Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s Will Have Happy Ending And Hope Estheim

By Spencer . September 5, 2012 . 12:18am

light To summarize, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII takes place as the world is about to end. Lightning has thirteen days to save it and in Majora’s Mask style twist players will have to replay the game to save the world.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the last piece of the Final Fantasy XIII puzzle and the game will have a happy ending. Forget about paradoxes because that’s the only ending, an interview from Famitsu explains.


Lightning is the only playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, but Hope will be present in the game. He gives Lightning advice through a wireless communication device. How is Hope alive hundreds of years in the future? A chaotic influence stopped people from aging, so you’ll see characters from Final Fantasy XIII-2 in the game too.


Square Enix changed the gameplay for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. You can move Lightning around during battles and instead of selecting commands through a menu you press buttons to make her attack. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII still uses the ATB gauge system, but some moves require precise timing to pull off.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is described as a "world driven" game while Final Fantasy XIII was "story driven" and XIII-2 was "player driven." Novus, the world in Lightning Returns, is split into four areas, two continents have a natural feel while the other two are cities. In city areas players will see clocks that tell you how much time is left to save the world.


The game’s events are spread out through thirteen in-game days. Each one is roughly one or two hours. Events change how much time is left too. Completing a quest or defeating a formidable enemy may increase the world’s lifespan. Saving a person may reduce the time Lightning has to save the world. One major event in the game will have Lightning investigate a series of murders.


Because the game’s time changes it’s possible for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII to end before the thirteen days are up. If you challenge the game after a "bad ending" (but not the true ending) your items and other progress might carry over. Square Enix says they didn’t want to make Lightning Returns a game that will take dozens of hours to clear, it’s designed to be played multiple times.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is 30% done, Famitsu reports, and is slated for a PS3/Xbox 360 release in 2013.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.


    And so the delicious ageless shota returns…

    • Priscilla Tang

       Hope’s older than Lightning though. :O

      • neocatzon

        What?? *Checks wikia* Oh god it’s true..

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      YEAHHHH!!!! My dream on Light X Hope pairing is finally completed.^_^

  • topdog2007

    so basically it using the kingdom hearts battle system WOOT i am in now! i am going to buy this for sure now 

  • Go2hell66

    wow the two things i hate most in this world, happy endings and hope estheim…
    i kid you not :D

    but in all seriousness, i do tend to enjoy games/anime that have unhappy endings more, the stories always just seem to play out better that way, well for me anyways. happy ending are just way too cheesy and cliche

    •  my whole life has been nothing but misery. I don’t need more of it even when I play games…

      • Go2hell66

        to each their own, i just think its hard to take stories seriously when all these games have these cheesy fairy tale endings.

    • Herok♞

      Unhappy endings are good but clearly the 13 fanbase or the vocal haters(I am not sure which), hate them because most caused an uproar when 13-2 was released and they lose in the end and so they claimed it was a incomplete ending, so in other words it has to be happy to count apparently.

      • Justin Graham

        Dude, the game ended on a cliffhanger.  It was apparent that the story would see a continuation regardless.

        • Herok♞

           I know and am excited for the new game I was talking about how people didn’t like the ending because it was sad, I knew it was going to continue after the DLC since it didn’t resolve anything.

    • Stuart Nisbet

      I think it’s just as cliché to only like sad endings or unhappy endings. It’s just really juvenile and contrarian and I honestly don’t see the point of something like that.

      My favourite type of ending is a satisfying ending, one that feels in place with the universe and the steps taken to get to it. For example in FF7 the ending is satisfying because they don’t simply erase the events of the game for the characters’ happiness, Aerith doesn’t come back to life. Yes, the characters are happy and they achieved their goals, but it came at a price. On the other hand, FF4 has what I’d consider to be an unsatisfying ending because the sacrifices of the characters and their ultimate goal is cheapened by the fact that everything ends up perfectly. The characters would’ve been stronger and better for the sacrifice of Palom/Porom, they’d have learned the importance of life, and the same for Cid. It feels as though they all had very touching and significant death scenes, only for these to be erased by the over simplified ending. 

      Happiness isn’t bad, but satisfaction and justice are better. If that satisfaction or justice comes from an unhappy ending, it’s still a good ending. Majora’s Mask has a sad and sombre ending. The people have returned to their lives, and the world is saved, but it came at a cost, and the sad backstories of all the citizens of clock town only amplify the feeling of disillusionment, but it’s still a good game. We still feel as if this is the natural course of actions if Link wins, this is justified and that makes it good. If Navi came back and everyone was happy, it would feel cheap. Similarly, the ending of OOC is sad because Link’s journey is erased and everything he did is forgotten, but he is allowed another chance at life an at childhood, so it is not totally unhappy.

      Basically, a good ending requires balance above happiness and unhappiness. 

  • SuperSailorV

    Please bring the third Lightning PS3 stateside.

    • Mark Fate

      Of course they will.

