The world lies shrouded in darkness.Intro to the original Final Fantasy.
The winds die...
The seas rage...
The earth decays...
But the people believe in a prophecy, patiently waiting for its fulfillment.
'When darkness veils the world, four Warriors of Light shall come.'
After a long journey four young warriors did at last appear...
...and in the hand each was holding a crystal.
The Warriors of Light (光の戦士, Hikari no Senshi?), also called Light Warriors, Warriors of the Light, Knights of Light, or Heroes of Light, is a recurring theme in the Final Fantasy series. Four heroes are chosen by the crystals—be it by a prophecy, a will, or by fate—to embark on the dangerous journey to fight evil or restore balance to the world. In the games they appear in, the Light Warriors are always the characters controlled by the player.
The Warriors of Light are four youths spoken of in Lukahn's prophecy that appear in Cornelia to save the captured Princess Sarah from the clutches of the corrupted knight, Garland. Unlike in later appearances, these Warriors each hold the crystals themselves. Their mission is not to save the crystals, but to destroy the Four Fiends of each of the four elements and to save the world by restoring the light to the crystals they hold. After defeating the Four Fiends, the Light Warriors travel into the past to defeat the cause of all the evil, Chaos, who turns out to be their first foe, Garland. The evil force had created a cycle of destruction passing through time that the Warriors of Light end once and for all by destroying Chaos.
The Light Warriors are not given names and, instead, are named by the player. Their job classes are also assigned by the player at the start of the game. In the novelization Final Fantasy: Memory of Heroes the warriors are named Zest, for the Fighter, Sauber, for the Thief, Floe, for the White Mage, and Daewoo, for the Black Mage.
The Warriors of the Light are four orphaned youths that live on the Floating Continent. In the original game, they are not given names, but the 3D version names them Luneth, Arc, Refia, and Ingus, and gives them a short backstory. They travel the world appearing at the four crystals of each element, gaining jobs at each one they find. Their goal is defeat the power of Darkness from destroying their world.
After traveling into the World of Darkness, the Warriors of the Light find their opposing Warriors of the Dark who once saved the world themselves from the destructive power of Light. The four Dark Warriors aid the four orphans during the final battle against the Cloud of Darkness.
There are two groups of warriors. The four Warriors of Dawn—Galuf, Dorgann, Kelger, and Xezat—defeated the evil Exdeath and sealed him in a remote cavern, using the power of the four crystals of another world. Though three of the four return home to their world, Dorgann stays behind, feeling guilty for bringing a great evil to an innocent world. While there, he has a son, Bartz, but dies of grief after the passing of his wife, Stella.
Bartz becomes a wanderer and one day gathers a group of warriors in his own group, branded the Warriors of Light by the Wind Crystal. These four, who include the Dawn Warrior Galuf and the royal Tycoon sisters, Lenna and Faris, are chosen by the crystals to protect them and destroy evil. They fail each time, and each crystal is shattered by Exdeath's forces. When each crystal is broken, the shards become job classes for the Warriors.
After the four crystals are destroyed Exdeath returns. The Light Warriors travel to the Dawn Warriors' world and while there, each of the original Warriors of Dawn sacrifice themselves to try and defeat Exdeath, including Galuf, who is replaced by his granddaughter, Krile, who completes the second generation of warriors.
Exdeath fuses the two worlds together so as to gain more power from the Void. The Warriors of Light travel into the Interdimensional Rift, fighting through his horde of demons, and slay Exdeath with the aid of the spirits of the Dawn Warriors. It is revealed that whenever the world is on the brink of being consumed into the Void, four spirits will be born who will give birth to light, referring to the formation of the Warriors of Light.
200 years after the end of Final Fantasy V, the crystals again come under threat, now from the evil Ra Devil. A descendant of Bartz, Linaly, gathers her friend Prettz, the pirate Rouge, and the general Valkus to defeat this threat. The unlikely team is sent off to the Black Moon to save the world.
While the story focuses on Linaly and Prettz, and none save for Linaly possess any magical properties, the four band together to face the oncoming evil subtly mirroring the Warriors of Light from Final Fantasy V, although they are never officially referred to as the Warriors of Light.
Lightning is called the "the knight of light", a synonym for "the warrior of light" by Zoe in the Yusnaan Slaughterhouse before the fight begins. Lightning has been chosen as the savior of souls by the god Bhunivelze.
The Warriors of Light are stated to be the band of adventurers (i.e. the players) that helped protect the city-states and form the Eorzean Alliance during the events leading up to the Seventh Umbral Era. They took to the field during the Battle on the plains of Mor Dhona and were lost during the unleashing of Bahamut. Their name derives from the fact that whenever people try to remember them, all they can remember is a silhouette surrounded by a blinding light.
Characters created for the original game have a special tattoo on their neck, indicating they are one of the Warriors of Light. It can be hidden (or unhidden) with command "/lmark". They have a different intro upon starting the game, appearing in a flash of light and walking to their chosen city state, and there are minor edits to the text of some quests. They receive a chocobo whose beak has been branded with the same mark, implying this was their original chocobo from the previous era.
Near completion of the main plot, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and all player characters (i.e. including those created in A Realm Reborn) are referred to as Warriors of Light by the leaders of the Grand Companies. The player character is referred to as a Warrior of Light specifically by Hydaelyn.
