My favorite part of Final Fantasy XIII is near the beginning, when the entire group is gathered in the Pulse fal’cie Vestige. It’s a symphony of stupidity.
Snow, the ultimate dudebro, is there to rescue his financé Serah. She’s been turned into a l’cie and Snow intends to rescue her… somehow. Bear with me, there’s a lot of silly terms in this game. If you’re turned in a l’cie by a fal’cie you have to complete a quest (called a Focus) given to you by the fal’cie. If you fail before time runs out you’re turned into a mindless monster. Succeed and you’re turned into an immortal crystal statue. Dead either way.
Sound familiar? It’s functionally the same plight as Yuna from Final Fantasy X and my least favorite type of plot because it sounds like unbreakable formal logic.
If P then Q
Snow wants to rescue Serah from this truth table. Uh huh. Sure. Immediately after the gang finds her in the Vestige she tells Snow to “protect Cocoon” and turns into a crystal statue. Nice job, bro.
What does this tell you? Correct, Serah completed her Focus. What was her Focus? She’s never said. But since five of the six eventual party members are watching Serah and thereafter turned into l’cie, one would conclude that Serah’s Focus was to gather them near the fal’cie for that purpose. Right?
That never occurs to Snow or any of the other characters. They know what a Focus is, they saw Serah turn into crystal, they all know they’re l’cie themselves, yet they bicker about whether her Focus was to destroy Cocoon or protect Cocoon. Snow says “protect” because Serah told him so and he only has seven brain cells, and Lightning and the rest say “destroy” because Pulse fal’cie are the enemies of Cocoon.
I say the script needed another draft.
It’s especially weird that this slipped through the cracks considering the complexity of the rest of the story. Two hours into the game and the player can deduce that all the characters are morons? Not a great opener. I haven’t gotten too far into the game but after reading the Final Fantasy XIII Wikia it turns out that you don’t even have to complete your assigned Focus to turn into crystal. So there’s no formal logic to Final Fantasy XIII. As if we needed more proof.
What really bugs me are the actions of the fal’cie themselves. They turn people into l’cie to complete a task but only give them a vague dream of what that task entails. Wouldn’t you want to know, I dunno, clearly spell out what your l’cie should be doing as their Focus? Isn’t that Management 101? The player encounters scores of l’cie who have failed their Focus and turned into monsters, and no other crystal people except Serah and Sazh’s son, so it’s clear the ratio is pretty bad. You’d think the immortal, impossibly powerful fal’cie would look at the situation and think they should adjust their methods before they run out of humans to enslave.
Wait, that would involve logic. My bad.