13 Days Of FF13: Lightning
The iconic female lead of the original game, and the face of the FFXIII series, Lightning is the first character spotlight in my countdown.
Lightning (Claire) Farron:
Lightning is the primary playable character in FFXIII. Just as her name implies, her primary element as a Ravager is Thunder magic. Lightning's weapon is a sword that transforms into a gun.
Each character has three starting roles in FFXIII. Later in the game you unlock the ability to level the remaining three. Lightning has Commando, Ravager, and Medic at the start. Her ultimate skill, Army of One is a level four Ravager ability on the Crystarium tree.
Every playable character has their own unique Eidolon, granted to them by their L'Cie powers. Lightning's Eidolon is Odin. Odin's elemental focus in FFXIII is Thunder magic, mirroring Lightning.
Although everyone knows her as Lightning, her real name is Claire. Lightning abandoned this name with the painful memories of her parents' deaths. She looks after her younger sister Serah.
Before the Bodhum Purge, Lightning was a member of the Guardian Corps, Bodhum Security Regiment. Their task was to keep peace in the direct vicinity of Bodhum. Lightning volunteers to join the Purge for a chance to get close enough to Serah to attempt a rescue.
Branded a Pulse L'Cie by Anima she received a focus to destroy Cocoon. Lightning and the others that were branded with her decided to fight that fate and save Cocoon in accordance with Serah's wishes.
While Snow filled the role of the group's morale booster and self-appointed protector, Lightning is the team's true pillar of strength. Always taking things head on, she is the undisputed leader of the group.
Tips For Playing Lightning:
I've personally found Lightning one of the top two Commandos in the game. It's a really close race between her and Fang. I always prioritize Lightning's Commando role over her Ravager role, even though Army of One is a Ravager skill.
After capping out Commando I'll generally level Ravager until I unlock the next stage of the Crystarium. If I still haven't unlocked the next stage by the time I cap Ravager, I work on Medic. I don't like to prioritize the secondary set of roles on Lightning. I feel the cost of leveling them up without mastering the other three roles is too costly.
If you're looking straight damage for Commando Lightning, I recommend the Gladius path for weapons. There are no bonus effects, but I've yet to find a tier one weapon that beats it in base strength.
Lightning The Champion Of The Goddess:
Starting up in a mysterious land, you once again start out as Lightning. Despite this, Lightning actually takes a back seat in FFXIII-2. Her character is still the driving force behind the story, but you don't experience most of that force first hand. These events that Lightning kickstarts are primarily off-screen.
As the chosen champion of Etro, Lightning guards Valhalla, and Etro's palace. When Caius comes to destroy the Goddess Etro, Lightning takes up arms against him. Lightning tasks Noel, who's drawn into Valhalla after being the last surviving human, to find and bring Serah to Valhalla.
Lightning also guides Snow to protect the Crystal Pillar created by Vanille and Fang. This causes Snow to end up in the Sunleth Waterscape in year 300 AF. You run across Snow while following the main story and help him with his mission.
You can also see Lightning's hand at work when it comes to Hope and Sazh popping up just when they need to. It's not directly referenced that she was responsible for setting them on their respective paths, but in her description there is a line that indirectly states she was responsible. "From Valhalla, where the entire span of history can be seen, Lightning sends her voice to past companions and guides them to where the timeline needs them most."
Playing as Lightning:
Outside the prologue, you only truly play as Lightning in the Lightning DLC. However, there are two ways to unlock Lightning for your Paradigm Pack. The first is by obtaining her crystal in the DLC Collesium. This will unlock Lightning in the Ravager role. The other is by completing the Lightning DLC side-story. I'm not sure if this still unlocks Lightning as a Ravager, but it does unlock Lightning in her Champion of Etro look.
Lightning The Savior:
With the final 13 days upon them, Lightning awakens from her slumber to save humanity. As humanity's savior, can she save everyone?
Going It Alone:
In Lightning Returns, you no longer have allies in combat. Lightning fights alone for the sake of all. With the new combat system, you now fight in a more active style. It will take some getting used to the new system, but so far I think it's pretty good.
That wraps up my look at Lightning through all three games. Check out more of my Thirteen Days of FFXIII content. Tomorrow will feature Serah, Lightning's younger sister.