    • Talbot

      There is no doubt on anyone’s mind that they will. Surely you don’t need to even hope they will. Because they will.

    • WyattEpp

      They already have.  On SNES and Wii VC.


      • neocatzon

        “Lightning” is overused

  • Hinataharem


  • I wish you could play it for dozens of hours AND play it multiple times. XD

  • Oni123

    Don’t ruin the ending Famitsu T-T 

  • neocatzon

    “Square Enix changed the gameplay for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. You can move Lightning around during battles and instead of selecting commands through a menu you press buttons to make her attack. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII still uses the ATB gauge system, but some moves require precise timing to pull off.”It’s a bit closer to Crisis Core, it seems.

    • Anime10121

       I hope not, while I loved Crisis Core for its story, its gameplay was a mess.  Only being able to mash x to attack, roll, and use a few abilities that HAD to be equipped, while everything else is random (including lvl ups) was freaking stupid to me.  Crisis Core has the worst battle system of all the FF’s to date to me, tying with Dirge of Cerberus.  Hopefully, its something far more innovative than anything they tried in CCFFVII.

      • neocatzon

        Haha, even if you say “mash x to attack” we can’t really mash it thx to ATB. Now, she’s alone and the rest of the battle description reminds me to Crisis Core. Let’s just hope it’s different. For me though, DoC and FFXIII has the worst battle system, I’m sleeping while fighting one version of Bartendelus, lol

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Finally, i will win my bet on who is going to be paired with Lightning here.^_^ C’mon SE i know you want to have this ending don’t you?^_^

    • komiko12

      Hehe. It’s quite possible seeing how Hope had admired Lightning as a kid.
      Besides, it’s not considered a shota relationship as Hope is all grown-up.

      • Sardorim

         And apparently 1,000+ years old now so the age difference no longer matters…

        • komiko12

          Is it confirmed that it takes hundreds of years in the future??
          If so, then the Final Fantasy XIII cast is by far the oldest cast of characters.

          Though FuSoYa is still considered the oldest FF character.

    • Aoshi00

      What a cute kid they make :)!  Yeah, when I saw “Hope” I immediately thought of the pairing.. Director Hope turned out to be so cool in 13-2 (he time traveled to build a new Cocoon!) I thought it was a pity they couldn’t come into contact directly..

      Lightning was a surrogate mother/big sis/mentor/life saver/role model/lover all into one for Hope, I hope S-E would really develop the dynamics btwn them.  Frankly they’re not that far apart in age, like 7yrs before.. unlike Demi x Ashton :)  Well, it’s your turn to protect Lightning now Hope, like your promised :)  Glad to hear the rest of the original cast would make an appearance too. 

      Only thing not so sure about is the action gameplay.. but I’m sure I would like it w/ such a rich world..

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        Isn’t it?^_^ Hell the first time i played FF13, i already hoped for this pairing lol considering shota pairing is really rare for FF series.(If i am not mistaken here lol.^_^)

        And Hope does grow up a lot during each time we meet him. Hell from FF13, he grow from a kid who is obsessed with revenge(like Shinn Asuka lol.) into a great person who sacrifice his whole life only to save his friend and of course his role model there.^_^

    • Pic is too cute and awesome. Now I really do “Hope” this happens =^_^=

    • Nickie

       This was my thought exactly! I’m so happy about this! With them together, this truly will be a happy, nay, blissful~ ending. This has been my dream since the first one!

  • Dyne

    well there goes the ending…

  • Paradox me

    Maybe it’s not what we think. Maybe Lightning, Hope and all of the other important characters get their cars towed, are victims of identity theft and then die, making for a pretty sad ending, but―and stay with me here―just before the credits roll, Bhunivelze falls on Yuj‘s head, which brings us back to a happy ending.

  • MasterFarron

    ”Because the game’s time changes it’s possible for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII to end before the thirteen days are up. If you challenge the game after a “bad ending” (but not the true ending) your items and other progress might carry over.”

    Someone please Explain this i thought there is only one ending how’s the bad one comes out?

    • I think it means there are no branching paths, like the paradox endings in XIII-2. (Like an early good/bad end in a choose-your-own-adventure, and not the ending you get by reading through the whole thing.)

      XIII-3 will just have your typical good/bad ending at the end.

      • Mark Fate

        Or, more obviously, if you run out of time you get a bad end (might change depending on how far you have progressed?) and if you complete it you get the true good ending.

  • DemonicX

    After XIII-2, I’m on the fence with this one.. Still, I am a bit curious about the altered gameplay though.

  • Sammy Garner

    If this couldn’t get any worse. Now we get PUNK-ASS HOPE as the tour guide 4 a 13-26 hour game?! SE is really allowin FF to b throwin to the dogs. I’m not understandin this concept. 1 ending but they want us to play this multiple times FOR THA SAME ENDING?! Wut logic is linked to this? And to top it off, SE is gonna add Social Media to it 4 wut? No matter how you look at it, this mite be the worst n dumbest FF to date. They shudda been focusin on KH3 n FF13Verses.  

