is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the video game Final Fantasy XIII developed and published by Square Enix. She was created by Motomu Toriyama, the game's director and scenario writer, and designed by Tetsuya Nomura.
Born as Claire Farron, or in the original Japanese language version, she began using her code name of "Lightning" after losing her parents to escape the vulnerabilities and insecurities of her former self and in order to become a different person—strong enough to care for her younger sister Serah. However, this choice only causes rising tensions between them as she grew up to have a rather cold personality that has a tendency to look down upon others including comrades at most times during the start of the adventure.
Director Motomu Toriyama wanted Lightning to be a new type of female character, with an athlete's body and a less feminine nature than some of the previous female characters of Final Fantasy. His guideline to character designer Tetsuya Nomura was to make her "strong and beautiful", "someone like a female version of Cloud from FFVII". Multiple designs were considered for her, including some designed by other staff members. Some of her original characteristics were blonde hair and Asian-looking features. Nomura defines Lightning as "serious", "unforgiving", "relentless" and "a kind of individualistic person", in direct contrast with Snow Villiers' passionate nature. The final art was made less Asian-looking than originally conceived, while the silver hair color was given to Hope Estheim in favor of a pinker color. She was born on May 13 and is 21 years old in the game.
Her pink hair color was made to reflect this more feminine side of her. Although Nomura explained that she is essentially a "cool character" and that "you can't have a cool character without anything inappropriate, it was also stated that Lightning's cool aspect was transferred to Oerba Yun Fang when the latter character's design changed from being a male character to a female. The game's producer Yoshinori Kitase also commented on the difficulty of balancing Lightning's depiction, as she is both a woman and a professionally trained warrior, and also noted that Maaya Sakamoto's acting helped bring out Lightning's feminity.
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Official Site: Square Enix
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