Bhunivelze was never seen in person before Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and like the gods in the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos, was initially never given a specific form. The symbol representing him in the mythology video resembles an eye and is referenced in the form Bhunivelze first uses to communicate with Lightning in Lightning Returns.
His physical form is a metallic humanoid, with androgynic facial features, azure eyes, purple robes, and four pairs of angel-wings. An ornate crown-like adornment hovers between his horns. His name and the symbol of the Secutors can also be seen on the horns. Bhunivelze also wields a twin scythe with a demonic face representing Pulse at one end and an angelic face representing Lindzei at the other. Having a second face, Bhunivelze can also twist his body to assume a bird-like form with the scythe configured into talon-like projections.
Bhunivelze is a perfectionist with no compunction over disposing of those he uses and little tolerance to humans, whom he considers unclean because of the Chaos within them. As inferred in the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, he fears death and hates his mother and those resembling her. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII elaborates on this, showing that he also despises humanity for the darkest aspects of their souls: it is mostly this that motivates him to purge humans of their emotions, believing it would grant them eternal bliss. He also displays arrogance and cruelty, and even some basic emotions near the end. Despite seemingly being the most powerful deity in the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos, able to rewrite a person's mind and purge them of emotions, Bhunivelze cannot see invisible entities, such as the Chaos or the souls of the dead
The Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology was revealed in a video shown at Square Enix 1st Production Department Premiere event on January 18, 2011.
The universe of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series is divided in two: the Mortal World, the realm of the living, and the Unseen World, the realm of the dead. In the beginning, Bhunivelze had killed his mother, Mwynn the original supreme being, to take full control of the Mortal World for himself, and Mwynn was sent into the Unseen World.
Despite achieving his goal of total control of the Mortal World, Bhunivelze became troubled. He believed Mwynn had placed a curse on the realm of the living so that it would one day be destroyed. To prevent this, Bhunivelze sought to destroy his mother once and for all, but was unable to reach the Unseen World without giving up control of the Mortal World. To find the entrance to the realm of the dead, Bhunivelze created the fal'Cie deity Pulse, tasked with searching the world for the door to the Unseen World.
Bhunivelze soon created the fal'Cie Etro, but became distraught to discover he unknowingly created her in the likeness of Mwynn and gave Etro no powers. To replace Etro, Bhunivelze created the fal'Cie Lindzei, tasked with protecting the world and Bhunivelze himself. With the fal'Cie at work, Bhunivelze put himself into a deep crystal sleep, to be awoken only when the door to the Unseen World would be found.
Final Fantasy XIII-2Edit
The chaos of Valhalla consumes the mortal world and transforms it into Nova Chrysalia. The Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega's "Unsolved Mysteries" section speculates this symbolizes Bhunivelze's awakening, represented in the rising of the new Cocoon, named after the deity. An early interview with the creators of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII confirms that Bhunivelze awoke after the creation of Nova Chrysalia.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIIEdit
When Bhunivelze was awoken by Lindzei, he saw the world he had created had become soiled by being fused with the Unseen World, and intended to purify both the world and the humans living on it. To better comprehend and "sympathize" with humans, Bhunivelze sought out a host body and selected Hope Estheim. After regressing Hope to a "pure and innocent" child form to meet his standards, Bhunivelze spent the next 169 years molding Hope into the perfect host. When Nova Chrysalia eventually began to die, Bhunivelze decided to create a new world, but because he could not see the souls of the dead, he needed a human to guide them to him for the souls to be reincarnated in his new world. Searching for a worthy servant to gather the surviving souls, Bhunivelze found Lightning and purged the soul of her sister Serah along with the dark aspects of her being, creating a duplicate of Serah to keep his new servant under control. Bhunivelze makes Lightning the savior by offering to resurrect her sister in exchange for her servitude.
Bhunivelze's ultimate goal is to save the people of the living world for his new world, while obliterating the souls of the dead so that survivors would forget them and, in the deity's eyes, live a blissful existence. On the world's final day he possesses Hope's body while absorbing the boy's soul and those of Lightning's allies. The plan to destroy the souls of the dead is thwarted by Lightning, and Bhunivelze, in Hope's form, asks Lightning to see the new world with him. When Lightning reaches him, referring to his conflict with Mwynn, Bhunivelze explains his motives and his wish for a blissful humanity and for Lightning to become the new Etro to oversee his new world's stability. When Lightning threatens to destroy him, Bhunivelze laughs and calls her into an otherworldly realm to meet him personally.
When they meet again, Bhunivelze reveals that Lightning's act of freeing the departed souls meant he must destroy the new world he has crafted to personally extinguish the unclean souls and create another world befitting his view of paradise. Seeing his callous treatment of Hope once his purpose is over and realizing that humanity would become mere mindless dolls under his rule, Lightning decides to destroy the god. Bhunivelze combines the summoned Pulse and Lindzei to become a weapon for him with intent to put Lightning in her place, but upon finding himself mortally wounded after the battle, Bhunivelze laments for his new world as he decides to kill Lightning in a final act.
As Bhunivelze goes on the offense, Lightning sends them plummeting into the Chaos with the intent of sacrifice herself to seal him in the new Unseen Realm by exploiting the weakness he created in himself by directly absorbing a human soul: the stab by her survival knife releasing Hope. After Lightning breaks free from her personal chains and unites with Hope, the two launch a final assault of Bhunivelze. He unleashes all his power, destroying his new world to "purify" them. Lightning's call for aid is answered by her other allies and the Eidolons. Lightning's united force of allies breaks Bhunivelze's hold on the souls of humanity, which Lightning utilizes to inflict a final blow to the deity. Bhunivelze's crystallized remains are consumed in Nova Chrysalia's destruction. Though she ponders if Bhunivelze did not die but simply fell back into rest, Lightning is confident that humanity will drive the deity back should he return.
"Divine Love" is the eight track on the fourth disc of the game's soundtrack and plays during the first, second, and third phases of the battle against Bhunivelze. "Almighty Bhunivelze" is the ninth track on the fourth disc of the game's soundtrack and plays during the fourth phase against the god and serves as the game's final boss theme.
- Bhunivelze shares his Japanese voice actor, Yūki Kaji, with Hope and with Ace from Final Fantasy Type-0.
- Unlike the official art, ingame Bhunivelze's scythe is reversed, bearing the likeness of Pulse on the top with Lindzei on the bottom.
- Bhunivelze, along with Pulse and Lindzei, are similar to the Demiurge, a being found in Gnosticism that, while not synonymous with a creator deity, does have the the task of maintaining and sculpting the physical world. They also share the inability to see anything connected with the spiritual world.
- Due to the similarity of Bhunivelze's two faces to the visages of Pulse and Lindzei in Lightning Returns, it is possible that they were molded in his image.
- The decision to design Bhunivelze with two faces may be inspired by Janus, the Roman god from where we get the word January. He looked both to the past and toward the future, and is associated with change, birth, war and peace, beginnings and endings, time, and transition, all of which apply to Bhunivelze. Equally likely, is also that he is literally two-faced; he, like the gods he created are deceitful and not to be trusted, they promise one thing while delivering another.