    • topdog2007

       if you don’t like then don’t play  it we don’t need hater bashing the game as it is i am going to play this no matter what so be quite and stop complaining 

      • MrKappa

        Yes, and your response was so much better.

        • topdog2007

           what ever i am not wasting my times on trolls

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      If you hate it, why posted here on the topic which you hate??? There are others that like this game you know?

    • Herok♞

      You do know square has different teams right so your precious Versus is being worked on along side this and when that is done is when KH 3 will start. Also plenty of games have one ending where things change depending on how much you achieve in game, plus if you were paying attention you probably won’t win the first time so it will send you back in New Game + so yo can win and it will probably open new areas that you were to weak to do last time. Also at this point we don’t even know if the social features will be unique and change gaming as we know it. Also Hope isn’t a bad character in the first game he had wait for it character development but people can’t wait for a character to grow they have to be perfect to begin with which is not good over a long game if your character doesn’t change for the better.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      This is now your third similarly themed and written rant on this title. Also be aware it is not a thread about FF13 Versus. Not every title will be one you play, allow for that and move on with the comments. 

      Please review our rules before posting again.

  • Prinnydoom

    Think they have milked the thirteenth continuum for long enough now. To be honest don’t know whether or not ill play this. After playing and finishing FF 9 its just better to go with classic battle system. Still gotta keep an open mind so ill give it a look.

    • Sardorim

       I wish the milking had included Versus actually getting released…

  • MrKappa

    I know a lot of people have been saying this but the game sounds like Majora’s Mask… only I doubt it will be as cool.
    And I can deal with a happy ending as there really isn’t a game under the sun that doesn’t have one.(A bad ending in the middle of a trilogy doesn’t count.)

    The one thing I won’t tolerate is a puke worthy ending of happiness.

    • Sardorim

       Stay away from Mass Effect 3’s synthesis ending than.

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Mmm, the game haven’t even come out here. How can you know that the happy ending is going to be bad here?

      • MrKappa

        I don’t recall ever saying I did…

  • Unlimax

    Ain’t nobody got time for that v(ಥ ̯ ಥ)v !

    • Anime10121


      Sorry, had to do it :P

      Although, I got plenty time for LR:FFXIII, unless you were literally talking about the people in the game not having time, then, agreed :D

  • Hopefully the full story won’t require dlc, this game is gearing up to have some good potential, looking forward to TGS

  • Wait…so if the game is only going have 1 ending (besides the bad ending)…but not as many hours. 
    Why would we play multiple times?  Yeah most games are like that but we just stop the first time and then play something else (unless ur into 100%/ getting the trophies and Achievements or if you REALLY enjoyed the game)

    Idk I think Square are missing the box out of this.  Still to early to say but its kinda eh for now

    • theoriginaled

      Think of it like Majoras Mask. You COULD only play through the end of the world sequence once, but then youd have probably only done one dungeon, if that even. The whole point Im gathering is to repeat it until all of the pieces fall together and lightning has to fight that creepy deku kid. Theres still only one true ending, but no way youre getting there on your first run without some INTENSE planning.

  • Mark Fate

    Perhaps it’s a game that’s really difficult to finish in your first or second playthrough and the carry-overs (equipment and skills, if not levels?) in a New Game+ allow you to save time and get back to where you were pretty quickly.

  • Sardorim

    Wouldn’t there be issues of population overflowing since no one ages anymore? They seem to be using this excuse as a reason for Lighting and Hope to get together since after 1,000+ years a differences of a few years between them doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Personally that’s just awkward since Hope always came off as a lil bro and not a lover to Lightning.

    • Its not even said tht they r lovers lol…. 

    • theoriginaled

      well technically I guess if theres no aging then no birth would be possible either as no children would develop in utero. SO no over population!

      /videogame logic

  • Does this mean Hope is like a vampire then?? XD
    I kid.

    *Chaotic influence stop ppl frm aging*
    I hopr tht when they un-do the time stop effect those ppl won suddenly get old and ya know…..

  • What is wrong you, Toriyama? Whys should a happy ending be the one canon ending? If you’re going with Lightning triumphing or sacrificing herself, that’s fine but Lightning ending up with Hope is down-right offensive.

    PLEASE make Lightning is the first truly homosexual Final Fantasy protagonist! How is Hope still alive? Wasn’t he and Noel swallowed up by the chaos unleashed? I hope that Hope ends up as the villain so Lightning can kill him in cold blood.

    This is “more details” we’ve been waiting for?

    • komiko12

      Ehh. I think Lightning has no place with Fang and Vanille.

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Umm… i think they just mention up there that Hope is still alive as the chaos does not kill him but makes him kinda immortal?

      And you know that most FF series had good ending no matter how bad the ending is. Remember FF 10-2?

      • Final Fantasy needs to be more like Deus Ex and Mass Effect. The series needs to liberate itself from the power of friendship, wide-eyed idealism and black and white morality for a more adult-story, cynicism, philosophy and grey morality.

