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Kitase On How The Heroes of XIII Changed

November 17, 2013
Crazy Knives

If the theme of Final Fantasy XIII is breaking away from an unjust fate and the theme of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is quite different. Why did you center the story around salvation?

Yoshinori Kitase, Producer: Throughout the Final Fantasy XIII series, we told the story of the conflict between a god-given fate, and the people who struggle against that fate. With this last installment, we kept consistent with that theme of fighting against destiny, but Lightning will be depicted as a savior who will rescue souls of the people in this dying world. Lightning will act as a servant of god, and she is sure to rescue her own self from the pain she hides in her heart, through rescuing people. Please look forward to finding out what happens when she gets there.


How have Lightning and Snow changed as a character between Final Fantasy XIII to Lightning Returns? Snow, in particular, seems far from the impulsive hero he was in XIII.

After the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2, the world is consumed by Chaos and the end begins to draw near. In this installment, a few hundred years have passed since then, although people have stopped aging. Lightning has been asleep inside a crystal, and her heart is still pure; however, people like Snow and Noel, or any of her old allies lived through all those years while shouldering the burden of causing harm to the world, or not being able to protect the ones they loved the most. Just like the Chaos consumed the world, darkness has burrowed into their hearts as centuries passed by them. Snow is no longer an optimistic hero, instead, he finds himself struggling with all his might to keep himself from falling apart from the sadness of losing Serah. Lightning’s first mission is to save Snow.

It seems like most of the returning characters from Final Fantasy XIII have sad stories. Sazh is coping with his son’s condition, Mog’s village is under attack, and Noel is consumed by Chaos. Why are all of the stories for the returning characters a downer? Is it because Lightning is fighting for their salvation?

 

This installment takes place in Nova Chrysalia, a world that is faced with a sad and imminent end. People that reside in this world are constantly reminded of the darkness of Chaos that would be brought forth by death, while they continue to live in a world where they have stopped aging. The worldview and the base of the story have a sad tone, but because of that, the fact that Lightning is going to save people will lead to the hope of a new world. Of course, with the side quests, not all of it would have a sad tone, either; you will be able to see a range of scenes, from Lightning and the townspeople’s everyday lives to cute moments as well, so we hope you look forward to that.


At the end of Final Fantasy XIII, Fang and Vanille became encapsulated in giant crystal pillars that held Cocoon up. 13 years before the beginning of Lightning Returns, they awake from that state. They were being protected as people who hold the fate of the world by the Order of Salvation, worshippers of the god Bhunivelze. What their roles are, and what happened in the 13 years they’ve been awake will be disclosed within the narrative of this installment.

No one knew the whereabouts of Caius, or whether he was even alive, after the previous installment; however, he can be found at a place called “temple of the goddess” from Valhalla, which appeared on the largest continent of the Wildlands. The Wildlands is what once was the center of Gran Pulse, as well as where the Chaos from Valhalla, the world of death, first appeared at the end of Final Fantasy XIII-2. Why he continues to live on, and the truth behind a certain mystery left at the end of Final Fantasy XIII-2, will be told through the story of this installment.


Why did you change the battle system to focus on Lightning and where did the idea for the “wear” system develop from? What kinds of new attacks or magic with Lightning have in this game aside from the Overclock ability?

 

Apparently, there were many gamers that found the battle system of the Final Fantasy XIII series to be difficult to understand. So while I kept the thought process behind the strategy of the battle, I wanted to make it a bit easier to see what the player should be thinking and to have a direct response to that, and that’s how the idea of having one playable character came about.

 

In terms of the various garb, there was always a request from the development team to be able to change the look of the characters when their roles switched; at the same time, some system memory resources opened up with switching to one playable character. That’s when we found a perfect match.

The concept of changing outfits didn’t come first; it naturally found its way there based on the compatibility between how the game mechanics were set up.

 

With regard to obtaining abilities:

Anything that requires depletion of EP will be learned by Lightning herself

General abilities are associated with whatever garb is equipped, or obtained through item drops by monsters

There are certain garb that are based off of Final Fantasy jobs, and players can experience abilities with a slightly different feel in the way the character moves. We have already revealed the “Dragoon” garb, whose special ability is the “Lancet,” and the “Rapid Fire” ability on the Black Mage allows for the player to repeatedly cast a spell at a fast rate, so each have a very different feel.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII seems to have a lot of Final Fantasy fanservice with the Cloud costume, Yuna costume, and FFXIV wear. Why did you add these elements to Lightning Returns and can you give us a hint at any other nods to the Final Fantasy series in the game?

The White and Black Mage outfits, available as DLC in Final Fantasy XIII-2, were very well received; and there were also a lot of demand from the fans to bring back past Final Fantasy titles. These outfits were in response to that demand. With regard to the Miqo’te outfit from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the leaders of each project came together to make this happen since the release dates for both Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII were fairly close to each other.


What kind of consumer feedback did you take away from Final Fantasy XIII-2 that influenced the development of Lightning Returns? What did you want to do differently?

Amongst the feedback we received from people who played Final Fantasy XIII, was the desire to have more freedom in the gameplay experience. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, we expanded on that freedom by having the player create episodes in history with their own hands. Now, with this installment, we have expanded even further on that freedom by introducing a new concept we call “world-driven.” Within a world that is free to explore, we also strengthened the idea of the passage of time over a 24 hours period. Even if the player chooses not to do anything, the world around them will continue to bustle on. By actively exploring this world, the player will be able to enjoy an adventure they have never experienced before.


Being an open world game Lightning Returns is quite different from other Final Fantasy titles. How did this change the approach when planning the game and the quests? How does the world change as time passes in game?

Having an open environment heavily impacted the way we developed the world map. We placed a lot of weight on how much of the restrictions that a traditional Final Fantasy set for the sake of making the world look beautiful we can remove.

With that in mind, I also had each of the teams handling the different areas think long and hard about how we can keep players to not stray too far off track, or in other words, make it difficult to get lost.

If you never get lost, it’s no different from being linear, but if you become totally lost, then it would cause stress and frustration; I think we were able to get to a happy medium, just in between those two extremes.

In terms of creating quests within the plans, I feel that the latter, element of time, was quite a challenge. Up until now, quests in a Final Fantasy game would be a one-dimensional point within the overall flow of the story; however, with this installment, it felt like it was two-dimensional. When we were creating the quests, I asked, if it was at all possible, that we allow for different ways to get to the solution for each quest, and so the team had to struggle to make the implementation make sense.


Since Lightning Returns has a set time limit, players won’t be able to see everything in one run through the game. Will there be a new game plus mode or extra scenes players can only see in a second lap?

With only a limited amount of time left on this world and a concept of “world-driven,” in which time continues to flow in 24 hours, there are more side quests than can be completed in one playthrough. Not only that, but there are plenty of garb, weapon and armor and other gameplay elements that become unlocked when you start a “New Game+” on certain difficulty levels, and so I feel that this game ended up becoming something you can enjoy playing through multiple times. I recommend doing the first playthrough on Easy Mode, to enjoy the overall narrative. Then from the second playthrough and beyond, go into “New Game+” and try using garb and equipment you didn’t use in the first play through to find something new and interesting during battles. The more you play the game, the more you will find replay value, and so I hope you power up Lightning as far as you can go.



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Source: Source Siliconera

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Final Fantasy X HD Remastered Soundtrack Release Date

November 03, 2013
Fox

I hope you've been good boys and girls this year, because this Christmas you may find that Santa leaves a copy of the Final Fantasy X HD Remaster Original Soundtrack at the bottom of your stockings.

This Blu-Ray disc will feature 94 tracks from Final Fantasy X (three of which were previously unreleased), with new arrangements or recordings taking the place of about 60 of those, as well as 10 bonus tracks from Final Fantasy X-2. So it's a pretty extensive package, and will be available for purchase on Wednesday December 25th this year. The Final Fantasy X-2 Official Soundtrack will also be re-released on the same day, featuring 6 new tracks from 'Last Mission'.

The soundtrack will feature arrangements by Masashi Hamauzu, Junya Nakano, Tsutomu Narita, Hirosato Noda and Ryo Yamazaki.

Check out the official website to hear a pretty remastered version of To Zanarkand.

 



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Source: Source 4gamer

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Final Fantasy Community Event To Be Held In Osaka

October 30, 2013
Crazy Knives

Sqaure Enix has released information on their official Japanese website in regards to a Final Fantasy Community event that will be held in Osaka, Japan beginning on November 17, 2013.This following is a, somewhat, rough translation of what the event is about and more information on the scheduling.

