"If it weren't for Serah, I'd have been out there too. Hunting l'Cie."

For fun, here are some other fictional characters who I feel bear a resemblance to Lightning, whether they're personality counterparts, visual doppelgangers, or circumstantial twins. Take a look.

Taciturn Heroes

* Terra Branford (Final Fantasy 6)
* Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy 7)
* Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy 8)

Lightning shares a mish mash of traits with her predecessor protagonists of the series. First of all, we must give special mention to Terra from FFVI as she and Light are the only main female protagonists of the series up to this point. Both are female soldiers with a mysterious past (at first). Both exhibit traits that are a result of developers being conflicted with how far to show traditional femininity in a video game protagonists. Squall from FFVIII is a stoic loner, like Lightning at the beginning of his game. Over time, both Squall and Light warm up to their battle partners, finding a strong sense of identity and companionship through membership in their respective groups.

Cloud from FF7 had the strongest influence on Lightning's visual design, more so than any other previous hero. Character designer Nomura was even asked to create a "female version of Cloud". No doubt, this is an effect of FF7's long-lasting popularity and Square-Enix's desire to emulate the success of Final Fantasy 7 with Final Fantasy 13. They are both former soldiers of the system they are not rebelling against. Personality-wise, Lightning and Advent Children Cloud have similarly cold and haunted impressions. However, Lighting and FF7 Cloud are quite different. Cloud in the game was a jerk with a heart of gold, like Lightning, but he was witty about it, while Light is hyper serious. Their angst differs as well, where Cloud suppressed his internal torment, and Light more openly expresses her fragile side with thoughtful contemplation.

Serious Badasses

* Quistis Trepe (Final Fantasy 8)
* Auron (Final Fantasy 10)

In Zero Punctuation's hilarious review of Final Fantasy XIII, the writer listed off generic character types in FF games, including Serious Spice Lightning, on the heels of Quistis (FF8) and Auron (FFX). And you know what, he's right, in more than one way. In the last 15 years, Square's protagonist types have switched up between angsty, blooding lone wolf and upbeat, genki guy. Yet there's usually an undeniable badass in the party way more skilled, more mature, and let's face it, cooler than the hero. It makes you wonder, "Why aren't these smart, strong people the party leaders instead?"

Square must have picked up on this and gave Light more 'serious badass' points. The problem with the badass category of characters, as admirable as they may be, is that they're a bit unrelatable. I'll forgive it though, as players are always given a plethora of more emotional, down-to-earth, underdog team members to relate to.

Other Video Games

* Tear Grants (Tales of the Abyss)
The similarities are striking. First of all, they look alike, with that symmetrical haircut and sexy yet modest outfits. Second, they're both strong women in the military. Third, they both have initially cold and serious demeanors. Personality-wise, Tear is the lighter (pun!) version of Lightning. Tear noticeably has an affinity for cute things, while Lightning doesn't really show a similar trait (though you could argue that Serah and Hope are her cute things and she adores them. o_O).

Anime Characters

* Clare (Claymore) * Clare (Claymore)
Both are skilled swordswomen in a world where the authority system holds a secret agenda (In Claymore, it is The Organization. In FFXIII, it is the fal'cie and Sanctum). Both went up several levels in badass after being heavily traumatized by the death of someone they love. For Clare, it was Teresa of the Faint Smile. For Lightning, it was her mother (and Serah later on - though Serah's not really dead...). Both have a morality pet - a person who is able to warm the hearts of a hardened fighter. For Clare, it's Raki. For Lightning, it's originally Serah and later becomes Hope. Clare, like Lightning, starts off as a lone wolf and ends up being a leader of sorts (with the other claymores). This is similar to the strong camaraderie Light felt for the other l'cie by the time they hit the Fifth Ark (she calls Fang "one of our own").

I can't believe I missed this the first time I wrote it: They both have the SAME NAME.

* Heero Yuy (Gundam Wing)
One phrase: Yuy Death Glare. It's his trademark, and Lightning can do it.