Part 2Update 2: Neither a Hope NORA Care (Polsy)
The Pulse Fal'Cie
While the Datalogs are 100% optional reading, I do suggest at least looking through the ones that aren't plot recaps. A lot of them cover background stuff that the game glosses over, and none of them are very long.
The Fal'Cie Awaits
A massive object is transported through the sky over the Hanging Edge. This object is a Pulse Vestige a lowerworld artifact that had been nothing more than a Bodhum landmark. Two days ago, it was discovered that the Vestige housed a long dormant Pulse fal'Cie.
The fal'Cie had slumbered undisturbed on the outskirts of a Cocoon city for centuries. The Sanctum decrees that the presence of the Pulse entity and its corrupting magics have tainted the entire population of the city, and orders the Purge.
For different reasons, Lightning and Sazh now make their way towards the very being that was the catalyst for so much tragedy.
Snow, meanwhile, is crushed by feelings of guilt after many die under his command. He only emerges from his gloom when Gadot reminds him that the fal'Cie is holding a certain young lady captive who needs her hero now more than ever.
Into the Vestige
Snow still cannot shake his feelings of guilt. Despite his efforts to protect the Purge deportees from the Sanctum forces, many have fallen.
The death of one woman in particular haunts his thoughts: a mother fighting for the sake of her son, who gave her life to save Snow.
In the moments before her death, the woman begged the leader of NORA to take care of her child, but slipped from Snow's grasp without revealing the boy's identity.
With Gadot's help, Snow breaks out of his depression. He figures that if he just goes ahead and protects everyone, then the woman's son will be saved as well.
After checking to see if the children are safe, Snow leaves the waning battle to his fellow NORA members and sets off with new determination towards the Vestige. His fiancée is still held captive by the Pulse fal'Cie.
A boy watches him leave, eyes filled with rage and loathing. To his grief-stricken mind, Snow is responsible for his mother's death.
For centuries, a Pulse fal'Cie has slumbered undisturbed on the outskirts of a Cocoon city. On the day the lowerworld entity is finally discovered, Cocoon's peaceful society is plunged into chaos.
The government judges the city's inhabitants to have been tainted by their unwelcome guest, and begins a merciless campaign to expunge both the fal'Cie and the 'corrupted' citizenry from the face of Cocoon.
Instead of the exile they were led to expect, the civilians face extermination at the hands of the Sanctum army.
The people attempt to fight back, but are hopelessly outmatched by the military.
Lightning cuts her way through this battlefield, doggedly followed by the desperate Sazh.
Snow, meanwhile, seeks to rescue his fiancée.
...And a boy spurred on by dreams of revenge pursues Snow with the help of an unusual young lady.
Though driven by their separate goals, their paths all lead to the same end: the Pulse fal'Cie.
History and Myth: Pulse
Resting in Cocoon's shadow, the sprawling and enigmatic lowerworld of Pulse is home to a multitude of terrors. The land is commonly believed to be inhospitable to human life, and a strict ban on interworld travel forbids citizens of Cocoon from venturing there to challenge this hypothesis. Not even members of the Sanctum's upper echelon can claim to have seen the surface with their own eyes, but the attempted invasion by the world's savage armies several centuries ago is well documented. Widespread fear of a repeated assault persists among the populace even today, with colloquial references often likening the world to a manner of living hell.
History and Myth: Pulse Fal'Cie
Fal'Cie are an existence beyond human comprehension, possessed of incredible magic power. The ones responsible for Cocoon's construction are protectors of humanity, but there are others of their kind as well: the fal'Cie who dwell on Pulse and name themselves enemies of Cocoon.
Humans who encounter Pulse fal'Cie are cursed, being turned to l'Cie and ordered to destroy Cocoon. It is for this reason that most ordinary citizens support the Purge - anyone who may have come into contact with one of these fal'Cie represents a dire threat.
History and Myth: Pulse L'Cie
The beings known as fal'Cie possess the power to enthrall unwilling human instruments, compelling the victims to serve their will. These individuals, known as l'Cie, are marked with indelible brands. They gain the gift of magic, but also bear the burden of completing a task known as a Focus for their fal'Cie master.
Pulse l'Cie - tools of fal'Cie from the world below - are considered dangerous enemies of Cocoon's society. As there exists no means of removing the l'Cie brand and the curse thereby imposed, Pulse l'Cie are hunted relentlessly.
From her lofty seat, the world of Cocoon has long enjoyed tranquility. The interior of her spherical shell supports several sprawling cities and a population numbering in the tens of millions. Although a variety of dangerous beasts prowl the wilds, advanced technology and the protection of the world's fal'Cie keepers ensure residents a peaceful and prosperous existence. Travel to the lowerworld of Pulse is forbidden, but given their deep-seated cultural fears of the place, Cocoon citizens would not even think to venture beyond the paradise they know.
