than his original brand. It is in its fourth stage.
During Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Snow has straight, layered, shoulder-length hair and a short beard. He wears a formal black suit conveying his change into a harsh and serious character. His l'Cie brand is hidden by his sleeve and advanced to its thirteenth stage, though it sometimes glows through the fabric. The only elements that have remained from his previous look are his gloves, engagement pendant (even though he had given it to Serah in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and she never returned it), and boots (albeit in a darker color). During his first battle with Lightning, he freezes the axe of an Anubys for himself to wield, but it is destroyed by Lightning during their fight.
As a Cie'th his eyes turn red, his lower left arm is encased in crystal, and the skin leading up from that arm turns black. As the battle with him progresses, the crystalline growth covers his entire arm and begins to consume his face. If fought on a later day, he is shirtless after transforming and the growth on his arm is larger even before his transformation progresses.
Snow is the only main character to be a l'Cie in all three games of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Since when have heroes ever needed plans?
Snow to Fang
Snow is a relentless optimist and a self-proclaimed "hero" who wishes to protect and help anyone in need. Although his heart may be in the right place, his naivety and optimism rub people the wrong way. He talks and acts before thinking, unintentionally causing trouble, and putting others in danger. Lightning describes Snow as "arrogant and chummy from the get-go, thinks he's everyone's pal," and that his best quality is being "too stubborn to die."
In Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise-, Lightning compares Snow to her father as being easy-going and passionate, but unreliable. Snow is hot-headed and fearless, not afraid to push his limits, and has little regard for authorities. He hides whatever guilt he feels behind his mannerisms, though doing so causes people to misunderstand him. Snow is defined by his love for Serah and even after learning about her becoming a Gran Pulse l'Cie, he chooses to stand beside her and help her complete her Focus. His relationship with Serah puts him in conflict with Lightning, who at first believes him to be an irresponsible idiot unworthy of her sister.
In Final Fantasy XIII-2, director Motomu Toriyama has said Snow does not have a "jealous personality", and therefore doesn't mind Serah joining with Noel Kreiss to find Lightning. Being hot-headed and reckless as ever, Snow's overall personality has not changed since Final Fantasy XIII.
During Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, though his desire to protect people remains, Snow has become the opposite of his former self: dark, jaded, brooding, and despondent. He speaks like a "broken man" and harbors the regret of failing to save Serah as well as blame towards Lightning. He locks himself away in his palace and revels more in the city's nightlife as opposed to his duties as patron, gaining the title of "lord of the feasthall." Despite his despondent attitude, Snow remains a good person, caring for the people of Yusnaan, and sealing a massive Chaos infusion away in his palace. His changed demeanor is in juxtaposition to Lightning, whose heart stayed "pure" throughout the changing Chaos-flooded era due to her crystal sleep, and she gains the power to save Snow from the darkness that has burrowed in his heart. After being saved, he regains much of his former self, and in Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-, has matured.
Story[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Snow was an orphan raised in a Sanctum facility. He grew up with his childhood friends, Gadot and Lebreau, in the seaside town of Bodhum at the edge of Cocoon. He is the leader and founder of NORA, a group consisting of himself, Gadot, Lebreau, Maqui, and Yuj, that acts as a neighborhood watch group, protecting the populace from Bodhum's surrounding wildlife.
I will stand by you, no matter what happens. I'm yours forever.
Snow, proposing to Serah
After NORA saves her from an aquatic ambush, Snow is overjoyed to meet his girlfriend's older sister, but Lightning is far from impressed. She had never approved of him or his group's unsanctioned activities and wants Snow to forget about dating her sister. Snow laughs away her demands and his flippant attitude reinforces Lightning's original impression of him.
Five days later, Serah tries to break up with Snow and shows him her l'Cie brand. L'Cie are humans branded by fal'Cie—mechanical deities powered by crystals—and given magical powers in return for tasking them with a Focus, a mission whose failure is severe: to be turned into a crystalline monster known as a Cie'th. Snow begs Serah to let him help her complete her Focus. Serah fears what the Sanctum—Cocoon's fal'Cie-guided government—will do if they find out, but Snow vows to help her regardless.
