So - something that I've never understood - and I'm still not far enough in this version to see if the new translation helps:
Ajora is a false saint. The zodiac stones are tied to the Lucavi - demonds helping Ajora.
Everything about them is evil - and yet one of them heals Marach. Is there ever any explanation for this?
something about the zodiac stones power taking on the qualities of the user, so a good hearted person gets good power, but a evil hearted person turns into a monster with ????? hit points. I can't remember exactly how it's worded. I think it was Rapha's 'good' heart that engineered that resurrection. Either way, Marach's personality is quite a bit mellower after being dead.
Have you played FFXII? I want to answer, but doing so will really ruin FFXII and FFXII:RW for you.
I cannot recall the exact wording in-game, but I believe it is Ramza who speculates that the stones themselves are just tools and the user uses their powers for good or evil.
(actually upon looking in the game script, it is Marach.)
Below is from the Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions: Game Script by RevenantThings
[Ramza walks one final time through Riovanes Castle in search of his sister. He
spies Isilud's body and the Zodiac Stone that his sister had left.]
Marach (voice over): A voice called to me in that land of pure
white light, though whose it was I cannot say. "Return," it said to me. "Return
to the side of the valiant - the one whose heart beats true."
[Ramza picks up the Stone.]
Ramza: Another Zodiac Stone? But why would it be here?
Ramza (voice over): I'd thought auracite a product not of godly
fashion, but an issue of hands far fouler - a gateway of sorts for Lucavi into
Marach (voice over): I know not by whose hands it came to be, but I do not
think its evil inherent. I believe it is the wielder gives its power shape.
[Ramza inspects the Stone.]
Ramza: I shall save you, Alma. Come what may.
[We see a night sky over Riovanes Castle. Arazlam narrates.]
Arazlam: Frustrations with the stalemate growing, the Order of the Nothern Sky
recalled its full force from the war's now expansive front. They marched on
Fort Besselat, with plans to turn the tide of the war.
Hmm.. So are the Lucavi demons who are just able to find their way into our world using the stones - if someone with an impure heart holds the stone? Are there only 13 - and each is tied to a specific stone - in which case there may also be a holy avater attached to each stone? Or do the people turn into the demons - but two different people with the same stone wouldn't necessarily turn into the same Lucavi?
AlmasNo1Fan - go ahead and spoil me on that - someday I may go back and play ffxii - but probably only if they rerelease it - and then, only if it includes the standard license grid, and not the international zodiac job grid which would drive me absolutely insane.. :-P
As I recall from as far as I got in ffxii, the summons are each tied to a stone, and there are 13, and they're based on the Lucavi - the ones who showed up in FFT, with a few other bosses pulled from random games, like Xdeath, and shoved into a role as a Lucavi for the ones we didn't know about...
I could do it better but I'll answer the original questions first.
Kudos to also understanding that Ajora was just a phony, you would be surprised how many people didn't understand that.
For the event of Marach I see two possibilities:
-It was the definition of a miracle, by some chance or grace of God/whomever created Ivalice, rather than Rapha getting tainted by the power of the Zodiac Stone s/he chose to revive Marach and give him a second chance.
-It could be leftover powers of the True Zodiac Braves, as in the original true warriors who fought and stopped Ajora and the Lucavis in the past. One of my theory regarding them is that they had to sacrifice their soul as a cost to seal the Lucavis into the stone since unfortunately the Lucavis are immortal. Or just plain hard to kill.
Now for your new questions:
Hmm.. So are the Lucavi demons who are just able to find their way into our world using the stones - if someone with an impure heart holds the stone?
It would probably take a lot of willpower or it must be a very pure person to not get tainted by the powers and temptation. Remember, Rapha only used it once and never again. Regardless the risk is far too great, something some idiots forget when they wonder why Ramza never used it.(or claimed he used it during the ending)
Are there only 13 - and each is tied to a specific stone -
If you read the name of the stones, you can actually see that its based on the Horoscope. Libra, Cancer, Virgo etc. The 'forgotten' one is Serpentarius, that astrology symbol is shrouded in mystery because people are not sure what the meaning of it really is.
in which case there may also be a holy avater attached to each stone?
Part of some random background info of XII revealed that there is a holy counterpart to each of the Lucavis/Espers but a lot about them remain in mystery too.
Or do the people turn into the demons - but two different people with the same stone wouldn't necessarily turn into the same Lucavi?
Okay, I'm confused by this question. Are you asking if two people can form a pact with the same Zodiac Stone? If so, then no, that shouldn't be possible.
