Bravely Second: The Celestial Realm (Lore Analysis)
The Celestial Realm: a world of utter perfection and peace. A world without strife, without war, without suffering. The realm of the gods. Luxendarc has been greatly influenced by Celestial Beings over the millennia, and some individuals have even managed to communicate back. A majority of the known history of Celestial Beings involves a pair of lovers, but there’s more to it all than that. And perhaps things in the Celestial Realm… aren’t as good as Ouroboros makes them out to be.
The Celestial Realm
An explanation of the Celestial Realm is in order to properly understand what is to come. The Celestial Realm, in terms of the Bravely universe, is our real world – the humans who created and played the game. Therefore, we are the Celestial Beings; the spirits and people who cause great influence over Luxendarc and its events.
This world is more technologically advanced than that of Luxendarc, and any strange irregularities in advancement can likely be chalked up to the interference of a Celestial Being. However, Celestial Beings are not exclusive to us; there are multiple recordings of others throughout Luxendarc’s history.
The earliest known recording of Celestial activity on Luxendarc occurred approximately 4.6 billion years ago in the Bravely universe, when two travelers, escaping from the Celestial Realm on a ship, crashed on Luxendarc. There, they met Yoko the yokai, and the three became quick friends, as Yoko helped them adapt to this new world while they tried to get back to their own. However, this would eventually result in the creation of the Origin Plague, which the two Celestials would seal within Yoko as she requested, to keep it from spreading.
After this, the Celestials would go on to form many civilizations across Luxendarc, the most noteworthy including the Eisen Empire, or better known now as Grandship and not to be confused with Eisenberg, the former Kingdom of Eternia, and Fort-Lune, the Moon colony responsible for protecting Luxendarc against the Ba’al threat, which would in turn spawn the Sagitta colony in the Florem region.
But there are events involving the Celestial Realm that predate even these events. This is where the long history of Altair and Vega begins.
Altair and Vega
A side note: the state of Altair and Vega’s relationship throughout the majority of Bravely Second is derived from a Japanese legend involving two lovers of the same names. The legend, of Chinese origin, ends with Altair and Vega being forever separated by a large river, where on the seventh day of the seventh month each year, a flock of magpies form a bridge for them to be united for one single evening. And so, every year on July 7, the Tanabata festival begins in Japan, and is celebrated at various days between July and August depending on the region.
In the Celestial Realm, there was a young researcher by the name of Altair. While on a skiing trip, he was joined on one particular run up the lift by a beautiful young woman. As the lift ascended the mountain, a terrible blizzard suddenly rolled in, and caused the lift to malfunction and stop. The two were trapped on the mountain.
In an attempt to calm the frightened girl beside him, Altair picked a magnolia from a nearby tree and offered it to her. She happily accepted, and soon after the lift began to move again. Unfortunately, Altair never got the name of the young woman he had comforted on that lift, and she disappeared from his life.
Now Altair was a genius, and his work as a researcher had great potential. But this only caused him grief at the blunt end of his colleagues’ envy. It eventually reached a point that Altair was demoted and reassigned to a new laboratory simply out of spite, one where his funding would be cut and would have no friends to work with.
Furious with this state of affairs, Altair ran out of his facility into the middle of a storm, a very dangerous action to take. In the Celestial Realm, years of heavy industry had given the rain a rather acidic property, so going out without proper gear could actually be lethal.
But not long after having left the building, an umbrella was held out over his head. Altair turned to see who had made this offering to him, only be surprised when he saw the young woman from the ski lift.
Though sharing an umbrella in that time was usually something only done by couples, the two didn’t seem to mind, and talked some more in that small space. The girl’s name was Vega, and it turned out, as if by some trick of fate, that she worked in the same lab and on the same research team that Altair was being moved to.
Suddenly, his situation didn’t seem so bad. With Vega’s help, Altair would begin creating his magnum opus of inventions: the spatiotemporal compass, or more simply, the Space-Time Compass. Though a major plot device throughout Bravely Second, Altair would never complete the device until sometime in the future.
