Here’s Lightning’s New Look In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

By Ishaan . December 18, 2012 . 8:29am

Lightning has a new look in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and a member of Japanese board, 2ch, posted an amusing LittleBigPlanet rendition of it yesterday, after having spotted it early in a magazine report. Luckily, we have a look at the actual new art today. Here it is:


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII takes place several years after Final Fantasy XIII-2. The game is set in a place named Novus Partus, which comprises of four islands connected by a monorail system. Square say that the focus is on making Lightning Returns a world-driven game with deep customization.

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  • wowzers

  • Brimfyre

    As long as I play AS Lightning for 99% of the game and I can change her costume I will be happy.

    • MrRobbyM

      The reason I skipped XIII-2, for the most part, was that I couldn’t play as anyone I cared about(ever so minimally). So I’m with you on that.

      • FitzpatrickPhillips

        Shouldn’t play Light Returns without having played XIII-2. You’ll be lost

        • MrRobbyM

          I’ll just read a summary or watch a few videos or something.

          • handsomejack47

            Messing with time, killing the main villain causes destruction, some characters die. That’s basically XIII-2 summarized.

  • It’s cool, although, I have absolutely no clue how that shield works. Magic I guess~

  • Kevi Johnson-el

    dat bankai

    • FFmax

      Lol Bleach, I thought the same thing too.

      • MediaMindControl

        I was thinking, Nobunaga oda or some sengoku basara Dynasty warriors look.

    • DOATEC T.V

      You just ruined it for everyone =/

      • TJ

        If you mean the Bleach comparison, then yes it has been ruined…!

  • shion16

    Can she breath with that ?

    • AnimusVox

      You don’t need to breath when you got swagg

  • MrRobbyM

    I haven’t played XIII-2 so I don’t know how she developed as a character, but I don’t think this suits her. The costume itself is nice. I just don’t think it suits her.

    Here’s another pic I got from tumblr

  • Riseabovethesky

    It looks highly inflexible…

  • almostautumn

    Her new costume should be invisible and forgotten like the entire FF13 trilogy.

    Sorry. I’m still a little angry on this one.

    • Hraesvelgr

      So, you want her to be nude?

      • AnimusVox

        I can absolutely get behind that. If you know where I’m gettin at.

      • almostautumn

        I can settle with that, yes.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      then keep it to yourself I think everyone is getting sick of hearing the same fucking post like this every god damn time.

    • Keep on topic, please. This thread is about the new design of Lightning, not about personal preferences regarding the XIII series.

  • Go2hell66

    Sephiroth says hello :O

  • Azuardo

    I am very happy with this.

  • YourAshyAss_Elbows

    It looks a little..Mass Effect-esque. I just hope the game plays well

  • DesmaX

    Man… That spike on her left arm looks dangerous.

    Her head might hit it or something

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    well she has more Armor then the girls in Queens blade and SC combined, Looks sexy

  • So now her panties are completely revealed. It’s like an evolution of shrinking lower-body clothing.

  • LOL, Final Fantasy meets Saint Seiya.

  • Freud_Hater

    it’s pretty cool… and at least she’s wearing pants, now, so total improvement. Wonder why she suddenly went emo and favors black leather, now… Might be because of the whole apocalypse caused by Caius…

    • Suicunesol

      She’s got a leotard bottom, and she’s baring her upper leg skin. Her coattail thingamajig is partially covering it. No pants.

  • slenderman859

    se parece a darth vader

    • ¿Y qué quieres decir con eso? No es como si James Earl Jones fuera a prestar su voz para Lightning. ¿O sí?

  • Daniel Kursave

    Where’s mai belts

  • negineBIT

    SE is quite good with fanservices ^w^

  • Tien Ron

    anyone else noticed it’s a combination of her two costumes together?

    • MrRobbyM

      Good eye. Wouldn’t have noticed it unless it was a higher quality scan. The pockets on her skirt and the collar are both nice touches.

  • Namuro

    That’s a rather interesting costume transition. She dressed like a soldier in the first game…then like an angelic warrior in the second…and now like a demonic warlord.

    I like the design overall but I do find the breast plate to be a bit bland, and the black colour scheme, that’ll take a while for everyone to get used to since we’re so familiar with her white clothings in earlier games.

  • eilegz

    evil lightning :O

  • Carlos Escalante

    Looks nice…..better than the angelic armor, worse than the military suit.

  • Looks grand, but also highly impractical at the same time; she has nothing protective for the torso and waist (and probably none for the back either), no protection for the inner half of the arms, and her legs are just completely bare! Not to mention the bustier restricting her breath.

    Design-wise, this armor could be awesome as a mid-/late-game outfit or equipment set, but I don’t know what to say about it as the default look. Looks like designers are trying too hard to include fanservice.

    • MrRobbyM

      I agree, the fanservice sort of ruins it. If they were trying to go for a dark warrior look, they could have gone a bit farther. The bits they included from her original XIII costume are nice, but I would have preferred they get rid of it and go with a bit more of a dark warrior look instead of a dark warrior princess look. Something a bit more Valkyrie inspired.