        As for Hope, yes I’m aware Hope will return but doesn’t Square realize we westerners hate him. Bring back Sazh instead, to hell with what Japanese fans say.

        • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

          Well Japanese bought the game more than the western world and not all westerners hate them too. So who do you think they should care more here?

        • Speedo Redempteur

           westerners hate hope ?
          Who gave you the right to speak for everyone ?

          Hope was damn fine in FF13-2 , so was noel and if they return in the story ( as they should , since they didn’t die in ff13-2 ) , then there is really no problem ..

          And why so much critics from a story you only have bit of info ?
          Your rant come as something useless and out of place , especially since final fantasy is his own thing and doesn’t need to be like deus ex or mass effect.

        • Enma_Kozato

          Thank you for assuming I have a fiery hatred for Hope and speaking on my behalf. Seriously, speak for yourself.

        • Rohan Viajar

           wow.. anger much..
          you’re complaining that it doesn’t appeal to westerners (but the comments below disagree with you) and then you say that they should follow only what YOU want in the game.

          Lighting as a homosexual (why does she need to be? just because she is more masculine in terms of her personality she now HAS to be homosexual? that’s sexist >_>)

          so why should they follow a guy who is so hell bent on dissing their game?
          answer: they won’t.


        • Umm I love Hope. My best friend (my fangirling pal) loves Hope with a passion. Please take out the ‘we westerners’ and put in ‘I hate him’. One person assuming they talk for the majority isn’t cool… 
          what’s so wrong about a game having the power of friendship, wide-eyed idealism and black and white morality? I don’t want every game to be more like _(fill in the blank)_. I want my happy upbeat tales, I want my sad tales, mature tales. I want diversity. Why do I hear that phrase so much? _(Fill in the blank game)_ needs to be more like _(fill in the blank game)_. It really makes no sense to me.

        • epy

          No, Final Fantasy needs to be Final Fantasy. If you want to play Deus Ex or Mass Effect, go play Deus Ex or Mass Effect. I’m tired of hearing that.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          You’ve been around here long enough to know what kind of reaction blanket statements of opinion claiming to be fact would bring. You also have been around long enough to understand such statements are among the things we ask be kept off siliconera. 

          “Let people enjoy the things they enjoy, and don’t ruin their fun with negativity.” 

        • Correction

          “As for Hope, yes I’m aware Hope will return but doesn’t Square realize I hate him. Bring back Sazh instead, to hell with what Japanese fans say.”

        • amagidyne

          Hehe, you say that now. Suppose one day they do what you’ve suggested. Suppose they try to make a morally and philosophically nuanced and mature game. Square-Enix shooting for The Wire. Imagine how that would turn out.

          Picture it. Let yourself see their game get written, developed, printed and published. Hordes of forumgoers flock to the gaming publications of the Internet, alternating between bashing and praising the game for being “the worst thing to happen to mankind since WWII and the cold war COMBINED” and “not that bad, y’all need to lighten up” respectively.

          Watch as the goddess of art herself descends from Mount Olympus, enraged by the fact that we allowed this insult, this disgusting goddamn insult to storytelling, poetry and aesthetics to exist. Shibuya burns. Even divison 4 isn’t spared, and they were actually pretty okay.

          Watch the earth itself split open and swallow whole those who believed Square-Enix could put one word after the other without it crashing and burning. Watch Tetsuya Nomura as he desperately curses himself for having such heretical and hubristic dreams. “It’s not fair,” he says as the moon drops from the sky, shattering into a thousand Tonberries. It is.

          Motomu Toriyama is absent because I’m not convinced he’s a real person.

          My point is that it wouldn’t be very good. Square-Enix is good at writing simple hero journeys set in
          interesting places. Ask for moral ambiguity and they’d probably give you 50/50 nakama and bile.

        • I’m largely neutral to Final Fantasy as well as the XIII series, but even I find Hope adorable once he’s out of his slump. Just saying.

        • anarchy_panty

           Deus Ex I’ll give you, but by what definition can Mass Effect be considered to have “grey morality?” It color-codes your moral choices, for Christ’s sake.

    •  I don’t think Lightning will end up with Hope…or with anyone for that matter..

    • OatMatadoQuatro

      The chaos unleashed didn’t specifically kill people. It destroyed time, so aging changed a lot.

  • WyattEpp

    Sounds more like Dragon Quarter.  I mean, yeah, it’s a nuance, but it’s still a little different from Majora’s Mask.

  • Wait, what. Damn you Square, did I ask for spoilers?! >:<

  • Ok Square. I shall go with you on this in baby steps. Hmm If Hope is alive and we will be seeing others from FFXIII-2 I wonder if that means Noel will also be alive. And…
    Wonder how she’ll react to her sister’s death. Or if any of the plot will revolve around that.

    • You mean how Lightning reacts to Serah’s death?

      ==== SPOILER====

      She cries.