Time passed, seasons changed, and summer was upon. Though they got along well as associates, Altair felt something deeper between them. He decided to take two risky moves that summer. The first was when he mustered up the courage and asked Vega to go to a summer carnival with him, to which she accepted.
The two spent the evening playing games like catching goldfish, and watching the fireworks light up the night sky. This is where Altair made his second daring move: he confessed his feelings for Vega. And she reciprocated.
Though they were now lovers, this was by no means a sign that they would no longer experience strife. They still worked together, but with insufficient funds and equipment, it was difficult for them to carry out meaningful work.
But wherever Altair went, Vega had his back, supporting his hypotheses and obtaining archived data that he could not. She helped him in every aspect she could, and eventually his hypothesis became an accepted theory. It was then that Altair knew that he could do anything with Vega by his side, and wished to spend the rest of his life with her.
One holy night, on Christmas Day, Altair booked reservations at a lavish restaurant for the two of them. While they ate, he came straight out with no hesitation and said to her, “Will you marry me?” Vega cried in tears of joy, accepting his proposal.
Although Altair was regretful that he could not afford a ring – he was paid well, but the lion’s share of his pay went back into his research – Vega assured him that his love was all she needed.
They had a small arrangement shortly after, and they were husband and wife. Regardless of her kindness, the lack of a ring ate away at poor Altair, and eventually, he had saved up enough money to buy her one. But she would only receive it a day before something terrible would occur.
Just one day after Altair gave Vega a ring, a catastrophe struck the entire Celestial Realm. The details are unknown, but disease may be one possibility, considering the one that was aboard the ship where the Origin Plague was created.
Regardless of the specifics, the Celestial Realm was no longer safe. Countless vessels took off, their course aimed for a predetermined world known as Luxendarc. During the escape process, Altair was separated from Vega, and his ship took off without her.
In actuality, Vega had failed to make it onto any vessel, and watched from below as the ships flew off into the sky, never to return. Vega was all alone. There, in the ruined Celestial Realm, her soul lingered on after death, existing on her love for Altair. But soon, these too would be tainted.
The False God and The Ba'als
At some point, the false god Providence claimed the now ruined and long abandoned Celestial Realm as his own. He came across Vega’s spirit, tormented in despair for her missing lover. Providence took this soul in hand, and fed of Vega’s suffering. He soon discovered a collection of memories within the soul, and used his powers to birth terrible monsters from them.
The memory of their first meeting on the ski lift birthed Snowcap; the time they formally met in the rain created Urchin; Goldie came from the summer festival, and Apparati from their time working; the Christmas proposal unearthed Redshirt, and the wedding made Turtle Dove.
And then there was the original Ba’al, Diamante: based on Vega’s memory of watching Altair leaving her behind in the Celestial Realm. This memory also revealed the location of her beloved: Luxendarc. Providence planned to not only kill Altair with these monsters, but to destroy Luxendarc entirely, causing Vega to only despair all the more and continue to feed Providence’s power. And thus was the origin of the Ba’als.
They were sent to Luxendarc mercilessly, guided by the fairy Anne, but thankfully Fort-Lune had been established, a colony formed and focused around fighting off the Ba’al threat before they could reach Luxendarc. Ba’al Busters were trained there, a group of warriors specialized in taking down Ba’als.
Sagitta Village, hidden in Florem’s north eastern region, was created by descendants of the moon people, keeping an eye on Luxendarc in case any Ba’als happened to get by them. Fort-Lune’s operational capability would be crippled in Bravely Second by the attack of Diamante, to which Magnolia swears vengeance upon. The monstrosity was only stopped temporarily by Sage sealing it within an asterisk-like cage, and eventually taken to the edge of time by Denys Geneolgia.
The Moon also appeared to house operations for the Dimensional Bureau, a secretive organization where Altair became a professor after leaving the Celestial Realm.
The Sagitta Reports
There were a few reports within Old Sagitta that chronicled some of Altair’s experiences on Luxendarc, which was formerly known as the Anti-Ba’alistic Forces Northern Hemisphere base – which, when taken into account that Old Sagitta is located in the northern region of Florem, the name makes sense.