      • Well, at least her bust width didn’t step over the girth of her ribcage, so at least the designers still kept her body anatomically plausible. That said, I don’t remember her bust being that prominent in XIII, although that might be just me.

        • MrRobbyM

          Her military outfit in XIII had more layers with only a strap underneath her bust to bring some attention. But yeah, It was mostly the layers.

          • You get alternative outfits in XIII? Man, I really should continue the game at some point.

          • MrRobbyM

            Nope! Sorry, I used the word costume when I should have said outfit. Whoops :P

          • Azuardo

            No. He was describing her only XIII outfit.

    • Kaihedgie

      Hardly anyone wears anything practical in FF, so I’m not seeing the problem here

      • Are you sure? Even in XIII, Sazh, Snow and Hope all wore pretty sensible clothing.

        • Kaihedgie

          Sazh’s afro is a bird’s nest.

          Does anyone actually play FF for realism? Or practicality?

          • I thought we’re talking about clothing designs specifically, not overall character designs.

            Anyway, my point is that sensible/practical clothing does exist in XIII‘s universe. It’s not about realism (which is relative to our world’s common sense, or “external logic” in other words) as much as the games’ established internal logic. I mean, just look at PSICOM soldiers; they’re armored to the teeth and they use ranged weapons. Lightning is largely a melee character; if anything, she needs more protection than they do.

          • Kaihedgie

            This doesn’t take place in Pulse, however, so I’m not seeing the point. In fact, this game takes place at least a century later

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    -Detached head.
    -Spider arms.
    -Gundam Shield
    -N7 Armor

    • MrRobbyM

      That’s why I feel it doesn’t suit her. Her head just does’t blend with the armor at all. Her soft pink hair just doesn’t work with all the dark armor.

  • I like it and hate it at the same time. It’s a more gothic, vampiric feel IMO, my main gripe with the design is the armor plating on her arms and why it doesn’t completely cover the arms in general, and my goodness the chest area looks like it would be terrible for evasive action.

    The Gundamish Shield and Red Sword are interesting though. It makes me wonder if GILGAMESH snatched up her previous weapons.

    A thing to note is that below her neck is an emblem or necklace of some sort which takes the form of the game’s logo, this artifice will likely significant in that regard.

    But it is stated there are at least 20 other designs to choose from for ingame use so there may be better designs to choose from. I think the funny thing is that her hair and face stayed the same as opposed to everything else.

    I’ll shut up now.

    • MrRobbyM

      “But it is stated there are at least 20 other designs to choose from for ingame use”

      What. Really? I sure hope so o_o

      Hopefully not all DLC.

      • Wouldn’t surprise me if it was all DLC. But yes they said there would be at least 20 or so outfits as far as I recall.

    • That Chest plate seems more like rubber than metal. Otherwise, you’re right. The entire design is impractical (minus the Gundam Shield). And strangely enough, it fits more in a Castlevania title, if it took place in a Mad Max-like setting… but that’s just me.

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    That’s a fine outfit. I still prefer her military one, but that’ll do.

  • Raze

    Is it just my eyes…

    Or her right boob is bigger than her left boob???

    Oh and the sword…
    I think I’ve seen that sword design in another game..
    But I can’t remember it…

    • I can’t unsee it (O o)

      Actually if you look closer they are actually the same size, so its just our eyes….

      • Nope. Her boobs are in different sizes. And before anyone says anything, no, she isn’t standing from an angle. She is standing straight towards us.

        • Eh… I’d say she is only very slightly turned to her left. Compare the areas of side-midriff exposure; her right side’s area looks a bit bigger than her left.

        • Bentan

          it’s realistic this way since boobs are rarely symmetrical unless it’s silicon implants

    • MrRobbyM

      Oh god.

    • I think it’s the lock of hair covering the top edge of her left breast that induced the illusion, but yeah, still a pretty… weird (unintended) illusion.

      • Raze

        Ahh I see…
        If I concentrate fully and look closer…
        I think I can see it…
        It looks like she’s turned to left slightly…
        Indeed..It’s a weird illusion…

    • Cannot unsee…

    • OatMatadoQuatro

      Oh god…

    • One is Serah’s and one is Lightning’s. :P

      • Raze


        Which one is Serah’s?
        Which one is Lightning’s?

    • Bentan

      realistic proportions lol

  • KingGunblader

    Ehhh I do not like this look at all. Hopefully you can unlock her XIII costume or something.

  • DanteJones

    Not sure how I feel about the new costume. It’s not necessarily bad but kind of weird looking? This picture might not be doing it justice, so I’ll wait until we get some higher quality scans of how it looks in-game.

  • Rentekabond

    I think the costume is awesomely stupid, the best of both worlds. Functionally, it wouldn’t pass any realism tests, but it looks cool and I personally have never seen something like it before (other than the homage pieces, like Odin’s shield and such), so I like it.

  • Personally very pleased with this. I was worried when we got the description first but this turned out to be bad-ass looking for me.

