Those are pictures of the unassuming town of Centralia, Columbia County,Pennsylvania, US, which at one point was a nice enough place to live, with a population of over 1,000 residents.
Then the strip mine beneath Centralia caught fire, and the residents were evacuated. The fire is still burning…50 years later! The massive, smoldering hellblaze has opened up sinkholes, steam pits and carbon monoxide vents all over the town.
Centralia is considered the Silent Hill from reality, is burning from the inside out, as if it were sitting directly over the gates of hell. The similarities aren’t coincidental. While the Silent Hill movie was in production, the filmmakers actually visited Centralia for inspiration.
Centralia, Pennsylvania is the real-life version of Silent Hill. It’s population has dwindled since the devastating underground mine fire of 1962. Now only 10 people are classed as official residents of this dilapidated ghost town, and that might be because it’s so eerie… and dangerous- The roads are prone to collapsing due to the fire damage which makes it extremely difficult to live a normal life. The fire, which was most likely started by hot ashes irresponsibly thrown into the underground garbage heap, still burns today. The top picture shows a collapsed road with smoke billowing out, fresh from the fire. Nobody really has any definitive theories as to why the fire is still burning, and it’s unknown if it will ever go out. Some people believe it’s one of many portals to hell, while others believe it’s simple bad luck. Whatever the case, it sure is creepy.
Centralia, Pennsylvania. An abandoned town. In 1962 a serious mine fire came from beneath the ground forcing residents to flee. To this day the ground is still unstable and toxic fumes rise from the ground. Only 10 people still live here.
Chapters: 4/? Fandom:Mass Effect: Andromeda Rating: Explicit Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Major Character Death Relationships: Male Ryder | Scott/Reyes Vidal, Ryder/Reyes Vidal Characters: Male Ryder | Scott, Reyes Vidal, Jaal Ama Darav, Peebee (Mass Effect), SAM (Mass Effect), Tempest Crew (Mass Effect) Additional
Tags: Psychological Horror, Sexual Themes, Gore, Monsters,
Psychological Torture, Scott Whump, Madness, Regret, Guilt, Violence,
Distressing imagery, Adult Content, Angst, Homophobia, Family Issues, Bullying Summary:
In my restless dreams, I see that town. Silent Hill.
Silent Hill AU. A few months after the fateful confrontation with
Sloane Kelly when Scott Ryder shot at Reyes Vidal – his lover and the
infamous Charlatan – he suddenly gets an email from him. Reyes is
waiting for him in a place called Silent Hill and urges him to come and
find him. Will Scott, broken and full of regret, be able to reunite with
his past love or is there something more sinister at play?
is not necessary to know anything about the Silent Hill series to follow
the plot and enjoy this fic. However, be mindful that this is a
psychological horror story, dealing with distressing imagery, dark
themes and adult content. Scott is in for quite a journey and so are the
readers. Keep the tags in mind but also remember that there is often a
reward at the end for all the suffering.
Hello friends! Long time, no explaining. I’ve missed it. I’ve missed us. And yes – I also missed painfully digging through hidden in-game codexs, dialogue logs, and pondering the implications of harder-to-grasp narratives. I guess you could say that I’m a glutton for punishment. So, let’s talk about the highly regarded first entry in what is assumed to be a new Final Fantasy sub-series: Type-0. Type-0 HD, to be specific as it has additional narrative elements and a secret ending.
As always, these “Explained” articles break down each game’s biggest questions through an easy to follow QA format. If you’re interested in seeing other entries in this blog series, the same approach has been applied to Final Fantasy VIII, IX, X, XII, and XIII’s Mythology. Non-Final Fantasy titles such as Chrono Cross, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Resonance of Fate, and The Legend of Dragoon have also been explained. That isn’t all that is discussed on this cute little blog though. Attention has also been focused on the Jenova Reunion Theory (FFVII), the Twili-Ancient Ones Theory (Zelda), the Final Fantasy III Connection Theory (FFVIII), the Rinoa is Ultimecia Theory (FFVIII), the Squall is Dead Theory (FFVIII), the Likely Outcomes of Chrono Trigger’s Cast, the Parallels Between Silent Hill 2’s James and Real-life Murderor Jack the Ripper, Whether Avalanche is as Bad as Shinra (FFVII), and What the Wolf in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Represents.