The first report was a notice of Altair having completed the Space-Time Compass, and celebrating his achievement for advancing science:
Old Sagitta - Report 1
Development of Spatiotemporal Compass a Success!
Professor Altair of the Dimensional Bureau announced his group’s miraculous success in creating this marvel of science, which makes it possible to leap to a particular point in space-time, a feat long thought impossible.
The item is being kept under strictest supervision and is well protected so that it may be used if the threat of the Ba’al should ever prove too great.
The second report spoke of the theft of said device, with Director Sagitta of the base taking full responsibility for allowing this to happen, and vowing that he and his descendents will forever protect the world from the Ba’al threat as atonement. This incident resulted in the base being locked down and hidden from common sight to boost security:
Old Sagitta - Report 2
Catastrophe! Spatiotemporal Compass Stolen!
Early this morning, the spatiotemporal compass was reported missing from the Anti-Ba’allistic Force’s Northern Hemisphere Base. The head of the base, Director Sagitta, issued an apology, taking full responsibly for the mishandling of this irreplaceable instrument. “I will dedicate my life,” he said, “to the protection of Luxendarc from the Ba’al, as well my children, and my children’s children, that one day I might atone for the unspeakable crime I have unwittingly perpetuated against mankind.”
The base announced that all its entrances would be locked down, concealed from sight and password protected to address the security flaws that may or may not have led to this tragedy.
The third report speaks of Altair’s own demise:
Old Sagitta - Report 3
Tragedy! A Scientific Genius Passes
Doctor Altair, famous for his numerous scentific contributions - including the buster ship project, the spatiotemporal compass, and the superconductive rice cooker - passed away due to colonic disease at 7:07 PM on July 7 within a medical facility in the newfound Kingdom of Eternia. “Oh, to see Vega one last time,” he was reported to have said to those with him, but this final wish was not to be.
Thirty-four years old at the time of his death, he leaves us as the greatest contributor to Luxendarc civilization ever to have lived. A funeral service and celebration of the doctor’s accomplishments to be held next week is expected to draw visitors from across the world.
Recognized for his contributions to science and technology, he was credited for having invented a great deal of things, including the soft boiled egg cooker, pressure cooker, sewing machine, safety razor, stethoscope, anesthetics, artificial limbs, microscopes, the suspension bridge, windmills, water wheels, threshing machines, furnaces, dock designs, sailing vessels, cruise ships, gunpowder, small firearms, automatic weapons, torpedoes, armored vehicles, battleships, the airborne battleship Saggitarius, the buster ship project, the superconductive rice cooker, and of course, the Space-Time Compass.
On July 7 of an unknown year, at 7:07 pm in a medical facility of the newly founded Kingdom of Eternia, Altair passed away from a colonic disease. He was reported to have said, “Oh, to see Vega one last time.” He was thirty four years old at the time. Much like Vega, his spirit would live on through the power of dreams, and eventually would find a new vessel to inhabit for a short time. But this is getting too far ahead. For now, we go to the Great Chasm, and the beginning of Bravely Default.
Before we, a Celestial Being, are even brought into Luxendarc, we are approached by Anne. Initially believed to have been Airy, and also thought to have been doing something right, she claims that we have “fire in our eyes” and asks for our assistance (a statement used in Bravely Second to mock the player).
The player agrees to help, and so we enter the body of Tiz Arrior, the sole survivor of the Great Chasm, and a very important aspect of the Celestial Being topic. Throughout Bravely Default’s story, we control Tiz’s overall direction when comes to decision making, with his own personality and character still intact.
It is upon meeting Ouroboros that it is revealed we lurk within Tiz, and the Celestial Realm’s meta truth being confirmed when the 3DS camera activates near the end of his fight, revealing our face as Ouroboros claims to be on the brink of entering the Celestial Realm, of which he appears to oblivious of its actual state.