Three days later, while out shopping for Lightning's birthday present with Serah, Snow slips away to buy engagement necklaces: two metal sculptures of Cocoon, under the premise of giving Serah "the whole world." During the annual Bodhum fireworks display the night after, Snow proposes to Serah and she accepts. The next day, Lightning's 21st birthday, Serah reveals to her sister she has become a Pulse l'Cie and has accepted Snow's marriage proposal. Thinking she is joking, Lightning shuts her out, but Snow is determined to help Serah alone.
Snow plans to take Serah to the Bodhum Vestige to see Anima, the fal'Cie who branded her, to reveal her Focus and to convince Lightning. PSICOM had discovered the fal'Cie the previous night and has placed the town under lockdown. Chased by PSICOM, Snow and Serah fly to the Vestige while under attack. Their airbike is damaged and Serah jumps onto a ledge on the Vestige and a silver liquid substance drags her inside as the fal'Cie's prisoner, while Snow escapes the situation unharmed. He goes to explain what happened to Lightning before rushing off.
Our Focus is to protect Cocoon.
Two days later PSICOM Purges the people in Bodhum, deeming the civilians "contaminated" with exposure to a Pulse fal'Cie. The Vestige is taken to the Hanging Edge with the fal'Cie and Serah still inside. While Snow and NORA engage PSICOM as a resistance force, Lightning and her ally of circumstance, Sazh Katzroy, derail their Purge train. Snow and NORA rescue the remaining Purgees, some of whom volunteer to help fight the Sanctum, including a woman named Nora Estheim. Snow leads the attack and Nora saves Snow from a Havoc Skytank. As it goes down, it destroys the bridge they are standing on and mortally wounds Nora.
As they hang from the bridge's edge Nora begs Snow to "get him home" before dying and falling from his grasp. Unknown to Snow, her son, Hope Estheim, watches the scene from afar and blames Snow for his mother's death. Snow returns to the rest of NORA and the surviving Purgees and rides an airbike to the Vestige. Hope and his companion, Vanille, follow him, and after saving the pair from a Cie'th ambush, Snow has the two stick with him. Snow makes his way to Anima's Throne and finds Lightning and Sazh already there, along with Serah.
Serah asks Lightning to save Cocoon and crystallizes, a tear-shaped crystal falling from her grasp into Snow's hand. This bewilders the group, as turning into crystal means a l'Cie has completed their Focus. Snow remains optimistic, as the legends state l'Cie who complete their Focus gain eternal life, but Lightning believes Serah to be dead. Snow begs Anima to return Serah, offering to become a l'Cie in her stead, but Lightning and Sazh—who has his own motive for hunting down the fal'Cie—attack it. Snow joins their plight only to be branded a l'Cie along with everyone else. As the PSICOM blasts the Vestige apart it releases an energy wave that destroys the Hanging Edge and falls to Lake Bresha, crystallizing it on impact.
Snow awakens with the rest of the group in Lake Bresha, unscathed, believing Serah had kept them from harm. They try to discern their Focus from a hazy vision they shared, but only recognize the legendary beast Ragnarok is somehow involved. While the others believe their Focus is to destroy Cocoon, Snow believes it is to save it as Serah had asked.
Now enemies of the state, they evade pursuing PSICOM troops by crossing the crystallized lake when they come across Serah's crystallized form lodged in a formation. While the others keep moving to evade the army, Snow stays to dig Serah's crystal out. When PSICOM attacks him Snow's Eidolon, the Shiva Sisters, is summoned. After taming them, he is apprehended by Cavalry troops being led by another Pulse l'Cie named Fang. Along with Serah's crystal, Snow is taken aboard the Cavalry airship, the Lindblum, where he meets their leader, Cid Raines, who reveals his mission to free Cocoon from the fal'Cie rule. Raines claims the new l'Cie have been sentenced to public execution should they be caught, and with Serah's crystallized form aboard the Lindblum, Snow has no choice but to comply and help them.
When Lightning and Hope are tracked down in Hope's hometown of Palumpolum, Snow and Fang intercept PSICOM's assault on them. They split up: Snow with Hope, and Fang with Lightning, and decide on Hope's home in Felix Heights as a rendezvous point. As Snow and Hope travel through the town Snow remains oblivious to Hope's hatred for him and unknowingly continues to fuel the boy's rage with every word he says.