Basically, if there is an obtuse plot element or a complicated ending in a video game – we’ll try to explain it.
The last thing I’ll mention is that spoilers are to follow, which should be obvious to anyone who read the title of this post. Furthermore, this plot analysis isn’t for people who have never played the game; the intent is to help gamers who have already played and may still need clarification.
Any who, let’s get into it.
What is Final Fantasy Type-0 really about?
On the surface, Type-0 appears to be a historical account of a world at war with a heavy emphasis on the themes of loss and expectation. Even though many of the characters can’t remember the people who have died in their lives, they know something is missing and they know that they have a lot to live up to while they still live. Like I said, however, that’s all on the surface.
Final Fantasy Type-0 is tied into the same Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos as the Final Fantasy XIII titles and the upcoming Final Fantasy XV (though, I assume, to a lesser extent in that case). As such, this war that is at the center of all conflicts in Type-0 has its own ties to God-like forces and deities. Big ones, at that.
What do Gods have to do with the war?
One only has to look at the game’s primary antagonist for answers. Why exactly do you think the high commander of an empire’s military and technological forces would perform a coup d’etat and initiate a world-wide war against all other nations? Even power-mad men wouldn’t do something so risky in real life.
Imperial Marshal Cid Aulstyne discovered a big secret at some point before the events of the invasion at the beginning of the game. That secret is that Orience, the land all nations in Type-0 call home, is actually a part of a large-scale experiment put on by the Gods. An experiment that has been repeated a number of times actually. The conclusion of each test sees the land and all of its inhabitants annihilated. As such, Orience is caught in a continuous spiral of death that has seen the world destroyed and reborn 600, 104, 972 times.
So, while much of the single player campaign portrays Cid as a heartless villain (at least on the first playthrough), he is actually a hero in some respects. All he really wanted was to take action for the sake of freeing Orience and humanity as a whole from the slavery of the Gods and four Crystals. His methods are extreme and he has a lot of blood on his hands, but it doesn’t change the fact that he isn’t simply bad for the sake of being bad.
Why is this experiment happening at all?
The land of Orience is at the will of three deities, Diva, Gala, and a third deity who follow the wills of Pulse and Lindzei, the beings that were created by the God Bhunivelze, as detailed in the Final Fantasy XIII games. Diva is mostly just an observer of events. Gala and the third deity, however, are actively involved and use different methods within the land of Orience to accomplish the same goal: finding Etro’s Gate.
You may remember that we mentioned why finding Etro’s Gate was important in the Final Fantasy XIII Mythos post. Basically, the mighty god Bhunivelze killed his mother, Mwynn, in order to seize power over the realm of the living. At some point, he became quite troubled at the thought of her placing a curse on the realm so that it might one day end. To ensure this would never happen, he sought entry into the Unseen Realm where she and the dead were said to go.
Unable to reach that realm without losing power over the mortal world, he created the fal’Cie Pulse and gave him the task of finding the entrance to the land of the deceased. Etro was created not long after to assist Pulse, but was stripped of her powers once Bhunivelze realized he had inadvertently made her in the same image as his mother. In a final act, Bhunivelze created Lindzei to work with Pulse and then fell into a deep crystal sleep, only to be awoken once the door to the Unseen Realm was found.
This door to the Unseen Realm would come to be known as Etro’s Gate after the former deity killed herself. She had become depressed and lonely as she lacked purpose without her power, but in dying she accomplished two very important things: (1) from Etro’s spilled blood, humanity was born and soon flourished, and (2) it gave the Unseen Realm a new caretaker.