      • Daniel Morandi


        After a while she revives her

        In the end she returns to her world, her time, everyone is alive and happy saying “welcome back Lightning”


        There you have your happy ending Lightning. Am I wrong SE? we will see.

        • OatMatadoQuatro

          My improvised theory: Lightning dies to save Cocoon and as a result of a some sort of time paradox she becomes the goddess that she fought to protect in FF13-2. Serah either survives or stays dead meeting her sister in the latter version. It doesn’t sound so happy, but maybe that’s the only way out.

    • amagidyne

       ==== SPOILER====

      She tickles a dolphin.


    • Bruno Cesar

      Well, uh… your spoilers are answered in the DLC (Requiem of the Goddess).

      • That so? Hmm I never played the DLC maybe I’ll youtube it ^.^ But I guess it’s more how she’ll act in this game is what I’m curious about.

  • enorka miho

    WHUT??!!! My crew never came back?? NOOOOO!!!!!! Why?? Why is this happening??!! 

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    “Lightning is the only playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII”What?! Only one? My fears confirmed?! No! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    …Well, I hope Lightning will interact more in this game. Has her design been revealed yet? I’m pretty sure that heavenly armor would not fit.

    Also, a happy ending? Are they going to revive Serah for a second time? Somebody call Krillin.

  • SirRichard

    Going to be honest, I’m liking what I’m reading here, it sounds like a pretty interesting game. Story still sounds like a lot of nonsense, but I’ve come to expect that. Don’t disappoint this time, Square!

  • Ooookay now. While I’m glad to get more information on the game……. WHY WOULD YOU TELL US THAT SQUARE-ENIX, WHYYYYY!? THAT JUST RUINED THE SURPRISE OF HOW THE ENDING WOULD TURN OUT! BLAH! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

  • I find it interesting how the world is essentially a glorified Phantom Village from FFV.  In Phantom Village no one aged.  And since all XIII-2 characters will return, GILGAMESH might get into a scuffle with Lightning one on one.  Which could be EPIC.

  • Jazlynn Lim

    Interesting…so they’re going for a combat system similar to the Tales series?

    • Allon Hertz

       May Square hear you. If it is…I have a hand full of money and I’m not afraid to trow it in their faces. But if it turns out to be something like FF XII/White Knight Chronicles… Meh.

  • Daniel Morandi

    “A chaotic influence stopped people from aging”

    They always have an excuse for something.

    Funny, this carry over thing for each bad ending was something that I going trough in Way of Samurai. It doesn’t look good in FF and besides now she is the only main character!!

  • Claire Oga

    HopexLightning??? As much I love to see Lightning’s happy ending, I think you guys are jumping to conclusion too quickly… But I probably might be wrong.

  • theoriginaled

    and Hope and Lightning finally end up together to the delight of creepy fangirls around the world.

  • Neophoton

    And then the Light/Hope fans were giddy the moment Square Enix stated this, in hopes their wish would come true. While the game seems interesting, I’d see the happy ending as closure to ensure Square Enix can work on other games.

  • Paradox me

    Sheesh, you guys really don’t like happy endings. 

    Don’t get me wrong, I like a good downer ending and seeing characters get whacked in great succession (boy, that sounds kinda creepy), but a happy ending isn’t necessarily unrealistic or idealistic. Things go right for people all the time. 

    Marriages occasionally last, hard work pays off from time to time and once in a blue moon someone wins the lottery and doesn’t blow it all on NASCAR merchandise. Now, I don’t know how you all have interpreted the story thus far, but considering the events of XIII*, XIII-2 and the fact that the world is ending in 13 days, a happy ending is just about the first thing that goes right for the cast of this saga.

    *Not counting the original ending that was one of the most satisfying moments in the entire game, but later retconned.

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Thats what i am getting confused with nowadays.T_T I mean, i love tragedy ending a LOT.(I played Infinite Space with had a tragedy ending there and love the end to the death.)

      But i mean for FF here, isn’t the whole 13-2 ending is already tragedy there. Do we need another tragedy end for the whole conclusion here?

    • Luna Kazemaru

       They are just trying to find things to nitpick as just relax

    • Colonel Custard

       Actually if it didn’t have a happy ending I’d be miffed like I was with ME3 cause well you play 3 games in a series to just watch the character you play fail hard, defeats the point of playing a game series to achieve something.

  • Settsuo

    Excited for this game. Hopefully I see the battle system they promised when they first showed off XIII.

  • riceisnice

    I just don’t know where the series is going anymore. But I wish it the best of luck.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething
  • MrRobbyM

    Okay, I take it back. THIS might be the dirtiest article title I’ve seen on Siliconera.

  • amagidyne

    “How is Hope alive hundreds of years in the future? A chaotic influence stopped people from aging, so you’ll see characters from Final Fantasy XIII-2 in the game too.”

    Okay, I think I’m done complaining about the writing in Square-Enix games. A dead horse is dead, and it seems like they employ a lot of those.

