open doors beckon

Maker forged fal'Cie, from fragments Maker's own. Maker forged Man, from traces once Divine.

Welcome to Tear Down the Sky, a one-page shrine dedicated to the most kick-ass character in Final Fantasy XIII, Oerba Yun Fang. And her glorious lady-mullet. This site aims to provide a thorough yet concise analysis of Fang's story (and some slightly self-indulgent thoughts on FFXIII). As such, there'll be loads of spoilers everywhere!
last update: 6.14.13 · part of the sun cryst network · listed at: amassment · emotion · affiliate: roses have thorns
I'd really recommend completing the game (or at least read a plot summary, since I uh... really can't blame anyone for not finishing it) before reading this site. Tear Down the Sky was created as a part of Amassment's One Page, One Month Marathon. This site is run by Michelle. I hope you enjoy! ♥

dust to dust

Ragnarok took wing; made to smite Cocoon, and thereby deliver us our everlasting peace.

Two l'Cie are they, the Chosen, and from the North they hail. Endowed are they with fal'Cie Focus, to bear the burden of the Beast. My brothers and sisters of Gran Pulse: Honor the Chosen in your prayers! Let the blade forged of their will be tempered by your faith, that it might sunder that devilish cocoon's facade!
500 years ago, the god-like fal'Cie of Pulse chose two girls from the village of Oerba to become l'Cie: those who would do their bidding to destroy the world of Cocoon which floats in the sky above. Both l'Cie lost their families during the War of Transgression between Pulse and Cocoon and had grown close growing up in Oerba's orphanage, thus becoming l'Cie together. To fulfill their Focus, one turned into the beast Ragnarok and cracked Cocoon's shell, sending the two l'Cie into a crystal stasis. It's hinted at during the game that the Goddess Etro took pity on the l'Cie, and sent them into statis before their Focus was complete.

The two would awaken 500 years later in Cocoon, the world they were taught to hate, lost and confused and with no apparent memory of their Focus. They find themselves inside a tomb-like vessel, the Pulse Vestige, which somehow was transported to Cocoon and set outside the small beachside town of Bodhum. They're shocked at what they find when they leave. Daily life is meticulously automated by Cocoon's fal'Cie and strange technology permeates every aspect of commerce and travel. Oerba Yun Fang, the older of the two l'Cie, notices that her brand (a mark from the fal'Cie designating l'Cie and how much time they have left to complete their Focus) scorched and faded. Oerba Dia Vanille, the other l'Cie, finds that her brand is still active. Some time after the two wake up, a girl, Serah Farron, from the nearby town wanders into the vessel and is marked as a Pulse l'Cie, much to Fang and Vanille's distress. After watching the unconscious Serah awaken, Fang and Vanille leave the Vestige to find answers.

They travel to the Euride Gorge, where they hear a fal'Cie, Kujata, resides. In an attempt to have thier new Focus revealed, Fang and Vanille plan to attack the fal'Cie. But before they can do so, Kujata brands a young boy, Dajh Katzroy, who stumbled upon Fang and Vanille, as a Cocoon l'Cie. In the confusion, Fang and Vanille attempt to escape. Vanille flees, while Fang stays to fight the PSICOM officers who responded to the incident, promising Vanille she will return to find her. Vanille returns to Bodhum, only to become a victim of the Purge; after learning of the Pulse Vestige's activity, the Sanctum condemns those in the nearby area to be exiled to Pulse. When Fang goes to find Vanille, she is captured by the Calvary, a rebel group under the guise of an army loyal to Cocoon's government (the Sanctum). Final Fantasy XIII begins soon after these events, with Fang and Vanille separated and looking for their Focus.

During Fang's time with the Calvary she continues to search for Vanille, with little luck. L'Cie who fail to complete their Focus in due time are turned into monsters called Cie'th, sparking Fang's concern for Vanille. Vanille, having escaped the Purge, travels around Cocoon alongside four other Pulse l'Cie, all of whom were given a mysterious Focus while trying to attack the Fal'Cie Anima during the escape. Vanille masquerades as a citizen of Cocoon during this time, pretending to be newly branded by Anima with the others. Hounded by Sanctum officials and hated by the people of Cocoon, the Pulse l'Cie are constantly on the run, and personal differences eventually drive them apart.