In the Unseen Realm, Etro found Bhunivelze’s mother Mwynn. Mwynn was being overtaken by the chaos that permeated the realm, but in a dying request tasked Etro with protecting the balance of the universe and maintaining the cycle of life and death from her throne in the Unseen Realm. Still, not knowing of that careful balance being maintained, Pulse and Lindzei work tirelessly to find the gate and awaken Bhunivelze. They used three deities to chronical and control the fate of Orience.
Diva serves as Type-0’s female narrator. She appears during the game’s opening and mostly exists as a neutral observer of the world’s history. She simply records events and announces the arrival of certain events. She may have been the creator of the Nameless Tome, which describes the legends and purpose of the world. Diva has been instructed to never interfere with the events of Orience.
Lindzei, who is often vilified in the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos, is the master of Gala. Gala is introduced towards the end of the game as the Rursan Judge and looks somewhat similar to the masked dark knight villains of earlier Final Fantasy titles. His role is to arrive when Orience becomes imbalanced as the result of one nation dominating the other three. He uses his forces to slaughter everyone in Orience in order to create a flood of souls to force Etro’s Gate open. He has successfully killed all in the land of Orience 600, 104, 971 times without being able to force the gate open. Still, his role is pivotal to the events of Tempus Finis (or, the end times).
Pulse, also known as Hallowed Pulse or “the Maker,” is the master of the third deity. Pulse instructed her to select twelve individuals in each experiment cycle and see if the quality of their souls was strong enough to become Agito, allowing them to interact and pass between the realms. To augment the experiment, she had then introduced the four crystals (as demonstrated by all l’Cie having Pulse’s brand) to the land of Orience and would impart the ability to absorb Phantoma to her chosen Agito cadets. The overall intent of this initiative was to find Etro’s gate with the least amount of human casualties necessary.
So… who exactly are the third deity and Gala?
The third deity is none other than Arecia Al-Rashia, the archsorceress in the Dominion of Rubrum, the head of the Sorcery Division at Akademeia, a member of the Consortium of Eight, and the one who each member of Class Zero refers to as “Mother.” While very few people know of her true role as a deity of Orience, it is not as though she is as cold as other power figures we’ve seen in the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos. She has faith in human potential, and is nothing but genuine in her love for the students of Class Zero.
Gala is more of a specter than an actual person. He wears a full suit of armor and has no care for human life. He seeks only to obliterate billions of lives to force Etro’s Gate open. We honestly don’t see him in his true form often, but he does come to possess Cid. When Cid arrives in Pandaemonium, the testing grounds of Tempus Finis, with the intention of becoming Agito and freeing humanity from the cycle of death and destruction Gala tells the Imperial Marshall that it is his fate to become the Arbiter of Tempus Finis. Cid then kills himself in an attempt to prevent his body from being possessed and used to destroy humanity. It was ultimately in vain, as Gala takes the body anyway and uses it to test the Agito cadets. If they are able to best him, even though none have before, he falls into a deep slumber.
What the hell does Agito even mean?
A good question that could have been better answered in-game. Agito is a term that refers to the messiah prophesied in ancient mythology to appear at the time of the apocalypse. At least that is what the public thinks. In actuality, Agito are able to find and open the gateway between the mortal world and the Unseen Realm. While Arecia Al-Rashia is largely responsible for the creation of Agito, the term is championed and used as a tool to inspire the troops of the neighboring Empire by Imperial Marshall Cid.
All previous Agito cadets under Arecia Al-Rashia had failed in part because they chose to become l’Cie, but it could be argued that there were also pieces of the puzzle that were missing. Without these pieces in motion, the spiral Orience is caught in is without change.
According to the Nameless Tome featured in the Rubicus, sixteen constellations were found at the same time. It is said that the sixteen will arrive in the world at a certain moment in the form of human beings, to see if they have the strength to prevent Tempus Finis from occurring and open Etro’s Gate.