When they spot PSICOM rounding up more people to Purge, Snow tries to save them by announcing his l'Cie status and firing a gun into the air to make them scatter, but the crowd returns as an angry mob. After escaping to the Rivera Towers and fighting an Ushumgal Subjugator, Hope confronts Snow about his mother's death and blasts him off a building's roof. Ready to kill him, Hope approaches Snow with Lightning's knife revealing himself as Nora's son. A PSICOM missile attack hits the building and knocks Hope out, sending him plummeting over the edge. Snow catches him midair and shields him with his body as the two fall to the streets below.
An injured Snow carries an unconscious Hope on his back to fulfill his promise to Nora to get her son home. When Hope awakes Snow apologizes for endangering Nora and being unable to save her. He returns Lightning's knife giving Hope a second chance for revenge, but the latter realizes he wanted revenge for the wrong reasons. The Ushumgal Subjugator returns and knocks Snow unconscious as he tries to protect Hope who fights the beast alone until being joined by Lightning and Fang, and the three destroy the monster together. Afterward, the group heads to Hope's home.
At Hope's apartment Lightning tends to Snow's wounds and the two make amends after Lightning apologizes for how she treated him. Snow apologizes to Hope's father, Bartholomew Estheim, for his hand in Nora's death, which Bartholomew accepts upon learning of Snow fulfilling her dying wish. After Bartholomew exposes several flaws in the l'Cie's plan to take down the Sanctum, PSICOM attacks the apartment. Snow faces the troops, imploring them to realize he is a human being like them and they all wish to protect Cocoon. He is rebutted by general Yaag Rosch, who claims the l'Cie's lives are not worth the risk of sparing. The party is saved by Rygdea from the Cavalry and taken aboard the Lindblum.
With the Cavalry's help, the group infiltrates the PSICOM airship, the Palamecia, upon learning Sazh and Vanille are being held captive on board. They fight their way through and reunite with the prisoners before facing Sanctum's leader, Primarch Galenth Dysley, in his true form, the fal'Cie Barthandelus. He claims their Focus is to become Ragnarok and destroy Orphan, the fal'Cie that keeps Cocoon afloat. Snow is shocked to hear Dysley's claim that Serah's Focus was to assemble them to be made l'Cie and bring about Cocoon's destruction.
Under Barthandelus's manipulation, they escape the Palamecia to the Fifth Ark where Snow remains in a state of shock. While in the Ark the group runs into Cid Raines, who is revealed to be a Sanctum l'Cie branded by Barthandelus with a Focus to help them destroy Cocoon, and that their journey had been orchestrated by Barthandelus since the beginning. Determined to defy his Focus and save Cocoon, Cid attacks the party. He is defeated but turns into a crystal anyway. Snow is inspired by Cid's sacrifice, realizing they can defy their fate and fight to save Cocoon. After Fang tames her Eidolon, Bahamut, the group finds an airship and descends to Gran Pulse, the world outside Cocoon, in hopes of finding answers.
Making a base camp in the Vallis Media, they search Pulse for days but find it devoid of human life. After Hope brings Alexander under his control, everyone decides to head to Fang and Vanille's old village of Oerba. They cross the Archylte Steppe, the Mah'habara Subterra and the Sulyya Springs, where Snow learns from Vanille she had met Serah. Vanille tells him Serah had the same vision of Ragnarok and must have overcome her Focus, meaning Dysley lied about it, but Snow tells Vanille he already knows. In the Skyreach, Lightning and Snow discuss Serah and promise to see her again together.
The party ascends the floors of Taejin's Tower and rides a capsule down to Oerba. The ruins hold little answers for them and on a run-down bridge, Serah appears reciting the legend of Ragnarok, telling the party to destroy Orphan and save the world. She is revealed to be another of Dysley's illusions and after the second battle with Barthandelus, they resolve to protect Orphan and return to Cocoon, where Dysley has resurrected Cid Raines as the new Primarch and thus set the stage for civil war.
Sazh pilots an airship into the Eden Grand Prix. After saving a racer with the Shiva Sisters, Snow accidentally shows his l'Cie brand to the crowd, and chaos breaks out. The city is overrun by Pulsian machines and monsters from the Fifth Ark, and as the party fights through the chaos toward Edenhall, Snow is briefly reunited with the other members of NORA. They scold him for leaving them behind and promise to support Snow regardless if he has become a l'Cie before leaving to help the populace. Snow and the others reach Edenhall and its heart, Orphan's Cradle.