Fang and the Calvary first meet up with the l'Cie Snow Villiers at Lake Bresha, and the two go on to aid Hope Estheim and Lightning, two other l'Cie, on the run in Palumpolum. Fang reveals to Lightning, Serah's sister, the she and Vanille were responsible for the creation of the new l'Cie, earning her a quick punch to the jaw. Fang takes it in stride, and reveals that she could care less about Cocoon or Pulse, as long as she can keep Vanille safe. After rescuing Hope and Lightning, the l'Cie learn that the Sanctum has captured Vanille and the other Pulse l'Cie, Sazh Katzroy (Dajh's father), and intends to execute them. Fang and the others stage a rescue, and the six l'Cie are finally united, and left to wonder just what their fate will be.

The l'Cie soon learn their Focus is to destroy Cocoon, revealed to them by Galenth Dysley, the Primarch of the Sanctum and secretly the fal'Cie Barthandelus. Determined to avoid their fate, the l'Cie leave the Calvary and decide to search for answers, though they remain conflicted, especially Fang. She turns on the rest of the party at one point, protesting the idea to abandon their Focus. It's at this moment that her Eidolon, a being said to be a messenger of the Goddess Etro to aid l'Cie when they despair, attacks, and is tamed. Fang grudgingly agrees to work with the party, and they travel to Gran Pulse to find a way to overcome their Focus. There, Vanille reveals that she knew their Focus all along, and that Fang had been the one to become Ragnarok in the past. Vanille fears that Fang will be angry, but Fang assures her that things will be all right. They have a "new family" now, and they'll work alongside them to make things right.

on wings of misery

As our fal'Cie are the children of Hallowed Pulse, so are the fal'Cie who lurk within Cocoon the brood of Lindzei.

When Fang is first introduced, it's clear that she is a strong and confident young woman. She wastes no time punching Snow in the face and knocking him out after he tells her off. She's clear about what she wants, and doesn't mind resorting to physical retaliation to get it. She even has a sort of "wild" appearance: tattoos, animal pelts hanging off her waist, unkempt hair, and of course, that giant spear. She's clever and often sarcastic, even coming off as a little bit cocky at times. Fang is the sort of person who insists on doing things her way, even turning against the rest of the party when they want to abandon their Focus. She's not one who is quick to trust people, especially those from Cocoon. On Gran Pulse, the people are told that Cocoon is a dangerous place full of enemies, and the people of Cocoon are told the same thing about Pulse. Thus why Fang is reluctant to trust anyone on Cocoon, especially the Calvary. She's stubborn, and will let the others know when she doesn't agree or when she thinks they're being foolish or ignorant; for example, the l'Cie from Cocoon constantly refer to Pulse as "hell," and Fang is quick to correct them, pointing out that they have never been there, so how can they know?

But despite her rather tough outside appearance, Fang is inwardly a caring person. Especially regarding Vanille. The two grew up together in the same orphanage and developed a sister-like relationship over time, despite not being related by blood. As fearless and strong as Fang is, the one thing that seems to scare her is the idea that Vanille could turn into a Cie'th. Throughout the game she repeats the fact that she could care less about Cocoon or Pulse as long as she can save Vanille. "I'd tear down the sky if it'll save her," she tells Lightning at one point. She knows that Vanille may put on a happy face despite being torn up inside, which causes her to worry even more. In turn, Vanille seems to care just as deeply for Fang, remaining just as determined to find her on Cocoon after the incident at Euride. Vanille decides to keep the fact that she remembered their Focus and that Fang has become Ragnarok in the past to herself, embarrassed by the fact that she felt she had done nothing while Fang caused so much destruction. She didn't want to see Cocoon attacked again. When she reveals this, Fang says she suspected something was up. Vanille worries that Fang will be mad, but Fang tells her that things will be alright and they'll get through the ordeal together.

Fang's first meeting with our protagonist, Lightning, doesn't go smoothly. Mostly because Fang explains that she was responsible for the creation of the new Pulse l'Cie, and Lightning punches her in the jaw for it. Stubborn and opinionated, Fang and Light continue to clash a bit during the story as neither woman is the type to stand down during a confrontation. But despite their disagreements, the two have a lot in common; Fang is the only party member that seems to rival Lightning in intelligence and the aforementioned stubbornness. They're both dedicated to finding their loved ones, both sister figures in their cases, and will do anything to save them. Their determination seems to be what unites them in their cause.

