Taxonomy in FF13

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Taxonomy in FFs

On this page can be found the taxonomical classifications used in Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. This game universe is rather unique in that there are four different worlds visited, first the artificial Cocoon, then the natural world Pulse, the otherworld Valhalla, and finally the world at the end of the world; the Nova Chrysalia.

Establishing the Taxonomy System

Before even starting to look into what the taxonomical system(s) in the FF13 universe could be, there is the problem of multiple worlds to solve. For simplicity's sake, and taking into consideration that the people of Cocoon are ultimately the ones doing the classification, the monsters of all worlds present are placed within the same taxonomical system. They may or may not have changed their system when Pulse fused with Valhalla, but the roots of the system would still most likely be in the same system as they had when their world was still properly alive.

With that established, taking even a brief look into the in-game classification system reveals that it is highly incomplete for the purposes of an actual taxonomical system. We are given something resembling a Class (the top-level monster division in the game, such as Militarized Units or Feral Creatures), and something that is most likely the Genus (the mid-level monster division, such as Flans or Razorclaws), but neither division is given a name in the games. In addition there are some oddities in the Class-type division. The main article covered the oddity, and reached the conclusion that if, for example, Flans are divided into Ferals and Militarized Units, then they are most likely different enough on a cellular level that the division is justified. The game does mention that the monsters included in Militarized Units are specially bioengineered by Sanctum to act as weapons, so this assumption is justified.

This leaves us with two unnamed taxonomical ranks, with Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Order and Family completely missing.

The Level of Science

To create a believable taxonomy system that could work within a world (or a culture within that world), you also need to take into account the level of technology they have. In the case of the FF13 world and the Cocoon residents, there are no worries in this regard, as the Cocoon culture consistently displays a level of technology far above our own. Great care should be shown that everything is placed where their biological data says they should go, instead of what their appearance says they should go.

Unfortunately, it is quite impossible to go into the world of Pulse (or any of the others) and extract the biological data. On this front, we can only work with the hints that we're given, and place the rest by pure guesswork. Reader be advised that this is, indeed, more guesswork than is involved with the taxonomical systems of less advanced civilizations.

Filling in the Ranks

Domain
In the real world, the Domain rank divides organic beings into prokaryota (entities with DNA in cell membrane) and eukarya (entities with DNA in cellular nucleus). While most Final Fantasy worlds probably could not have this division, the scientific advancements in the worlds of 13 are great, which means that they must be able to differentiate based on this factor. For this reason, the Domain rank is included in theory. However, as no entities appear in the games that could be classified as prokaryota, in practice the rank is ignored.
To fit into the scientific-sounding terms used in the game, the Latin name for Domain, Regio, is used instead of the English equivalent.

Kingdom
Due to the lack of any Kingdom-like division in the games themselves, we directly take one way to divide into Kingdoms from the real world and apply it to our Cocoon-based taxonomy system. Thus, we end up with animalia (animals), plantae (plants), fungi (funguses), protista, archaea and bacteria (all various types of prokaryota). In addition, considering how we have previously established that some types of machines should be included in the taxonomical system, we add the Kingdom mineralia, consisting of mineral-based organisms. Furthermore, there are beings in the world with otherworldly origin (Void/Rift beasts) as well as Cie'th, which used to be definitively living animals but are just as definitevely not that anymore. For these beings, we add the Kingdom intermundos, 'between worlds'.
Once again to fit the feel of the culture more, we take the Latin name of Kingdoms, Regnum, and use that instead.

Phylum
The phylum rank, dividing for example the animals with a spine-like part from those that don't, is a rather necessary one when dealing with a detailed division of organisms into distinct groups. For this reason, we include this rank as well into our FF13 taxonomy system, as it is in the real world. In addition, we add its plant-kingdom variant Division with its Latin name Divisio, with the notification that since any plantoids fall into the plant kingdom, their name for this rank is Divisio instead of Phylum as is used for all other beings, and that since our mineral-kingdom more closely resembles the plant kingdom, we'll use Divisio for those as well.

Class
One of the few ranks where we have some input from the games themselves, we simply name this input as our Class rank and place them in appropriate places on our taxonomical classification system.

Order
Just as with phylum, the Order rank is a one rather necessary for neat classification of various entities. It separates, for example, the carnivores from the herbivores and the buzzing insects from the types that like to crawl up your legs. We take its Latin name Ordo and move on.

Family
A family further specifies what type of creature we're dealing with, for example canine and feline beasts under carnivores. As this is a rather important distinction, we decide to add this as well, under the Latin name Familia.

Genus
Finally, we reach the second of the two taxonomical ranks that have some kind of in-game evidence of existing, in addition to being very easy to determine by simply looking at a picture of the entity in question. If it is a color-swap of another one, then the two share the same genus.

Species
Species is quite simply what the entity (in most cases, monster) is called. In the grand majority of the entries listed on this page, this is the name displayed in the in-game bestiary. However, there are some exceptions.

Subspecies, Breed, Individual
All of these fall into more and more specific categories below species. Note that some monster names may correspond with either subspecies or individual names rather then its species name. In these cases, the monster is simply a variation with that its species, not a representative of all of them.

Conclusions

In the previous sections, we have managed to establish a working (or at least somewhat working) taxonomical system. Its ranks are as below.

RL Rank Domain Kingdom Phylum/Division Class Order Family Genus Species
Cocoon Rank Regio Regnum Phylum/Divisio Class Ordo Familia Genus Species

Taxonomy Lists

For now, this list only includes various things found in the Bestiary section of the game, none of the other material such as plants (the non-plantoid kind). It also fails to list the Regio level at all, considering there are no examples of it. The list starts with the next taxonomical rank, the Regnum.
The Regnums only found within the Regio prokaryota cannot be found below, and neither can the Regnum fungi, as there are no examples of it either.

Regnum: Animalia

All types of animals found within the world at large. These also include the animal-based bioengineered variations, but not the various monsters that appear from within or beyond the Void.

Phylum: Amorphous

Phylum: Corded

Phylum: Shelled

  • Class: Militarized Insects

Regnum: Plantae

Plantae includes all types of plants, not forgetting the mobile kind also known as plantoids. Please note that as the scope of this list only extends to monsters at the moment, actual plants are not (yet) listed.

Divisio: Plantoids

Regnum: Mineralia

Consisting of all types of machine-like entities, the mineralia Regnum has things that either could be sentient (and thus are in their rightful place) or are merely machines (and thus don't belong in a taxonomy system). All effort has been made to remove the clearly non-sentient things, but a more accurate division into living and non-living is impossible as the games give very little to work with in this regard.

Divisio: Cocoon Units

Divisio: Pulse Automata

Regnum: Intermundos

The Intermundos consist of various beings that originate from the other dimensions connected to Pulse/Cocoon, as well as beings that used to originate from Pulse/Cocoon but were then transformed due to some force.

Phylum: Naturals

Subphylum: Gods

Subphylum: Riftborn

Phylum: Animated

Taxonomy in FFs


Category: Article

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