In the Narthex Throne, Barthandelus shatters a crystallized Serah. Snow is enraged but through Lightning's help remembers he has Serah's crystal tear, seeing through the illusion. Barthandelus is defeated and merges with Orphan who demands they turn into Ragnarok and Fang succumbs to its demands. Snow and Sazh try to hold Fang back, but her assault on the party transforms everyone but Vanille into Cie'th. Fang's incomplete Ragnarok fails to destroy Orphan, and after Vanille refuses to follow Fang's example, Orphan explodes and sinks into a pool of silver liquid. Snow and the others return to normal claiming they have seen a new Focus, deeming their transformation more fal'Cie smoke and mirrors. Lightning calls out their Focus is to save Cocoon and the party's l'Cie brands turn white. They defeat Orphan in its true form and Cocoon begins to fall from the sky.
Fang and Vanille become Ragnarok and save Cocoon by encasing it in crystal and forming a crystal pillar to support it above Gran Pulse. Their Focus complete, Snow is crystallized down on Pulse alongside the rest of the party. Everyone apart from Fang and Vanille inside the crystal pillar awakens from their crystal stasis briefly after with their l'Cie brands gone. Serah and Sazh's son Dajh are released from crystal stasis as well, and Snow is reunited with his fiancée. As Lightning begins to apologize to Serah, Snow cuts in saying they have a wedding to plan. He promises to make Serah happy and Lightning congratulates the couple.
Right? This is our new home! Right here! From this day forward!
Snow to Serah
Snow recalls his vision of everyone laughing together, including Vanille and Fang, and knows it is not over yet. He proposes they build a city on Gran Pulse since they can find their own food and hunt monsters like back in Bodhum. Serah wants to become a teacher to tell people why Cocoon fell. He supports her choice and declares to build her the largest school she can imagine.
I always thought it would be painful for you to think back about Sis, so I could never bring myself to ask. I was ok with waiting until a little more time had passed and you became happier, before having you tell me. And so I’d ended up putting it off.
Snow to Serah
The timeline is altered, Lightning disappears, and Snow, along with the others, loses his memory of their reunion and believes she remains within the crystal pillar with Vanille and Fang. No one believes Serah when she claims Lightning was there with them but simply vanished. Over the next two years, with the Cavalry's help, Snow and the members of NORA build the coastal village of New Bodhum on Gran Pulse. They help Bodhum's former residents adapt to life on Pulse and resume their original role of protecting them from the occasional monster attack. Snow and Serah live together, learn how to use magic, and in a matter of months, Snow delivers on his promise on building a schoolhouse for Serah.
One day, Snow tells Serah that despite his initial doubts, he now believes her about Lightning. Though Serah wants to go with him, Snow does not want to expose her to danger, telling her to stay for the sake of her students. He departs to look for Lightning, leaving his engagement necklace with Serah as a promise to return. NORA later gifts Serah a A calico cat named after Snow.
Snow meets up with Sazh and Hope, who confess their unease about Lightning's true fate but are too busy to help him. Snow visits Rygdea, who asks Snow to help him search for the remnants of PSICOM to see whether they are planning an armed reprisal. Traveling to the Archylte Steppe, he encounters a herd of cactuars. Snow tries to encourage a lone cactuar to join the rest and it attacks him but stops when Snow tells it to. The herd takes off, but the lone cactuar stays with him instead of following the herd. Feeling guilty for distracting it, Snow vows to help it get back to its friends. During the next few days, Snow has various adventures with the cactuar: being attacked by an Amphisbaena, getting caught in an old monster trap, and encountering former PSICOM soldiers in their makeshift village following their exile from Cocoon for their role in the Purge.
When Snow and the cactuar help them fight off Behemoth Kings, the cactuar, apparently without realizing it, defeats the monsters using powerful magic. It reveals a crystal on its forehead, and Snow realizes it is a Gran Pulse fal'Cie. Snow is drawn into the realm of the gods, recognizing it as the place where the fal'Cie Anima sent him to become a l'Cie. Snow escapes and returns to Gran Pulse and the next morning, he resolves to find a way to not only help Lightning but Fang and Vanille as well.