As for the others, Snow is the first of the other l'Cie that Fang meets while she's with the Calvary. She doesn't appreciate his hot-headed and cocky attitude, earning him more than a few smacks upside the head. Like Light, Snow is also determined to save someone he cares about (Serah was his fiancée), though he has a much more reckless approach to saving her, which Fang doesn't hesistate to criticize; she calls him "cheeky" and warns him not to get ahead of himself. As for the others, Sazh and Fang have a mostly comedic relationship, with her referring to him as "funnyman" on a few occasions. When Fang explains to him that she was responsible Dajh becoming a Cocoon l'Cie, Sazh explains that there was nothing that could be done, having already dealt with revelation beforehand with Vanille. Fang and Hope don't interact that much, save for a few re-assuring words. But in true RPG fashion, the rag-tag bunch of misfits tasked with saving the world ultimately become trusted friends. Fang even refers to the rest of the party and her and Vanille's "new family," as they travel through Pulse united in their search to find a way to avoid their fate.

start your engines

The Goddess pitied also those subjected to that fate of Focus, crueler still than death.

Fang's fighting style is reminiscent of the "Dragoon" class seen in various games in the Final Fantasy series, known for their use of lances, high jumps, and dragon motifs. Fang fights with a three part lance and relies on attacks involving jumps. Her full-ATB gauge attack is called "Highwind," a reference to the recurring last name of various Final Fantasy dragoons: FFII's Richard Highwind, FFIV's Kain Highwind, and FFVII's Cid Highwind. Kain is also referenced in Fang's ultimate weapon, called Kain's Lance. Fang's Eidolon, Bahamut, is a large dragon.

Fang is, physically, the strongest character in the game. Personally, I always used her as my main character as soon as I got the ability to choose my own party. She was usually set as a Commando, using an upgraded Taming Pole, which gives her the greatest strength bonus. I used other items to boost strength even higher, like the Kaiser Knuckles. Generally I relied on her for building up the chain gauge with sheer force, occasionally switching to her other default roles, Saboteur and Sentinel, for de-buffing and providing defense/distraction against tough enemies, respectively. The ability granted by the Taming Pole (Stagger Lock) means Fang cannot send an enemy into Stagger herself, but the other party members easily can. I used Sazh and Vanille as my other party members. Vanille could heal as a Medic and build up the chain gauge as a Ravager alongside Fang, plus she gets a number of great de-buffing spells as a Saboteur (especially Death). Sazh doesn't have great stats, but the fact that he has Haste and various elemental-attribute spells as a Synergist makes him invaluable. Hope could also fill Sazh's role, being a stronger Ravager, but who wants to use Hope he gets Haste much later.

Fang's Eidolon is another recurring character in the Final Fantasy series, the dragon Bahamut. Bahamut is first fought in Chaper 10 inside the Fifth Ark. During the battle, Bahamut's Gestalt gauge can be filled by three methods: building up chain bonuses, defending against and enduring attacks, and weakening or debilitating the enemy. So clearly you'll need to set Fang as a Sentinel and Vanille as a Saboteur or Ravager for the majority of the fight, switching her to Medic if you're in need of healing. Lightning can also be used to heal, but she's good for attacking while Vanille and Fang de-buff and defend. Fang will have the Doom status during the fight, so you need to be quick. After taming Bahamut, he can be summoned by Fang with three TP. Bahamut primarily uses powerful non-elemental attacks. He can either be summoned to fight alongside Fang or sent into Gestalt mode to fight with Fang riding him. Bahamut will only remain in battle depending on how much of its SP gauge is full during regular battle or its Gestalt gauge in Gestalt mode. Fang can build up the Gestalt Gauge prior to activating Gestalt mode by upping the chain gauge, defending, or de-buffing enemies. Bahamut's final attack in Gestalt mode is its infamous Megaflare.

cradle will fall

They search the earth, the skies, the waters, and even the deep places, seeking a gateway to the Divine.

The Pulse l'Cie ultimately decide that they must confront the fal'Cie of the Sanctum. There, Barthandelus reveals that he plans to have Cocoon destroyed. He brought the Vestige to Cocoon and set the game's events in motion. With the destruction of Cocoon, Barthandelus hoped to summon back "the Maker," the being who created the fal'Cie. The deaths of the thousands of citizens of Cocoon would throw open the "Door of Souls," allowing the fal'Cie to see the "the gleaming light of Divinity beyond."

