Did Terra truly die? Or was only Bran Bal and nearby areas affected by the Ultima spell? If Terra collapsed inside Gaia, did its moon disappear as well? And scientifically speaking, if all of Terra was destroyed by Kuja, what is occurring inside Gaia?
After Kuja was informed of his inevitable destiny of death (Angel of Death takes on a whole new meaning now, no?), he unleashes an Ultima-storm upon Bran Bal and its surrounding area, causing a domino-effect of deluge. Really, cut one platform down, and they’re all going down? For a brilliant and advanced people, their architectural design board didn’t factor in accidents like such?
It isn’t exactly spelled out in plain English that Terra is eliminated in whole, and I haven’t seen any evidence that Terra’s red moon disappeared. Because if Terra is gone, so too would its red moon.
The Geological Situation
In destroying Terra, situated inside Gaia, what exactly is going on with the geological structure of the planet? So it’s a fantastical world, moons don’t exactly sprout up once a planet is inhabited, but after going through the hassle of creating a spell called “Fusion” to merge two planets into one, what precisely was supposed to occur if Fusion was successful? Would Gaia be overrun by the Genomes that now possess Terran souls, now with the youthful tenacity of Gaia’s Crystal? After failing the first Fusion attempt, Garland was awaiting a proper balance of souls to do it again. Angel of Death no. 1 was a dud, then welcome Angel of Death no. 2, aka Zidane, to overthrow his plan. We’ll get to Angel of Death no. 3 later.
According to Garland, besides not being all that sane in the brain, the knowledge and intellect of Terran people were being stored to later merge with Gaia’s Crystal and its fresh source of life. When Kuja destroyed Bran Bal, did he also destroy the stored souls in Terra? Or was he holding the Terran souls in Pandemonium? Memoria was a place of Gaia’s memories, and disappeared after Gaia’s crystal was no longer in jeopardy.
With the destruction of Bran Bal, did all Terran knowledge and memories disappear? If Garland and his Terra creators had wisdom and foresight, they would have stored this priceless resource in a safer place. Or did their pride convince them that they were indestructible?
Fusion and Souls
5,000 years ago, when Terra attempted to Fuse with Gaia, it was rejected because of incompatible cores. Gaia’s blue Crystal wasn’t pure enough to merge with Terra’s red Crystal (must tyrants always be red?), so in geological reaction, Gaia’s surface was annihilated. Terra’s physical body merged with Gaia, but physical oddities (such as Oilvert, Ipsen’s Castle, the Gulug Volcano, the Desert Palace, and the Iifa Tree) and biological fusions (mixed races) on the surface appeared.
It appears that since forever, Terra used Fusion with Crystals that possessed no souls yet. They’ve been doing this for millennia! But for reasons unexplained, Terra was forced to choose Gaia. Unfortunately for them, Gaia already possessed memories, which is why initial Fusion failed: their red Crystal was fading fast and was too weak to assimilate with the blue Crystal. While they thrived on consuming other planet’s crystals, they had no choice but to choose from a living planet.
So while Gaia wasn’t on Terra’s list of choice victims, they did what any dying animal would do: take desperate measures.
For 4,000 years, Terra had to recover from its failed attempt. For 4,000 years, Gaia’s populace regrew while Garland the android was arranging the return of the Terra legacy. Garland had to wait for Gaia to recover and begin recirculating souls before he could commence Fusion again. In his mind, he is the savior of Terra.
3,000 years ago, Garland constructed Genomes as part of his grand plan. Garland must like tails. He has no issues with cloning, either.
Enter the Iifa Tree: 1,000 years ago, Mist appeared in civilized areas: namely the Mist Continent (because that’s where its roots ended up). The Iifa Tree catches the souls, and the Soul Divider insider (SoulCage) is on refinement duty. Garland must have paid him a pretty penny to mutilate souls. Maybe Soulcage began having a mind of his own too in accord with Necron, being he was only the backdoor to the Iifa Tree, stealer of souls. Soulcage is about 1,000 years old, so he is one with the Iifa Tree.
According to the Ultimania, the Gaian souls were being “replac[ed] with an element from Terra. Thus the souls of Terra were continuously restored.” Does that imply that Terran souls (which possess superior knowledge) was being reborn into Gaians? The leftover souls that is expelled as mist always confused me: how do you split souls? Where are they split? The Crystal spits out positive clean souls, so in the case that they aren’t split in a standard Crystal job, where does the negative energy go? Or is it the job of the Crystal to cleanse these returning souls of negativity and begin them anew with a clean slate, so to speak? Cleansing the souls being a function that the Soul Divider bypassed.
The Rest is History
Now that’s just a simple explanation of historical events. Gaia rebuilt itself after the 5,000 year cataclysm, which is what Garland needed them to do in order to recharge the blue Crystal. The blue Crystal remained strong and continued churning out life. Of all the FF worlds I’m aware of, FFIX appeared to have a primal and adolescent feel. Not much to the other planets outside of the Mist Continent, other than random structures.
After Garland felt there were ample souls circulating through the blue Crystal, he commenced his plan of unleashing Angel of Death no. 1 to begin the death cycle. Summoning the Iifa Tree triggered avarice and more death. Let’s get this show on the road already!
But alas, with Kuja being unable to Trance and thereby connect with the Eidolons of the blue Crystal, namely Alexander, Kuja was left to bumble around on his own until he terminated all by himself. Meanwhile, he spots his protégé, a young boy that’s getting all the attention (for we all know Kuja is a narcissistic megalomaniac) and he steals Zidane away and drops him off in Gaia. So Kuja could have just killed the boy, but he’s not that cruel now, is he? So Garland officially throws Kuja out of Terra, and begins fostering Mikoto, Angel of Death no. 3.
Follow the events of FFIX and now the Iifa Tree is no more, Necron disappeared back into the abyss he came from, Garland and his memories fade away when Memoria fades away, the black mages and Genomes + Mikoto are getting along quite well in the Black Mage Village. Alexandria and Burmecia are being rebuilt, Cleyra is demolished (what’s with the big trees?), and 36 year old Cid Fabool the IX has conveniently invented a steam-powered airship just in time for when the Mist is gone.
So Gaia is going through a major alteration. New technology, new leaders, new history books.
And So the Following
As he is fading away into the darkness, Necron declares that he is eternal. Immortal, in order words. Though the party beat him, he’s still lurking around, waiting for the next opportunity to find another planet ready to embrace his theology of nihilism. Nihilism is inexplicable because it is the belief in nothing at all. So Believing in nothing will fulfill Necron’s doctrine: he will turn you into nothing.
The Genomes, like the Black Mages, function as living beings, but unlike the Mages, they were designed to live for a very long time. However, being that they never received their designated Terran souls, they’re basically just automatons.
Or are they.