After returning to Cocoon and meeting up with Rygdea in Palumpolum, Snow boards an airship, smuggling Cactuar on board. The ship is attacked by monsters that escaped from the Fifth Ark when the Cocoon fal'Cie went dormant and Eden fell on Bodhum on the Day of Ragnarok; the ship is surrounded by a strange black mist. Snow takes a hoverbike from the hold and, with Cactuar's help, lures the monsters away. The two end up above the remains of Bodhum and Eden and are surrounded by the black mist that came with the monsters and become trapped in an incomplete Time Gate.
They fall through the Historia Crux and emerge in the Coliseum, briefly encountering the Arbiter of Time. Cactuar remembers it is a fal'Cie, regaining its powers and knowledge of its task. It tries to make Snow a l'Cie but Snow refuses on the grounds it would not make Serah happy. The Arbiter of Time says that though Snow is not meant to be there yet, he would return. Snow and Cactuar end up in a looped time distortion and witness events from different times and locations. While most of it is a blur, Snow hears the final battle in Academia between Serah and Caius Ballad, sees Serah's death, and a vision of New Bodhum as a desolate wasteland.
Desperate to save Serah, Snow asks Cactuar to brand him a l'Cie and is given the Focus of finding Serah and fighting by her side. Now out of the distortion, Snow and Cactuar are back by the Ark. The now-complete Time Gate appears and they enter the Historia Crux and pass by Sazh. Snow emerges in the Sunleth Waterscape of 300 AF. Stopping to rest, Lightning appears in Snow's dream telling him about the Miniflan converging into Royal Ripeness, and how it threatens to wear down Cocoon's crystal pillar. She urges him to help Serah by protecting the pillar, and in turn Vanille and Fang. During their battle with Royal Ripeness, Cactuar is knocked away and Snow never sees it again.
Now you wait just a damn minute. You've been looking after Serah. And back in your time, you protected your village, and your friends. Am I wrong? Seems to me, you and I are pretty much the same.
Snow to Noel
Having had a vision of Snow in danger, Serah, who is now a time traveler, arrives at his aid with her friend Noel. The three defeat the Royal Ripeness, but the Miniflan reform the monster, forcing them to retreat. After Noel confronts Snow about his recklessness, Snow tells them of his mission to protect Cocoon's crystal pillar and how Royal Ripeness will wear it down and cause Cocoon's crystallized remains to fall.
Guessing the giant flan to be a paradox, the trio decides to work together to stop it. After finding two artefacts and coming at a Time Gate, Snow tries to enter it, but since the gate is not his a forcefield denies him access. Noel and Serah tell Snow to wait for their return, but despite promising otherwise Snow continues to fight.
Noel and Serah resolve the anomalies in the Coliseum and the Archylte Steppe at ??? AF, stopping the mass number of Miniflan from appearing in the Sunleth Waterscape to compose the Royal Ripeness. They return to find Snow on the ropes in front of the monster at its reduced size. Together they defeat it for good, and after asking Noel to keep looking after Serah, Snow vanishes. Noel believes Snow disappeared because they resolved the paradox and he does not belong in this time.
Sometime after Snow finds his gate and enters the Void Beyond, the world between Time Gates. Hearing about the Coliseum, he resolves to find it by using Shiva. Snow worries what Caius is planning, and once in the Coliseum, encounters many of the residents of the world before Serah and Noel arrive. Snow battles Noel and Serah as the latter wishes to show him how she has matured during her journey. After the Arbiter of Time allows the two to leave, Snow reveals he is bound to the Coliseum by chaos, a destructive black mist that arises from time paradoxes and other anomalies, and promises to reunite with Serah once the matter is dealt with. Until the Day of Reckoning Snow decides to hang out with Gilgamesh, Ultros, Typhon, and the PuPu. When chaos is released into the world, Snow is freed.
In the paradox ending, "The Future is Hope," Snow appears with the Guardian Corps in Academia 4XX AF to stop Alyssa Zaidelle from tricking Noel and Serah into falling into Caius's trap. He reveals Caius is the one who caused the paradoxes before flying off with Mog and Serah on Shiva in Gestalt Mode to find thirteen crystals scattered throughout time, while Noel remains behind to safeguard Hope, whom Snow said would be assassinated in three days.
Era of Chaos[edit | edit source]
The intervening events between Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII are revealed in a companion novella titled Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-.