  • doemaaan

    the only two things i’m interested in is what the world will look like and how much more different the battle system will be. the first trailer better showcase both of them good.

  • Happy Gamer

    I LOLed after reading the premise.
    Like my tag, I am generally a pretty content gamer, but it feels really forced and ridiculous. The entire game becoming kingdom hearts/tri ace games (tales) hybrid is also pretty forced as well as “stopped aging.”
    Like in Lost Odyssey, plot wise, people living for hundreds of years have pretty dire consequences to their emotions…oh wait I think people don’t get affected by emotions because of chaos though *shrug*

    I will probably play this because the setting atmosphere and gameplay seems pretty interesting. I am just a bit downed because I am not sure if the devs know this but FFXIII had a very good setting. Tons of materials to use.

    I am not entirely sure but it almost feels like they employed diff writers for each sequel. 

  • Grenalie

    Tales of Majora’s XIII: Lightning Returns

    • Luna Kazemaru

       And we begin with the stupid names once more.

      • Grenalie

        No fun allowed.

        • Testsubject909

          Indeed hee-ho.

    • amagidyne

      Spec Ops: The Lightning Returns: Revengeance

  • Guys, guys, seriously guys. The article says:

     “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s Will Have Happy Ending And Hope Estheim”


    “Lightning Will Have Happy Ending with Hope Estheim”

    Calm youselves and hold your ships down!

  • Luna Kazemaru

    I thought Lightning thought as Hope as a son…

    •  I always assumed the reason Hope was journying with her in FFXIII and not someone else was because the idea was to pair the two characters that lost people they loved so they can cope with the loss together by somehow acting as replacement of those people for each other.
      So since Lightning lost her sister, she was given a little brother….and since Hope lost his mother, Light was acting like a parental figure to him.

      But no, apparently fangirls decided they are super cute together so suddenly ships everywhere. They are probably the most popular FFXIII pairing.

      • Luna Kazemaru

         I just can’t see that…

  • Monsley

    Wait, why is everybody assuming there will be a creepy Lightning/Hope relationship? Am I missing something?

    As for the news, well, I’d love for this to have a happy ending, so long as it’s a GOOD ending. (XIII had a great ending and XIII-2 had a very good ending, too, in my opinion – it was actually one of the few things I liked about the game.)

    To be honest though, I really don’t like the sounds of this “short game = replay value” thing. I’d rather have a reasonably long game with no to little replay value than a short game with lots of things to do after I’ve completed it (especially when it comes to JRPGs). Or, you know, they could give us a reasonably long game with great replay value! :P
    Anyway, it’s far too early to judge on that, so hopefully I’ve just assumed wrong…

    • Paradox me

      I don’t mind a bit of romance in a Final Fantasy game (it worked pretty well for VIII, IX and X), but this Hope and Lightning thing isn’t quite what I had in mind.

      It may just be my impressions of that portion of the fanbase impacting how I see the game, but it is indeed a bit.. creepy. Even after all of the time traveling mumbo jumbo, it’s still weird.

      Plus, I’m beginning to feel like the only person in the world that wasn’t imagining the 14-year-old hooking up with an adult in XIII. There might be a crush on Hope’s end, but c’mon. His mom just died and he’d been cursed to a fate worse than death; she was comforting him, not throwing herself at the teenager having been taken by his capris and a neckerchief.

      I really hope they don’t give in and pair those two up, but I think this is one area where Square will disappoint me greatly.


        I don’t think they would ‘give in’ to something like this. If they were granting people’s wishes when it comes to pairings, they would not only have to pair Light with Hope, but also break up Snow’s and Serah engagement, make Fang and Vanille kiss on screen, make Lightning get in on also with with Serah while Serah simultaneously falls for Noel and Vanille simultaneously falls for Hope all the while Snow hooks up with the entire Nora gang and Fang makes out with Lightning when the former isn’t busy with either Hope or Serah.

        Sigh, since it’s not one of those romance driven FF’s, I really don’t think they will force romance ending at the very last moment. 

      • Monsley

        I agree with everything you said.

        I like romance in games, if it’s well done and makes sense in the plot (case in point: I liked the Snow/Serah relationship), but I can’t see Lightning getting romantically involved with anybody from the game, let alone a teenage boy – even if he’s in his twenties in XIII-2 (maybe he’s even older than her?).

        There certainly is affection between them in XIII, but I’ve always seen it as a completely innocent mentor/pupil relationship and while it would be quite normal for him to be attracted to her, a twenty-something-year-old woman falling for some white-haired little boy who sees her as some kind of mother figure would be… weird, yeah. (And illegal in many real-world countries, but who knows how these things work on Cocoon?)
        I mean, come on, this is Final Fantasy, not Evangelion.

    • Enma_Kozato

      Because people can read the headline with 2 different meanings. Initially one might think the headline is saying the happy ending will include Hope, but it’s really just pointing out there will be a happy ending while confirming we’ll see him at some point in the game.