The first twelve represent different internal powers:
Ace – trust
Deuce – gentleness
Trey – knowledge
Cater – bravery
Cinque – innocence
Sice – persistence
Seven – understanding
Eight – calm
Nine – action
Jack – ignorance
Queen – intelligence
King – resolve
The four that Al-Rashia removed from the experiment represented internal fears:
Machina Kunagiri – fear
Rem Tokimiya – love
Joker (00) – pain
Tiz (10) – decrepitude
If the Agito cadets choose not to become l’Cie and manage to overcome Cid while he’s possessed by Gala, the phenomenon of Tempus Finis will have stalled. At that point, it is up to Aracia, the deity, to decide the final outcome of Orience’s latest cycle.
Who are Joker and Tiz?
You may not have seen them unless you played through the campaign more than once. As I alluded to, they were removed from Arecia’s sixteen constellation experiment and now serve directly under her. To that point, they are both technically members of Class Zero and Joker even refers to Aracia as “Mother.” Though intimate details of their lives are not currently known, they do have a history which will be explored in Final Fantasy Agito.
The interesting thing about these two characters, as far as Type-0 is concerned, is that they appear to have observed numerous cycles of Orience’s destruction and have somehow retained their memories of what happened. Without the eventual influence of Joker and Tiz, it would be impossible to break the spiral of death Orience has been caught in. But we’ll get into that a little later.
And Phantoma is?
Phantoma is what sets Class Zero apart from the rest of Orience’s humans. The easiest way to describe it would be as the remains of the dead, or their life essence. It is used as a source of magic for Class Zero, and is the reason why Crystal Jammers that inhibit other cadets from accessing magic do not affect the Agito cadets. The ability to absorb and collect Phantoma is also what allowed Class Zero to break the spiral and defeat Gala.
And the Crystals?
They’re pretty unique in this game as they all share a few properties, but independently feature unique benefits to their respective nations. Each crystal has its own l’Cie, which are bound to follow the will of their respective crystal. These warriors can exist for hundreds of years, but the great power granted to them also forces gradual memory loss – to the point where a l’Cie will lose sight of who they are. In a similar fashion, the citizens of Orience cannot remember the people in their lives who have died.
In terms of how they differ, I suppose we should examine each nation and its crystal:
Dominion of Rubrum: Rubrum controls the Vermilion Bird Crystal, which grants the citizens of Rubrum the power of magic (a feat restricted to l’Cie only in other nations). This includes the ability to summon Eidolons, at the cost of the summoner’s life.
Militesi Empire: Militesi controls the White Tiger Crystal, which holds the power of advanced weaponry and technology. The crystal has been used by Cid as a weapon of war, in that he uses it to command the l’Cie.
Lorican Alliance: Lorica controls the Black Tortoise Crystal, which contains the power of the shield and grants its citizens a much larger size. Lorica is a nation to be reckoned with in terms of brute force.
Kingdom of Concordia: Concordia controls the Azure Dragon Crystal, and holds the power of the dragon. The ruler of the nation is able to communicate with the Dragon Queen and the crystal allows its citizens to control monsters. It could be argued that Concordia rules the skies with its fleet of wyverns.
The nations, for the most part, follow the will of these crystals, and as far as most of the citizens are concerned the only higher powers that exist in Orience are the crystals themselves. The crystals, being dropped into the world by Aracia, are actually just a part of the Tempus Finis equation. While they have an impact on all people in Orience and drive the cycle of death forward, there are still higher powers at work.
How are l’Cie different in this game?
Instead of following a focus given to them by their fal’Cie, the l’Cie of Type-0 bend only to the will of their Crystal. It doesn’t matter what the military or political powers of their land expect from them, they can only do as the crystal wishes. In fact, there are times where it seems as though these l’Cie lose control of their bodies completely to the will of their crystal.
That isn’t the only difference though, as l’Cie are now also categorized; Primus l’Cie are combat oriented and Secundus l’Cie possess special abilities. They also aren’t seen as having a curse. They have regal titles such as Lord Zhuyu and Lady Celestia, and serving the crystal in such a way is seen by many as a blessing. This power also can be passed from one l’Cie to another, though it is said that this transferring is also the will of the crystals.