The l'Cie are forced to confront Orphan, the most powerful fal'Cie in Cocoon and the being who keeps it in the sky. It's revealed that Orphan wants to be destroyed, and had created new l'Cie in order to bring Fang and Vanille back to finish their Focus. The fal'Cie attempts to turn Vanille into Ragnarok, but Fang steps in to become Raganarok in her place. Vanille begs her to stop, but Fang says she made a promise and nearly strikes her friend down before the others restrain her. She then attacks Orphan, only to see her friends, except Vanille, turned to Cie'th. They attack her, and Fang once again becomes Ragnarok, and again it is an incomplete version. She attacks Orphan, but her anger and conviction is not strong enough to kill it and she loses the form. Orphan then painfully tortures her into becoming Ragnarok again, trying to encite her anger, while Vanille watches in horror. But while things are looking hopeless, it's soon revealed that their friends were not actually Cie'th; it was an illusion. Together they remember the time they shared, and together they strike down Orphan.

While it seems as if the fate of the l'Cie had become unavoidable after Orphan's defeat, Fang and Vanille unite to save the day. While Light, Snow, Sazh and Hope turn to crystal, Fang and Vanille become Ragnarok together, this time in a complete form. They leap into the air, dive down to Pulse's surface, and rise up again to envelop the disintegrating Cocoon in crystal, thus saving the lives of everyone living there. Fang and Vanille enter another crystal sleep while explaining to the others that having hope helped them defy their fate together. With Fang and Vanille's sacrifice, their friends awaken from their stasis alongside Serah and Dajh to find the people of Cocoon safe and the world whole once again.

the road home

Luminous lamented, for creation spiraled unto doom. Stout fashioned earth, that future might take root.

Why make this site? Well, Final Fantasy XIII was a let down for me, honestly. FFXII remains my favorite in the series, and FFXIII proved to be the antithesis of its predecessor. Contrived anime plot and character stereotypes, linearity, gorgeous yet static environments... you've heard it all in the reviews. But there were some things I loved, and Fang happened to be one of them. The moment she was introduced I could tell she was a breath of fresh air from the angsty or hyperactive cast you're stuck with through the first half of the game. She was blunt, smart, and liked to punch people in the face. Awesome. Not to mention, she's a powerful fighter; they actually had a female character have the highest strength in the game! Again: awesome. I always used her as the on-screen character whenever I could. She even looks tough. Tattoos, wild hair, and a giant spear. What's not to love? "Fucking awesome" sums up Fang pretty well. She also turned out to have a fascinating story. The struggle between completing her Focus to keep her family safe or find a way to protect Cocoon alongside the other l'Cie was one of the more interesting personal battles in the game. Fang also has a softer side that I liked a lot, especially her relationship with Vanille and urge to protect her at any cost. Very little of the game managed to spark any sort of emotion in me except for the scene where Fang is driven to become Ragnarok, followed by her and Vanille's sacrifice to save their friends and Cocoon (Sazh's apparent suicide was another exception, but that's something for another time). Overall, I admired Fang for being such a powerful and interesting character in a game that I found to be sub-par.

"Tear Down the Sky" obviously comes from Fang's quote about wanting to protect Vanille. That particular line stood out to me among the mediocre dialogue in the game and I couldn't get it out of my head. The idea to make a little tribute to Fang wouldn't leave my mind as I played through the game, and that bit of dialogue just seemed like the perfect thing to name it after. Doubly appropriate in that it also refers to Fang cracking Cocoon's shell. Plus it can relate to her badass sky beast Eidolon. And it sounds cool. I guess I could have called it ~*Fierce*~ or something, but I like Tear Down the Sky better. The current layout was made from some official artwork and various textures, some from here. A number of screenshots used on this site came from IGN and FF Wiki. Episode Zero translations (shoddy ones, but it's not like I can read Japanese) were found here.
Other links: (official site) ; Defiers of Fate (fansite) ; Roses Have Thorns (Lightning) ; Promises (Serah Farron) ;

"Final Fantasy XIII" and its characters © Square-Enix. All other content belongs to Michelle.