Sep 2, 2012
As previously reported, one of the main highlights of Final Fantasy’s 25th Anniversary Event was the announcement for Final Fantasy XIII’s latest and final installment. Instead of a gameplay demo and a trailer to show the fans, Square Enix presented the upcoming game in a series of keynote speeches from 4 of the main guys in the development team.
Entitled “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII,” this is the last game of the Lightning Saga. Square Enix made a drastic change to the logo, completely eliminating the typical font and format that trademarks the Final Fantasy name. Producer Yoshinori Kitase, Director Motomu Toriyama, Game Design Director Yuji Abe, and Art Director Isamu Kamikokuryo all took to the stage to present part and parcel of what’s in store for the upcoming game. Yoshinori Kitase gave a 3-minute pre-recorded video, introducing how the game will be presented before the audience to answer some of the lingering questions from fans and audience. Motomu Toriyama and Yuji Abe gave the meatier parts of the presentation, providing a rough draft of what the game is all about. Isamu Kamikokuryu, on the other hand, presented about the art direction of the game and the overview of the world where Lightning will continue her journey.
The details presented in the keynote about Lightning Returns are the following, in bullets:
- Basically, Lightning Returns is both an all-new standalone game in the Final Fantasy series, and also the final chapter in the Final Fantasy XIII saga.
- Redesigned logo
- It takes place in a new world caled Novus Partus, with the main city called Luxerion.
- Novus Partus has four large areas, accessible via a monorail. Neo-Cocoon is also seen up in the sky
- The world is built to let players explore at will, “rather than forcing players to follow a path” (quoted from Yuji Abe)
- Etro worship is still part of the game (if you recall, Etro is the Goddess in the XIII series), however, there are other “gods” also mentioned, namely “Bhunivelze,” Luxerion’s god.
- World Driven – one of the keywords presented as an important concept of the game. Toriyama states that the game will change according to the ecology of the world Lightning roams around in.
- Changes in monster behavior, area accessibilities, and NPCs according to time; townspeople appear mostly during the day, while monsters roam freely at night; some areas are also locked or unlocked depending on the in-game time
- Novus Partus has 13 days left before armageddon
- Lightning’s actions as a hero will affect the time, either speeding up doomsday or slowing it down. Performing miracles, for instance, will shave off time and hasten the world’s approach to its end. Other actions can reverse time, such as defeating monsters.
- Lightning can be customized with various outfits and weapons.
- Equipment hotswapping during battles is also added into the mix
- Outfits also have different perks, such as unique abilities or stat alterations
- Social media integration via Facebook – players can possibly share experiences from the game
- Frequent updates in the official Lightning Returns site and Facebook page
The Youtube channel of Square Enix Members NA already has a subtitled stream of the four presentations: