New Vs. Old: Final Fantasy XIII’s Battle Interface

By Spencer . January 7, 2009 . 12:18am


Final Fantasy XIII has been in development for what feels like forever. Naturally, this means changes and thanks to a bunch of high resolution scans from we can see how in game combat interface evolved.


The image above is a very old battle screenshot with Lightning. A vertically scrolling command menu is on the left. To the right of it you can see Lightning’s stacked battle commands and her ATB meter which is reminiscent of previous Final Fantasy games. A mysterious meter is on the top right hand corner, but it’s function was not disclosed.




In the new battle interface Lightning’s commands have been rearranged to make two columns. It looks like more commands are underneath those. The ATB/command stack moved above the battle menu while Lightning’s HP meter stayed in the same place. Another obvious change is a chain/bonus meter in the top right hand corner which replaced the enigmatic aqua steering wheel found in the old interface.


One thing that hasn’t changed is Lightning has two kinds of strikes “fight” and “launch” to the right of that. The launch command is likely an evolution of V. Strike which “propels” enemies into the air. Lightning’s other commands are Fire, Firaga, and Cure.


Scans of Famitsu courtesy of Images courtesy of Square Enix.

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  • Frank

    To me, it looks like Squeenix is really going after the “controllable FMV” goal with the battle system here. All the shots and videos disclosed so far make it seem like battle will be constantly in motion, though not necessarily completely controllable at all points.

  • Pesmerga00

    From these screens and others I’ve seen, the battle system looks like a cross between FFX and XII. On screen enemies, with a seamless ATB battle menu. Kinda like Chrono Trigger. The launch command reminds me of Grandia 3. I can see it being implemented similarly as well, with multiple person aerial combos. I just hope the battles are not too hands off.

    I wonder what enormous(and expensive)special edition/combo they will come up with. My guess is a FF13+Versus+Console.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the final product turns out to be.

  • Mirko

    I’ll hope the battles are fast despite the cinematic feel. A story not involving characters overcoming their personal shortcomings through saving the world would be a plus, too.

  • Clouds End

    Meh, i dont think there will be a FF13 + FFV13 Bundle anytime soon, because FFV13 is going to be released later than FF13 imo…
    And i think its good like that so you can enjoy FF13 then FFV13.
    Or maybe twisted? Dont know i think FFV13 is the last to come out.

  • Hello Hello

    I just hope that the text doesn’t look terrible on SD televisions.

  • eh…

  • arollo

    I just hope it’s turn based, and not “turn based but also action” in the style of Crisis Core.

  • Aoshi00

    @arollo – I did enjoy Crisis Core a lot, mainly because of the prequel story about Zack. But like you I do wish it’s a true turn-based RPG as well. The screen shots look really nice. It does seem like SE would inject the constant action to spice things up during battles, but sometimes they could get too disorienting, like Last Remnant w/ cameras flying every which way.

  • Am I the only one that sees something very wrong looking in the second picture? As in “Is that your gun, or are you just happy to see me?”

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