Please click the 'Read More' link for more information.



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Source: Source Square Enix

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Square Enix Provides Fang Screenshots for 'Lightning Retrurns'

October 28, 2013
Crazy Knives

Square Enix has released a new set of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIIscreenshots, the majority highlighting the reappearance of Oerba Yun Fang.

After Final Fantasy XIII, Fang and Vanille transformed and slept within a crystal pillar preventing the collision of Cocoon and Pulse for centuries, but awaken in Lightning Returns. At first, they lived under the care of the Order, until Fang set out for the Dead Dunes, Nova Chrysalia’s barren desert, in search of a long-lost relic.

Lightning eventually reunites with Fang to explore the ancient ruins buried beneath the sands of the Dead Dunes. Fang will fight alongside Lightning during battles here.

You’ll also see screenshots of the ‘Last One’ Skeleton monster. There are a limited number of monsters for each species in Lightning Returns, and the last survivor of a species is known as the Last One. It is “extraordinarily powerful,” but when it’s eradicated, the species becomes extinct. Of course, if you find the battle difficult, you can always use Lightning’s EP Escape ability. Although some monster species can never be completely destroyed.

 



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Source: Source Gematsu

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Drakengard 3 Aerial Battle Gameplay

October 22, 2013
Crazy Knives

In Drakengard 3, you’ll be playing as the deadly Utautai Zero, who can hold her own on land, but when it comes to aerial combat, she’ll be needing the help of her partner dragon Mikhail. Square Enix showed off some of the game’s aerial combat during a NicoNico Live Drakengard 3 event.


For a more in depth summary please click the read more link below.



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Source: Source Siliconera

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Drakengard 3 Caim Costume Gameplay

October 22, 2013
Crazy Knives

This weekend, Square Enix showed off some new footage of Drakengard 3 during a NicoNico Live presentation featuring producer Takasama Shiba, along with some of the game’s voice actresses. During the event, they revealed a DLC costume of Drakengard protagonist Caim, which can be worn by Zero.

The video is a clip from the event, where they revealed that Zero will have a “slim-fit” version of Drakengard protagonist Caim’s attire. In addition to the costume, Zero will also be able to wield his sword, which is said to be quite powerful, but will require some leveling up.

Drakengard 3’s weapons have their own individiual stories, which will be told upon leveling them up,  such as the Spear’s sad story, and the Sword’s rather psychotic tale. According to Drakengard 3’s developers, Caim’s weapon will also have its own story; however, they say that those who wish to acquire the weapon can do so by purchasing the guide book of the game.

Producer Takasama Shiba also mentioned that enough fans voice their opinions on wanting to acquire Caim’s sword without purchasing the guidebook, they will add it in the form of a DLC, or something else.

Finally, the footage concludes with a brief look at one of Drakengard 3’s new weapons, which appears to be a hand-to-hand weapon attached to Zero’s right arm and leg.




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Source: Source Siliconera

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Kingdom Hearts 3 Nomura Conversations with Creators Interview!

October 16, 2013
Levis.seraph

The official Japanese Playstation youtube channel has uploaded the lastest entry in their 'Conversations with Creators' series. This time Kingdom Hearts 3 Director Tetsuya Nomura gives his impressions on the PS4 and his goal for the upcoming game.


For a translated summary click the read more text below.



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Source: Source dualshockers

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Kingdom Hearts 3 D23 Expo Trailer Released!

October 14, 2013
Levis.seraph

Square Enix has released the Kingdom Hearts 3 D3 Expo gameplay trailer to the public! Check it out below!



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Source: Source PS Blog

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Final Fantasy XIV: The Wolves' Den Trailer

October 14, 2013
Liro1000

Square Enix has uploaded a new trailer for what will be the first PvP addition to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

This is a closer look at The Wolves' Den and it is the home of PvP. In this arena, 4 vs. 4 player battles will be held. You will be able to use special PvP only abilities to instantly cure ailments such as Blind or Sleep, this will make sure all battles are quick and action packed.

Take a look at the trailer below.

 



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ffxiii_lightning

Square Enix has released today a new video for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII  that shows off the gameplay in the Wildlands area of the game. The video is narrated by Yuji Abe, the game design director, who gives some hints on how to clear a main quest on finding a chocobo. The video also goes to show the costumization system in the game as well as a boss fight with a "Chocobo Eater."

 



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