Locales: The Hanging Edge
A relic of days before the War of Transgression, the Hanging Edge is located near Cocoon's outer rim. The area was once a thriving urban center, but residents were forced to abandon the location when an attack by Pulsian forces cracked Cocoon's shell during the conflict several centuries ago. It was since designated a restricted zone and, with civilian access prohibited, soon became nothing more than a name on local maps.
Cocoon Society: The Sanctum
Cocoon's central government, the Sanctum, holds supreme executive, legislative and judicial power. It also maintains directive authority over the military.
Despite the fact that Cocoon was built by the fal'Cie, and not by humans, fal'Cie opt to participate only superficially in governmental affairs, leaving Cocoon's administration entirely at the discretion of the human Sanctum and its Primarch, Galenth Dysley.
Cocoon Society: The Purge
To the millions who call Cocoon home, the lowerworld of Pulse represents a constant source of fear. Suspected association with Pulse means stigmatization as an enemy of the state and all mankind - even for born and raised citizens of Cocoon.
The recent discovery of a fal'Cie from Pulse near the city of Bodhum cause widespread civil unrest. After placing the city's entire population under quarantine due to the possibility of contamination, the Sanctum then announced its intent to forcibly relocate the affected to Pulse in an emergency measure dubbed by authorities as the Purge.
Cocoon Society: PSICOM
The Sanctum military is composed of two main branches: the Guardian Corps, responsible for maintaining security in various jurisdictions throughout Cocoon, and PSICOM - Public Security and Intelligence Command.
PSICOM is an elite special operations unit charged with protecting Cocoon from Pulsian incursion. In contrast to the lightly armed Guardian Corps, PSICOM employs an array of advanced heavy weaponry and cruiser-class airships. As PSICOM bears responsibility for any and all threats of Pulse origin, it was PSICOM who conducted the Purge.
Cocoon Society: Bioweapons
The Sanctum has developed a vast arsenal of weaponry to defend against the constant threat of Pulse, and these living weapons are one of many fruits its research has borne.
Ordinary Cocoon wildlife transformed into efficient killing machinery through selective breeding, intense training, and physical augmentation, bioweapons retain all the raw power and feral fury of their natural counterparts while obeying the commands of their handlers with unwavering loyalty.
Cocoon Society: AMP Technology
Antimatter Manipulation Principle (AMP) form the foundation for a variety of technological wonders, enabling phenomena ranging from phase-space interference to the manipulation of gravitational force.
Humans ordinarily lack the means to wield magic, but through the use of manadrives - another product of the principle - it is possible to synthesize its effects.
Cocoon Society: NORA
The paramilitary organization known as NORA is a group composed of like-minded youths, assembled by Snow and self-funded by the operation of a seaside café in Bodhum.
Functioning as a neighborhood watch of sorts, NORA members patrol the vicinity of Bodhum for trouble. Most often, "trouble" consists of encroachment by dangerous forms of wildlife.
NORA had never openly acted out against the Sanctum prior to the Purge, and because of this, the military had been content to turn a blind eye to the group's activities.
A childhood friend of Snow, Gadot is one of the founding members of NORA. With his impressive frame, he sees himself as the group's shock trooper.
Raised almost like a brother to Snow in a Sanctum facility, he knows the NORA leader better than anyone. Despite his often blunt comments and rough behavior, he is devoted to Snow's ideals of compassion.
Friends with Snow from a young age, Lebreau is one of the founding members of NORA. She runs the café they opened to fund NORA's operations, and her cooking is one of the best-kept secrets in Bodhum.
With her brusque, no-nonsense manner, the young woman is treated just like one of the guys, and she would have it no other way.
Maqui joined the ranks of NORA out of his admiration for Snow. He loves to tinker with machinery and serves as the group's mechanic. His talent for taking junk and using it to upgrade machines has provided NORA with a secret source of income.
One day Maqui wants to be a reliable, heroic type like Snow, but he still has a long way to go.
A junior member of NORA, Yuj is a kind-hearted young man with an insatiable interest in fashion.
Though he lacks the same courage as Snow and Gadot in dangerous situations, his calming influence makes him an invaluable asset to the group.
People: Chocobo Chick
The chocobo chick travels in Sazh's hair. Though it has only been with Sazh for a short while, a strong bond has formed between them.
The chick has no name, as voicing the true identity of the animal might trigger ripples of destiny across Cocoon and cause a hurricane in Eden. Either that, or Sazh just hasn't thought of one yet.