Brandt, Aire, Yunita, and Jusqua are chosen to be the Heroes of Light, also referred to as The Children of Hope, in the present by the Crystal to replace Rolan, the sole Hero of Light from the past. Rolan was chosen as a Hero of Light at an unknown point in the past by the Crystal to fight Dark Lord Chaos. Rolan sealed Chaos in the Star Chamber in the center of the planet. In the present Rolan's soul has been corrupted by Lucifer, one of Chaos's servants, and lost his powers as a Hero of Light.
The Heroes of Light do not have innate powers that set them apart from others. Instead, the Crystal simply chooses a person, or people, who have strong hearts filled with hope and other positive emotions, or who have hearts with the potential to be filled with hope, and grants them crowns, which function like jobs from other Final Fantasy games, allowing them to gain powers based on which crown they choose to wear.
Tiz Arrior, Agnès Oblige, Edea Lee, and Ringabel are chosen by a deceased alternate world version of Agnès to be the Warriors of Light: referring to them as the embodiment of her will to stop Ouroboros. This was hinted in the game's announcement trailer that addresses the player as a Warrior of Light. During the final chapter, Airy remarks that no other "Warriors of Light" have impressed her like the foursome.
At the beginning of their adventure, the Warriors of Light are chosen by the Crystal of Lux, and are blessed with its power. During their journey, they find five crystal shards which bless them with the Dragoon, Bard, Memorist, Paladin and Seer jobs.
The Warrior of Light represents the original Final Fantasy, modeled after the Warrior class from said game. The Warriors of Cosmos, chosen representatives of the goddess, are also referred to as the "Warriors of Light". Each warrior is in search of a crystal, which holds a part of Cosmos's power.
Shantotto was once a member, having abandoned the war long ago for her own research.
Warrior of Light returns in the prequel to Dissidia along with the other Warriors of Cosmos whose membership during the previous 12th cycle included Kain Highwind, Tifa Lockhart, Laguna, Yuna, Vaan, and Lightning before the six sacrificed themselves to ensure their allies' survival in the next cycle.
Terra, Cloud, and Tidus appear in the cycle as the antagonistic Warriors of Chaos, but switched sides prior to the 13th cycle. Jecht was originally a member of the Warrior of Cosmos until he was captured and converted into a Warrior of Chaos.
The Captain of the Guard turning into the Champion Warrior of Light alludes to the original Final Fantasy whose main cast consists of a group of nameless people, but in the first Dissidia Final Fantasy one of them was redesigned into his own character.
The concept of l'Cie alludes to the Warriors of Light, a group of warriors brought together by circumstance are chosen by the crystal that gives them a mission to save the world, and often grants special powers to achieve said mission. This is part of a larger concept of Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy in re-imagining the series's core concepts in new ways. In previous games becoming a Warrior of Light was shown in a positive and heroic light, whereas the Lightning Saga explores the concept of servitude to the crystal (fal'Cie) in a more sinister light, bringing the chosen "warrior's" free will into question.
In Final Fantasy Type-0, becoming a l'Cie is an honor, as the chosen can serve their respective Crystal and protect their nation and its people, but many see it as the l'Cie giving up their humanity as l'Cie are meant to follow the Crystal's Will rather than their own.
Final Fantasy XV started as Final Fantasy Versus XIII and a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series. As the project became a main series entry, its connection to Fabula Nova Crystallis was diminished, but various design elements of the latter remain.
In the opening loading screen of the game, there's a line that says.
- In a time unknown, only a prophecy keeps hope alive in people's hearts. "When darkness veils the world, the King of Light shall come."
This is similar to the opening lines of the first Final Fantasy:
- The world lies shrouded in darkness. The winds die... The seas rage... The earth decays... But the people believe in a prophecy, patiently waiting for its fulfillment. "When darkness veils the world, four Warriors of Light shall come."
In the world of Final Fantasy XV, the kings of Lucis serve as the "Warriors of Light", being servants of the Crystal and thus bound to its will through their ancient pact with the astrals and able to use a special kind of magic via the Crystal's power: this magic, and other magic related to the gods as wielded by the Oracle, comes at the cost of physically debilitating the wielder to a fatal degree if overused.
Noctis Lucis Caelum and his companions Gladiolus Amicitia, Ignis Scientia and Prompto Argentum serve as the Warriors of Light for Final Fantasy XV, with Noctis being chosen by the Crystal to perform a ceremony to cleanse the world of Eos of a scourge that generates monstrous daemons and lengthens the nights until all daylight vanishes. He is known as the King of Kings, or the True King.
Crystal Bearers are people with magically infused pieces of Crystal inside their bodies that grant them magical powers triggered through mental focus. A Bearer's magic power is somewhat unique, ranging from the control of a specific element of nature to the ability to reshape matter and even the power to bend time or space.
In popular culture
- The four main characters from 8-Bit Theater refer to the Warriors of Light from the original Final Fantasy. Aside from the "Light Warriors" (Fighter, Thief, Black Mage, and Red Mage) there is also the "Real Light Warriors", who, thanks to a decision to grind before starting their adventure and very bad luck, end up falling far behind the first group on their travels.