If you're asking if two different wielders would end up as the same Lucavi, then yes they would. The Lucavi is eternally trapped inside the stone, Ultima/Ajora supposedly has a way to break them out of such a prison that's why there was such a rush to revive her.
Please also remember, the Lucavi forms a pact with the wielder, what this means is there is no possession going on. The Lucavi has to deem the holder 'worthy' or it just won't give the wielder any powers. If that was not the case, any random evil person could just simply pick up the stone and unleash its powers.
Katawa Shoujo: The visual novel that defies and kicks logic to the curb.
Official contender to fight for Lilly as waifu.
You probably already know all this, but the reason there's a 13th stone is because there should be 13 zodiac signs. The zodiac is the collection of constellations along the ecliptic - a band of sky that the sun, moon, and planets pass through. When someone says "Jupiter is in Capricorn" they mean that - its currently in the middle of that constellation. One's Zodiac sign is based on which constellation the sun is in when you're born. That said, there are some caveats that make things more complicated.
1 - So - astrologers have divied up the sky into 12 equal *regions* - and so as long as the sun is in the cancer *region* you're a cancer - even though the sun isn't in the middle of the constellation. The constellations aren't all evenly sized - so the zones aren't necessarily tied to the constellations.
2 - The dates and regions were set hundreds years ago - and things have shifted since then. The dates that the sun is actually in a constellation is something like a week ahead of what your sign really should be - so if you're born at the end of one of the zodiac months, you're probably *actually* the one following, if using the sun's actual location.
3 - Back to the first point - there are actually 13 constellations along the ecliptic that the sun passes through - the 12 zodiac signs that everyone knows - and Ophiuchus - whose Latin name is Serpentarius.
FFXII:RW really explains in great depth how a Lucavi is formed. The Lucavi we see in game are manifestations to the original stone wielders, who were "evil" in nature. The stones themselves are actually auracites. To summarize, an auracite is equivalent to deifacted nethicite. Whereas deifacted nethicite finds its origins in the Sun Cryst, auracite does so from the Auraliths.
Auracite is also the bridge from the World of Illusion, where Espers (also known as Yarhi, but these Espers have a different origin than the ones we see in game) reside. Typically, an Esper is manifested by the stone wielder's anima -- or basically, their life force. The Espers we see in FFXII and that are recycled in FFT are the result from the Occurria's use of auracite to reign power in the distant past. They were eventually circumvented by a hero, and this was the foundation to the Zodiac Brave Story. The details get clouded as a significance to how history is passed down from generations. On note of the Yarhi, they have Aegyl origins (flying birdlike individuals in Ivalice).
The stones, as a gateway to WoI, was used to seal the Espers we see in FFT. Their concealment, however, is never detailed and my assumption is that this event was to be historicized in Fortress, which was sadly cancelled.
The use of a stone to manifest an Esper relies upon a pact and the exchange of power for anima. In that sense, there can be a limitless number of Espers, but it would require a fresh piece of Auracite and a host. In FFXII:RW there are roughly 65 Espers we know of, with 51 being Yarhi in regards to the Aegyl being the lynchpin in the story.
This concept of the exchange between anima and power also holds true to bring an already preexisting Esper back into existence -- the 13 featured in FFT are of particular novice because their origin lies in the Occurria, arguably the most powerful beings in the Ivalice world. A consequence to prolong use of this power, or in large spurts, leads to a diminishment of sanity as well. This closes the loophole to Wiegraf and Folmarv's drastic change in personalities -- the use of the power rendered them emotionally numb, and that is why these were desensitized to Milleuda and Isilude's deaths respectively.
As terran noted, FFXII explains the Occuria created a dark and light manifestation from each auracite, while the story only reifies the dark counterparts. It seems that Rapha, kind souled in nature, came into contact with the light aspect of the manifestations. This also makes sense, as the Aries stone is representative to Belias -- the wielder of fire -- and fire is also the element of life. Therefore, on the offense you would have a fire wielder, and on the defense a life-bearing manifestation. This line of reason is further complimented in FFXII:IZJS, where the Aries is represented by the White Mage job. :) I do love the consistency in Ivalice.
I'll type on Ajora next, need a break though!
AlmasNo1Fan - you should really download Crimson Shroud for the 3ds.
It's an RPG by Matsuno - and I found parts of the plot very reminiscent of details we're learned in FFT. It's not by Square, so it can't officially be connected; but I wouldn't be surprised if some of his ideas for Ivalice are in CS.
Funny, I own a few 3DS games but no 3DS. Now look at what you've done! I guess I will go buy one tomorrow. :) Yay us!