  • kool_cid414

     Bummed about having only one character to play but I’m really excited about the game itself I’m looking forward to the differences in experience in multiple playthroughs. I’m a pervy guy but had absolutely no dirty thoughts in the title…. what’s wrong with me ….lol

  • Mowafaq

    Wow Wow No i can’t i can’t wait more!
    i need a trailer RIGHT NOW!
    (What’s Happening to me where’s my foul and tamez)

  • I want this, I think. But I am concerned about the length of the game. Final Fantasy XIII took me roughly 45 hours, while Final Fantasy XIII-2 was done in 25 hours. I hope this will last at least 20 hours, after which I can continue playing… 

  • James Keeton

    It makes me happy to hear a lot of this – in particular the headline stuff about Hope and a happy ending. Hope grew a lot in XIII-2 and he went from being ‘the annoying one’ in XIII to being one of my favourite characters in XIII-2! It’s also good to hear of the happy ending because the ending of XIII-2 was, well, not so happy! It’d have been a depressing way to end the XIII-series, so it’s good to hear they’re rectifying that :)

  • Karin Shita

    It sounds really cool! I just wish it wasn’t FFXIII. XD

  • TruSpindash

    The game sounds interesting, can’t wait to see how the game actually plays. I’ll have to make sure to pick up XIII-2 sometime soon too.

  • Brimfyre

    One thing I will give SE credit for is they took a character so annoying that he almost made XIII unplayable and turned him into the most interesting character in the sequel.

    • Akarnage

      Who? Snow? Because if it’s not Snow I have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Hope was never an annoying character, he’s the only one who undergoes any sort of development during FFXIII.

      • OathkeeperSoraXIII


        I didn’t like Hope at first. thought he was a whiny brat (but understandable since his mother died infront of him) but as time progressed and he had his whole ordeal with Snow I liked the guy…and then when he got alexander I liked him even more xD

  • So everyone has been immortal for hundreds of years and they’re slated to die in 13 days. Caius died a true troll.

    And somehow, I just know Squeenix were listening to the HopeXLightning shippers. lol

  • Nikolai Sumcad

    The battle system sounds like what Versus XIII might have.

    • Anime10121

       Nah, Vs. is complete action, like KH, it wont hve an ATB system any where, nor will it have “assigned buttons” to do certain attacks.  This is more an “action game lite” than something like Vs.  I’m very eager to try out this new system!

    • SLick123456789111

      I was about to say the same thing until i read Anime10121’s post.

  • KingGunblader

    If I hadn’t seen the ending of XIII-2, I would have thought that this game was an original title that got branded with XIII for the sake of sales. I can’t help but be excited about where this all leads.

  • Narrator 1

    Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t care a hill of beans about shipping?  I, for one, want to know what role Caius will play, since he’s pretty much the one singlehandedly responsible for Light’s 13-day deadline.

  • Aqua King

    I really don’t like this deadline they are putting on the game. I know I don’t like games that are designed for multiple playthroughs, especially since they said there will be only one ending.

  • Anime10121

    Really wanna see how Caius and Yuel fit into this game now, especially considering everyone is now immortal, which means that Spoilers for XIII-2:

    Yuel wont die anymore, which means Caius succeeded in his intended goal


    Thats what REALLY has me hyped, cuz I loved me some Caius and Yuel from XIII-2, although I am amped to try out this new battle system too, and to see if the Gods (Fal’Cie) will FINALLY play a bigger role in the actual game, vs. just the datalogs, and minor stuffs.  XIII-2 was getting MUCH more involved in the FNC mythology, now LR:FFXIII can reel it in and I hope deliver an extremely satisfying conclusion to the XIII saga.

  • eilegz

    sigh from a party to serah and noel and now only lightning?

    sure its more action oriented but they are downgrading the game more and more

  • raymk

    Wow! This actually sounds exciting.  I wasn’t to keen on this game until I heard this info.

  • Spider-Man

    I’d rather have a netorare ending.


  • Setsu Oh

    i hated valkirie profile, repetitive not that good story AND a battle gameplay among the most boring. until i confirm that that button based f in attack gameplay isn’t of that same kind, i won’t care about that game. first ff game to raise my interest in years though. 

    • Rohan Viajar

       I loved valkyrie profile T__T
      the story wasn’t repetitive.
      and the gameplay was using a different system and it engaged the player too (and on hard mode whew..)

      but to each his own. I respect your opinion. :D

  • Colonel Custard

    FF13, 13 days to save the world…I see what you did there.

  • Testsubject909

    Why not a bittersweet ending? Honestly they tend to be the more memorable ones to stick to your mind and close to your heart, they’re the ones that tend to make it feel that most of your struggle was worth a damn despite the prices that needed to be paid.

    Persona 3, Shadow Hearts Covenant, Final Fantasy 6 (to name a few), all bittersweet endings and all wonderful ones that lives forever on in memory. The happy endings? Sure they satisfy you when you play but, give it a short bit of time and you pretty much forget what the ending was outside of “And everybody lived happily ever after”.