After his defeat, just as everything seems like it’s going to be okay, Tiz falls into a coma as the Celestial Being exits his body, leaving just an empty shell. Because we completed the game, we’re all done now. We were acting as his soul, and with the end of the game, we stopped playing and leave, causing Tiz to fall into this comatose state for two years, the exact same time span for Bravely Second to be released.
With the Soulstone obtained from Professor Norzen in Eternia, Yew and the party manage to revive Tiz. But he did not simply come back to life – rather, a new soul filled his body. However, this time around, the player’s will was exerted over Yew, not Tiz, so the soul that entered his body was that of Altair.
Once again, his old personality was back, but after assisting the team from afar and then finally revealing himself, Altair took over Tiz’s body from time to time in order to speak to the party directly. It is this way that he revealed his past, particularly along Via Celestio, where images of Vega’s memories appeared.
While Altair explained these events, small silhouettes of the two lovers were shown, with Yew in his Dimensional Officer costume representing Altair, and Magnolia in her Research Coat costume as Vega, signifying the parallels between the two relationships. But the question of what Via Celestio is or where it came from is an important one, and it all goes back to Anne.
When Anne failed to get the Ba’al past the Moon, she used the Holy Pillar and Diamante to erase it, stopping time on Luxendarc. However, Yew was able to undo this by calling out the player and asking them to try again, meaning to start a New Game+ and to use Bravely Second during the opening fight to bring everyone and their memories back to the past.
With the Moon restored, Anne needed another way of getting the Ba’als onto Luxendarc. That’s when she discovered that the Great Chasm was actually a shortcut to the Celestial Realm, through which Via Celestio ran. Luckily she was slain before she could use it to unleash countless Ba’als directly onto Luxendarc, but the party still had one last foe to take care of: Providence.
Upon reaching the Celestial Realm, they took to battle against the false god, and upon freeing Vega, stole him of his immortality. After defeating his first form, that of a magpie, Altair and Vega were happily reunited, at the cost of leaving Tiz as a barely functioning vessel.
During the fight, Providence attempted to make the Celestial Being, the player, despair, by forcing them to delete the game’s save data. But Yew realized the truth and used the SP Hourglass to bring forward all of his friends, and encouraged the player to not give up.
Eventually, Providence was defeated, but Tiz was lacking a soul. Without a Celestial Being to keep him alive, he was on the brink of death, when the Adventurer appeared. They revealed themselves to be Deneb, an explorer and former friend of Altair and Vega. This last introduction completes the Summer Triangle, three of the brightest stars to appear in the night sky.
Deneb offers to save Tiz’s life through using the SP Hourglass and the power of dreams. First, Deneb took the hourglass from Magnolia, who had originally brought it to Luxendarc from the Moon. Then, by travelling back in time to when Tiz first reaches the Great Chasm, she was able to give him the hourglass, represented as the green figure on the road to Norende.
The hourglass was then empowered over the course of his journey in Bravely Default by the wishes and dreams of his friends, so by the time he was on his deathbed, the hourglass was brimming to the edge with this power. Anges brought the hourglass to him immediately, and upon doing so, Tiz received a new soul, now able to stay alive by himself.
Other Noteworthy Connections
There are other connections between Luxendarc and the Celestial Realm, and the latter with our world:
- the Dark Aurora of Bravely Default has broken railway tracks, signs and power lines floating in null space;
- the fighting arena of Providence’s first form has the background of a far away city;
- the Summoner spells bring powerful creatures based on massive vehicles or creations of man from our world, such as trains and ships;
- the Send Player aspect of combat is a nod to multiple Luxendarcs, referring to how there are multiple copies of the game;
- and most of all, Anges’ crystal pendent, which allows her to communicate with other worlds, shown in the AR scene at the very start of Bravely Default.
Altair, Vega, Deneb, Providence, the player – all of them are Celestial Beings, causing ripples wherever they tread on Luxendarc. They are responsible for making the world of Bravely what it has become today, and have interacted with various souls: Yoko, Tiz, Anges, Yew.
While the Celestial Realm lays in ruin, for whatever reason that caused it to be this way, the beings that inhabited it will live on, forever changing the lives of those they meet, for better or for worse.