As Chaos was released on the world the border between the mortal and unseen realms was destroyed. The cycle of life broken, people became biologically immortal. The world that was left—now gradually being eroded by Chaos—became dubbed as Nova Chrysalia. Snow, Hope, and Noel made a pact to find a way to save the decaying world. Sazh was originally part of the pact but distanced himself from the others after his son Dajh fell into an unexplained coma. Snow led the effort to battle the monsters rising from the Chaos while Hope took on the task of guiding the remaining populace until he disappeared one day. Hope's last message to Snow was that Lightning would return as the savior, warning him to watch out for a fake Lightning.
Without Hope's influence the Order of Salvation—a cult that worships the god Bhunivelze, the sleeping god that was awakened when the realms merged—gained popularity and became a de facto government in Luxerion. In 837 AF Snow became the Patron of Yusnaan to prevent the Order from gaining a monopoly on the food the city produced. In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Hope tells Lightning Snow helped its people and was found by the last remaining fal'Cie, Pandaemonium, which supports the city, and was charged with protecting it. However, it appears that Hope—due to his status—did not mention the animosity toward the Order.
Snow became the Patron by popular acclaim as he was deemed someone who would fairly distribute the world's increasingly scarce supplies to those in need. Many see Snow's efforts as the one thing that has kept the populace from succumbing to war over food and other supplies.
No one is gonna stop me, you hear? Not you, and definitely not her. If I have to fight the savior, then I will.
Snow to Lightning about her and Lumina
Snow has ruled Yusnaan for five centuries, although nowadays spends his time locked up in his palace and his only active role is overseeing the end of the world festivities. Snow harbors growing regret over having been unable to save Serah and being unable to halt the world's decline, getting to the point he is willing to die to be freed from the guilt.
When Lightning arrives in Yusnaan during the feast at the end of time, Snow recognizes her as the savior chosen by Bhunivelze as an outburst of Chaos occurs. After taking out several Anubyses, Snow engages Lightning but is overpowered. Snow asks if she is going to kill him and "save his soul," getting frustrated after she answers she will if he wants "help." Lumina, a mysterious girl who resembles a young Serah, appears, breaks Lightning's blade, and drops the chandelier above. Snow halts its descend by freezing it, creating a structure reminiscent of the crystallized Cocoon. Hearing a noise elsewhere in the palace, Snow warns Lightning not to interfere and runs off into a locked room that houses a Chaos infusion. Forced to flee Yusnaan, Lightning worries over Snow's mental well-being.
When Lightning later returns she uses Serah's pendant Snow had kept throughout the years to reach him. Snow reveals the previous fight was a ruse to confirm Lightning's identity and shows her the Chaos infusion he had locked away, his intention to absorb it, and save the city. Lightning protests that he is only running from his despair, but Snow says he can no longer face Serah, whether alive or dead. Snow steps into the infusion and absorbs its Chaos, transforming into a mindless Cie'th that Lightning must fight. After losing to Lightning Snow slumps over, unresponsive.
Lumina appears and speculates Snow is driven by his want to die by Lightning's hand. Lightning's words of Serah still needing him snap Snow out of his stupor, and despite feeling unworthy and doubting she would still love him, he is freed of his emotional burden as he continues protecting Yusnaan with a more hopeful outlook. If Lightning revisits Yusnaan she can encounter Snow supervising efforts to repair the damage she caused when she infiltrated the palace.
On the eve of the Apocalypse Snow aids Lightning alongside their allies in the Luxerion Cathedral by destroying the holy clavis, a device that destroys the souls of the dead as per Bhunivelze's orders. He takes out the Order's high priestess to save Vanille who was about to sacrifice herself to "save" the dead by granting them oblivion. Bhunivelze captures Snow and Lightning's other friends, but when Lightning calls for aid in launching a final assault on the deity, Snow—among Lightning's other allies and Serah—answers her call.
With the aid of her friends and the Eidolons, Lightning severs Bhunivelze's hold on the souls of humanity and defeats him; by aiding and fighting alongside Serah, Snow fulfills his Focus. Lightning and her reunited allies witness Nova Chrysalia's destruction and the creation of a new world free of gods. Snow accompanies a revived Serah, Lightning, and their old friends to the new world, where they can begin their lives anew.