Not all has changed though. Orience l’Cie will enter crystal stasis when the crystal deems his or her purpose fulfilled. Unlike other citizens of Orience, they can still be remembered once crystallized.
How does Class Zero change Orience’s cycle?
They chose not to become l’Cie when given the opportunity. That’s the key. In their place, Machina and Rem became l’Cie for the White Tiger Crystal and Vermillion Bird Crystal respectively. As Agito cadets, they had the ability to draw Phantoma from their defeated enemies and while they were weaker as humans, they would still fight against the threat of Tempus Finis to save Orience. Almost defeated, the class receives assistance from the spirits of Rem and Machina and overcome Gala (possessing Cid). The class had successfully saved the world, but the experiment still failed as all twelve were on the cusp of death.
It was at this point Joker and Tiz, who had been observing these events, called upon Arecia to inform her of Class Zero’s final moments. She feels the pull of emotions for her “children,” and wants to know how exactly they gave their lives. Joker and Tiz tell her to speak with Machina and Rem, the two who “took their place.”
Machnia and Rem, having been made l’Cie to competing crystals over the course of Type-0’s story, fought each other not far from Class Zero’s final battle. In dying together during this combat, they crystallized together. Arecia asked them of Class Zero’s efforts against Gala, before releasing both from their crystal stasis and deciding to end these experiments.
Arecia allows all of Orience to remember the dead and abandons her search for Etro’s Gate. She leaves Orience and the cycle is finally broken as Gala, her opposing force, is left in a state of eternal slumber. Machina and Rem return to Rubrum only to find the bodies of Class Zero.
Not exactly – this timeline continues and Machina manages to rally all of Orience under him in order to found a new age for the world where no peoples rely on the crystals. Years later, at age 67 and married to Rem, Machina writes down the events of the war to ensure his classmates would never be forgotten. It is assumed that he is the male narrator of Type-0, and this game was, to some extent, his retelling of those events.
In an alternate end, Arecia removes the crystals from Orience’s past and the war never happens. Class Zero and all who died in the war are still alive. Machina is shown being close friends with Ace and all students are preparing for a new semester. It is assumed that this alternate timeline is the one that Final Fantasy Agito (the mobile and Vita spin-off) take place in.
And then there’s the hidden ending.
There’s a hidden ending?
Well, there’s a secret movie that was added to Type-0 HD known as “Rise from the Ashes.” What we see is Ace, clad in Samurai armor. He looks to be on his last legs when a phoenix gives him new life. Dressed in spectacular armor he then says, “We have arrived.” This was the same line he stated in the opening movie for Type-0. While there aren’t many details, this seems to be a tease for a new game tentatively titled Final Fantasy Type-NEXT.
During an event in Hong Kong to promote Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, specially created concept art was shown teasing a future project. Director Hajime Tabata seems eager to work on this new title and what little we know about it seems to suggest that it will be heavily inspired by Ancient Japanese history and culture.
I guess that’s where we can leave off for today.
But I still have questions!
You do? I didn’t answer everything?
Well, what about the other parts of the story that didn’t make sense? Like, why was the Commandant being such a dick to Arecia and Class Zero during the war? Aren’t they on the same side?
They are both allied with the Dominion of Rubrum, but their intentions are different. Arecia is focused on culturing the Agito cadets and finding Etro’s Gate, while the Commandant seeks to grab at more political power within the Dominion. His military, the legions, were unsuccessful in repelling the advancing enemy troops and as such he has great disdain for Class Zero’s success and the considerable influence that Arecia commands over the Consortium of Eight (and the Dominion of Rubrum at large). He knows that Machina’s older brother Izana died as a result of Class Zero’s liberation campaign and seeks to exploit Machina’s fear of helplessness to bring about Arecia’s political downfall. He’s an opportunist asshole, for certain, but he still fights for the Dominion. He just thinks that he can use this crisis as an opportunity for a power-grab. Just like the Concordian King.
Umm. Who is the Concordian King?