    But that’s my two cent. And anyways, I suppose it’s for the best. If too many games starts having such bittersweet endings, they’ll start to become more mundane. And since I don’t particularly care about the Fabula Nova Crystalis series, let this one have it’s mundane happy ending with Hope… Now the question is. Just what sort of happy ending we talking about? Does it involve hot coffee?

    • Zeromus321

      I have to agree, Bitter-sweet endings do tend to stick with you longer when done well. Just to add to your already great list, MGS3, FFX, MGS4 and FF Crisis Core all those endings plus the ones you mentioned are some of my favorite endings for Video-games. 
      And I still remember all of them to this day.

  • “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the last piece of the Final Fantasy XIII puzzle and the game will have a happy ending. Forget about paradoxes because that’s the only ending, an interview from Famitsu explains.”

    Funny, I thought the last piece was called Versus, Agito and other odds n’ ends.

    “Lightning is the only playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, but Hope will be present in the game. He gives Lightning advice through a wireless communication device. How is Hope alive hundreds of years in the future? A chaotic influence stopped people from aging, so you’ll see characters from Final Fantasy XIII-2 in the game too.”

    Hope? Of all the characters they went with freakin’ Hope? I hope Lightning brings extra tampons because chances are he’ll be needing them.

    • Josh Strange

      Hope was a wuss in the first XIII but you got to admit, he did grow up and wasn’t all whiny and acting like a crybaby because he is actually one of the more developed characters between XIII & XIII-2 so what’s the bashing for?

      “Funny, I thought the last piece was called Versus, Agito and other odds n’ ends.” 
      Obviously you got your games mixed up….

  • Godmars

    *sigh of self deprecation for coming into one of these stupid articles after promising myself that I wouldn’t*

    1) I can’t think of anything that says – screams – that Square is well aware of the negativity surrounding FFXIII by saying well ahead of time that this 13-3 will have a happy ending.

    2) More than a bit sure that they said FF13-2 would resolve 13’s story line, and then again that 13-2’s DLC resolved its ending. Until they came out and they didn’t.

    Point is Square can say whatever they want. Also their interpretation of a “Happy Ending” could and likely is different from everyone else’s. Which can be read as someone sane or not wanting more money from people who you think believe everything that they say.

  • ResidentMetroid

    Hope? Can’t we get Noel instead?

  • Reiko_Chan

    I like Hope but I’d rather have Fang come back. 

  • Ben Sylvia

    Important question.

    Will Gilgamesh be in it?


    •  The sole reason to be interested in the game rests ENTIRELY on the answer to this question.



    Aww, man.  I was hoping this game would be long, not short like XIII-2 was.  I was afraid of this.   2 hours each day?  That’s like 26 hours.  :/ 

  • Solomon_Kano

    I didn’t care for XIII enough to play XIII-2 but, between this being announced and XIII-2 being dirt-cheap now, I might have to force myself through them. This sounds legitimately interesting.

  • Aztec

    Square needs to understand they can’t keep on announcing games when the only thing they have to show is some still images and art. Show it when you’re ready to. Look at Versus…more than  6 “#$%& years since it was announced and we’ve barely gotten a decent trailer. 

    I think I read some sort of video was shown to the press regarding Lightning Returns but whats the point of going through that if you’re not going to make it public? Stop talking and announce it when you have something to show!

  • Regan Smith

    if FFXIII was a different title with it’s gameplay elements i think it would’ve been bashed much less although the linear part would’ve still sticked. it’s just not what people wanted for a “final fantasy” game.
    I loved XIII, loved XIII-2 although the ending really got to me and I’m going to pre-order this one just as I did with the other 2. lightning turned out to be my favorite FF character after cloud.

    the only thing I’m not too happy with on the news about this game is the time thing, I hated the time flow of majora’s mask and this sounds like it may be a bit similar

  • You guys knew FF Dissidia 012 right ? :3
    For some reason they said moving with ATB gauge makes me thought that the gameplay sort of like FFD 012 in Rpg mode… ( there are the active and command mode ) It’s not like a have problem with it but it just sound familiar… = 3 =

    • Spider-Man

      I liked what happened to Lightning at the end of 012’s story. 

  • Wait i think i know what gameplay there using ….. That very First FFXIII trailer gameplay!!!!!

  • Areuto

    a happy ending in final fantasy!? are they MAD!

  • Frou Larsson

    Noel should be in the game to!!! why create a character (always) to let them get forogtten/killed/ripped off/thrown into a forgotten abyss…it’s to far to forget a character like a Noel! Always missed a character like him. Especially the moments when you chose Serah to be dumb and he’s like: you can’t be serious abiout that:> and other things. heäs loveable

  • Spider-Man

    I don’t want a happy ending. I want a yandere ending, where Hope takes Lightning, stuffs her somewhere and blow up all exits. Or maybe some heart wrenching netorare. Tsundere ending is fine too, I guess. 

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