After beginning his life anew in the new world, Snow retains his memories and enjoys riding his motorcycle in the countryside. One day he is met and interviewed by Aoede, a reporter seeking the truth behind latent memories of her former life in the old world. Snow tells his side of the story but struggles to find words for Serah's death. Aoede changes the subject and Snow reveals details of his life in Nova Chrysalia and tells of the fal'Cie Pandaemonium's appearance and how he became the Patron of Yusnaan while squabbling with the power-hungry Order of Salvation. When asked of Lightning's whereabouts, Snow thinks Aoede is not yet ready to meet her but arranges for her to meet Noel and Yeul.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Snow is the Monk of Lightning Saga, having high HP and Strength, but also traits of a traditional Knight, being able to reinforce his defenses beyond simple defending. He mainly fights with his fists, occasionally throwing a kick in his attacks, his attacks being powered by AMP technology infused in his coats. True to his name, Snow can use ice-elemental spells and strikes and his Eidolon is Shiva. Snow is the only character to single-handedly tame their Eidolon. His main Crystarium roles are Commando, Ravager and Sentinel.
In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Snow is fought as a boss with harder versions available when fought further into the game. He can be spoken to after being defeated, and will appear on the stage in the Augur's Quarter on later days from 12:00-18:00.
Snow's crystal is used for the "L'Cie Paragon" trophy/achievement in Final Fantasy XIII and the "No Retreat" trophy/achievement in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
Musical themes[edit | edit source]
In Final Fantasy XIII, "Snow's Theme" is a rock tune played with electric guitars portraying his heroic personality. "The Warpath Home" has elements of his theme and the Final Fantasy XIII prelude.
Orchestral variants of his theme are "Forever Fugitives," "To Hunt l'Cie," and "Atonement," while "No Way to Live" is a rock variant, much like his original theme.
In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, "Snow's Theme ~Final Words~" is a melancholy tune played with acoustic guitar and piano. It plays at the end of the Yusnaan main quest in the Yusnaan Palace. A reprise with guitar and orchestra is heard in the end credits theme, "Credits ~Light Eternal~."
Other appearances[edit | edit source]
Snow has appeared in the following media throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy XIV as a costume.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy series as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a playable character and a Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as an optional character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Mobius Final Fantasy as an attire and ability card.
- World of Final Fantasy as a summonable Champion.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a series of cards.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances[edit | edit source]
Snow has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy media:
- Kingdom Hearts series as an avatar.
Media[edit | edit source]
In July 2017 Square Enix and Nissan collaborated for a new car commercial in China, with Lightning and Snow driving crossover SUV Nissan Kicks.
Snow, Lightning, Sazh, Hope, and Noel appeared as models for the Showcase Prada 2012 Men's Spring/Summer Collection.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Final Fantasy XIII[edit | edit source]
According to the April 2009 edition of Famitsu, character designer Tetsuya Nomura based Snow's bandana on an unused design originally planned for Kingdom Hearts coded. Snow was given a passionate and impulsive attitude to contrast Lightning's cold and harsh mannerisms. However, earlier in his development, he was given a more negative appearance: being an athletic fanatic with a loud mouth and the mannerisms of a gang leader.
Before his official name was revealed, Snow was referred to as "Mr. 33cm," referring to his foot size. According to the Japanese voice actor interviews from Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega, Snow's name was originally planned to be "Storm". In an early unfinished model unearthed from an E3 Preview Disc, Snow didn't yet have the scarf hanging from his belt. It turns out this model was for the PlayStation 2, before the development of Final Fantasy XIII moved to PlayStation 3. In an early E3 trailer, Snow was seen using AUG role, which presumably stands for "augmenter," bestowing positive statuses on the party. The role's color was the same as is Synergist's, implying that at some point during development Snow might have been intended to have Synergist as one of his main roles.
In Snow's official CG render he is not wearing his NORA necklace or his engagement pendant, though they were present in his render on the now-defunct Final Fantasy XIII summary website. Perhaps modeled after his official CG render, his Play Arts action figure also lacks jewelry. This may also be the reason this render is not used for his profile in the booklet that came with the game, using his Gestalt Mode render with Shiva instead. The earliest footage shown for the game had incomplete models, with Snow not yet wearing his accessories.
The Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega has a l'Cie brand progression chart that shows the progression of each l'Cie's brand, as well as the events that make the brands advance. Snow's brand advances from stage 1 to 3 when he is surrounded by PSICOM during his attempt to dig out Serah's crystal in Lake Bresha. It advances to 4 in Palumpolum when Snow learns Hope is Nora's son who is seeking to kill him as revenge for her death. It goes from 4 to 6 when the party arrives at the Fifth Ark due to the shock of Dysley's revelation on Serah's Focus. His brand advances to stage 8 when the party's l'Cie powers are fully awoken, to stage 9 when he learns Raines's true identity as a Sanctum l'Cie who has been deceiving them and to stage 10 during the party's initial exploration of Gran Pulse. His brand hits stage 13 when Fang turns against the rest of them in the Orphan's Cradle and he transforms into a Cie'th. He is reverted, his brand scorches out, and is soon erased after he awakens from crystal stasis after completing his Focus.
Snow is the only party member who decides to become a l'Cie again in Final Fantasy XIII-2, and the brand progression starts from scratch.
Final Fantasy XIII-2[edit | edit source]
Despite having a CG render for his appearance in Final Fantasy XIII-2, Snow never appears in a FMV cutscene. Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega reveals scrapped plans for an extension to Snow's DLC scenario episode titled "Perpetual Battlefield." Alongside the existing part of the episode in the Coliseum, there would have been a minigame in which players would play as Snow riding through the Archylte Steppe. The player's objective would have been to try and kill 30 monsters using Snow's skillset–which included being able to spin, drift, jump and use a water-based spell. Once this part of the DLC was scrapped, the minigame was used as a base for the Chocobo Racing minigame.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII[edit | edit source]
Snow's tortured appearance in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was meant to be symbolic of the world's evolution, and how even he, an optimistic hero by nature, had become "shattered" by the fate of the world. Having lost Serah and spent centuries without her, Snow's heart fell into darkness. His Cie'th form was designed to become more and more extreme, meant to be "the very symbol of Chaos."
Running gag[edit | edit source]
As a running gag in Final Fantasy XIII, before each battle with Galenth Dysley, Snow attempts to attack him, but is knocked back by a protective magical barrier. This gag is continued in Final Fantasy XIII-2 when Snow is unable to use a Time Gate to accompany Serah and Noel. In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the gag is put in reverse as Snow employs a barrier in the room in which he looks over the Chaos infusion, leaving Lightning to find a solution to bypass the barrier.
Voice[edit | edit source]
Snow is voiced by Daisuke Ono in Japanese.
He is voiced by Troy Baker in English. Troy Baker talked about taking up the role of Snow at Sakura-Con 2010, where he commented on how Snow appears as such a tough and strong character, and how many thought Baker's image wouldn't match that of the character he was voicing.
Merchandise[edit | edit source]
Snow has a Play Arts action figure, as all permanently playable Final Fantasy XIII characters do. Snow has also appeared in Elixir cans. Snow's NORA pendant, and Snow and Serah's engagement pendants of Cocoon have also been released as official merchandise.
Glico, the snack company has been working with Square Enix to promote Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII in Japan. Lumina appears on the Pocky box along with Lightning and Snow.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Etymology[edit | edit source]
toponym and a surname derived from the Latin/Italian word villa, "country-house, estate". It is also the name of a fairly well-known motorcycle company. This may allude to his summon's Gestalt mode."Villiers" is a common French
"Snow" refers to his affiliation with the Ice and Water elements, and may have been a counterpoint to Lightning whose name is also weather-related.
References[edit | edit source]
- Final Fantasy XIII Scenario Ultimania, p.014
- Preview: Final Fantasy XIII (dead) (Accessed: December 19, 2008) at GamePro (dead)
- More Final Fantasy XIII-2 Bits From Dengeki (Accessed: November 29, 2018) at Andriasang
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: How Snow And Other FFXIII Heroes Changed (Accessed: November 29, 2018) at Siliconera
- Famitsu April 9, 2009, issue 256, p.50
- GC09: Final Fantasy XIII Interview (dead) (Accessed: May 07, 2011) at Nowgamer (dead)
- Dengeki PlayStation April 2009, "PlayStation 3 Keyperson Interview" issue 445 p.56–57
- Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega, p.416-417
- New Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega Scenario Details (Accessed: March 21, 2020) at Square Portal
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: The Complete Official Guide Collector's Edition, p.338-344=