Unless you’ve played Type-0 more than once and were subject to additional scenarios, you likely don’t know much about the Concordian King. Concordia is unique in that the upper echelon of government is comprised only of women, save for the Concordian King which had always been a figurehead position.
During the events of the game, the Concordian King schemed to overthrow Queen Andoria and restore the patriarchal Seiryu to power. When she is assassinated while visiting the Militesi Empire, he assumes control of the nation and forms an alliance with Militesi against the Dominion of Rubrum, which he had framed for her death.
Unfortunately for him, the Queen Dragon, being a l’Cie, would only listen to Queen Andoria and will listen to no one after her death. Worse, he greenlights the unsealing of the Naraku Cave during a battle against Rubrum – unleashing an evil that his county had been hiding for centuries: the monstrous Seiryujin.
Were they those mutant zombie looking dudes?
Yes. According to legend, the male progenitors of the Seiryu people had consumed the flesh of dragons which resulted with their male descendants being cursed by eventually becoming monsters known as Seiryujin or Dracobaltians. The female descendants, unaffected by the curse, took over the county and turned it into a matriarchy. These horrific beasts had been sealed away for the protection of the Concordian people, and their release eventually leads to the Concordian King’s poetic downfall.
Why did the Queen of Concordia visit the Militesi Empire? Wasn’t she aware of the danger?
She was. The last remaining l’Cie by the end of the game, Concordia’s Lady Celestia, states that Queen Andoria had seen her death well in advance of it happening and followed through with it out of the hope that it would somehow bring about a better world. As a l’Cie, she was clairvoyant and saw the eventuality of Tempus Finis. She knew her death would bring the Agito Cadets closer to breaking the spiral that Orience has been stuck in.
You haven’t talked about Gilgamesh either.
Ugh. You’re thorough, aren’t you? I didn’t mention Gilgamesh because his appearance is kind of a red herring. I mean, yeah, he was the most exposure Class Zero got of the Lorican people, but it isn’t as though we saw much of him in terms of narrative development. He just shows up and starts beating the hell out of anyone he sees.
A gigantic warrior from Lorica, and a Primus l’Cie of the Black Tortoise Crystal, Gilgamesh has lost his focus. He’s presented as a wandering warrior, but he eventually realizes that he was the King of Lorica and the ruler of the Lorican Alliance before Militesi dropped the Ultima Bomb obliterating the region. In fact, he witnessed the death of his people first hand, and I think that’s why he’s so messed up.
You can actually meet the second Black Tortoise Crystal l’Cie, Enkidu, in a Dominion town not far from Akademeia. Enkidu was actually Gilgamesh’s royal advisor, and has been collecting l’Cie stones for translation since the destruction of his kingdom.
Are we done yet?
No. What about Aria?
What about Aria? She’s just Class Zero’s administrative support.
What’s her deal? Did she die in the game?
Yes, she dies. When Qator Bashtar, a Militesi officer that kept Aria in his care, dies as a result of an Ultima Bomb blast she and the guards watching her forget about him due to the crystal’s influence. Those same guards, now confused as to why a Dominion citizen is in Militesi, shoot and kill her.
You’ll recall that Aria mentioned that she was silent because she was told that she talked too much. She states that her mother forbade her from speaking in the crude way she normally does, and as a result came off as passive and quiet for the first portion of the game. While dying, she undergoes a sensation restoring her memory and begins to remember her family. She realizes that the person who raised her wasn’t even her mother and that she was using Qator to fill the void of her family’s absence. Before dying she also comes to realize that she found exactly what she was looking for.
There. We done?
One last question: what does 9 and 9 meets 9 mean? Diva says in the intro that it initiates Tempus Finis, but how?
According to Hiroki Chiba, the game’s scenario writer, the number “9” is the last single-digit number so it also symbolizes the end. This phrase is a unique abstract expression which means the end of three (nations) signifies the end of the world. It’s all a fancy way of saying that one nation gaining control over all of Orience will initiate the end of the world. That’s it.
And with that I’m done. If anyone else has questions they need answers to, hit up my ask box and I can add to this post.