    As for its practicality, we can’t really fully criticize it yet until we see her in action in the first trailer, come Saturday. Also glad that she’s having 20 other outfits, the whole outfit topic then won’t lead into such a big ruckus within the fans.

    Can’t wait for Saturday!

  • Devon Peluso

    Light in dat armor… *drool*

    I just hope I can control the flow of battle… here’s to hoping~

  • D-Rev

    I welcome our new Lightning overlord.

  • Minos

    How does she breathes?

    • VietKnight

      Well the armor only covers part of her abdomen as you can see her skin next to it.
      Well from military garb to light armor now to dark?

    • Luna Kazemaru

      I asked that when i see the juggernaut aswell

  • Haseyo

    So she became our lour and savior. Got it.

  • Guzilla

    Hmm. Well it’s not my favorite, but it’s not unattractive either. I will enjoy the different costumes! :D

  • Nonomino

    Oh God… I don’t like it. At all. To be blunt, I think it is pretty ugly.
    I didn’t like what she wore in the second game but at least I thought it looked okay… But it’s nice to know we will be able to customize her! :)

  • AoNoise

    I’m getting some serious Saint Seiya vibes off of this one…

    • OatMatadoQuatro

      I do this for my goddess

      Burn! My Lightning!! Odin Ryu Sei Ken!!!

  • There are many other games that should deserve a sequel or more sequels. 13 to be more precise.

  • Judging by the comments below, I can conclude that this new design fails. All because everyone is expecting that, true or not, they can change costumes at some point in the game.

  • Go2hell66

    why so much hate for this costume? i think it looks awesome.
    heck if she was in advent childen she’d fit right in
    it’s like a sephiroth+genesis hybrid

    • “it’s like a sephiroth+genesis hybrid”

      That’s not really a compliment.

  • Kaihedgie

    Can’t please any of you, huh?

    Personally, this is some fine badass armor

    I also hear people complaining about practicality or “breathing”. Does anyone recall the fashion models of FFX? Or the abundance of leather in Advent Children?

  • Gmoyajp

    Glad it’s the last game there making. I not fan of lightning but SE need to give up the goat on her.

  • Suicunesol

    Wow that’s quite a shocking difference. Somebody else mentioned that it’s an amalgamation of her two previous costumes, but I don’t see it. It looks like a mishmash of a whole bunch of impractical fanservicey armor that she picked up from the junk yard, but didn’t have the fashion sense to choose a combination of clothing that meshed well.

    For instance, she’s not wearing much of anything from her thighs down. Perhaps she chose that look for mobility, which makes sense. But then she puts on this really stiff-looking chest plate that looks like it’d be really hard to bend down in.

    You can clearly see what the artist was going for:

    -arms: cool protection with fanservice

    -spike on shoulder: coolness

    -xena cups, emphasis on breasts, fanservice

    -middriff armor: provides ample protection… except for the naked sides, which is undoubtedly fanservice. Looks impractical. Look extremely uncomfortable.

    -mantle and coattail: entirely coolness factor.

    -leotard bottom, fanservice, but also good for mobility.

    Because of their focus, it just doesn’t mesh well. Despite this, LOL, I don’t terribly dislike it. I think it’ll grow on me when once I see Lightning in action.

    • Well there was always some sort of fanservice in the female costumes in the past if we do some retrospective:

      – Maria has one of her boobs naked.
      – Rosa has her underwear outside
      -Rydia uses that single piece green bikini, whip and boots
      – Lenna has a miniskirt.
      – Terra and Celes pretty much wear nothing but shoulder pads, single piece bikini thing and boots.
      – Tifa. Nuff said
      – Aerith’s long dress is very unbuttoned, leaving a lot for the imagination.
      – Yuffie is a jailbait.
      – Selphie ditto, with a really short miniskirt.
      – Garnet’s clothes are so, so tight it’s as if she’s wearing nothing at all! Nothing at all! NOTHING AT ALL! (Stupid, sexy Garnet!)
      – Yuna’s clothes are alright, just wearing a black bra and two white rags covering her chest is all.
      – X-2 Yuna… nuff said.

      I don’t think this costume is that much shocking, well maybe it is since it’s a fully detailed 3D render is all lol.

      • Suicunesol

        It’s not so much that it’s fanservice. It’s that it looks blatantly obvious that it took precedence over other things. The other girls you mentioned are mostly mages, so they don’t really wear armor.

        It’s also important to note that the reason why Lightning feels different is because Lightning’s original ouftfit isn’t really like that (?)… which makes the new outfit stand out more. The other characters’ default costumes were fanservicey from the start. But at least they looked more comfortable.

        • I think you’re overthinking the costume too much, in fantasy games absurd clothing, hair defying gravity and ridiculous long swords is just as comfortable as walking naked. I honestly don’t see this costume as fanservicey as other things I’ve seen.

          But agreed regarding Light’s feel, nothing similar to her first costume feel.

  • Kristoffer Brandberg

    I don’t know why but that armor she wears reminds me of the N7-armor from Mass Effect-series for some reason…

  • UltZeroStar0

    It’s pretty good. I think seeing it in action might make it look a little better though.

  • Barrit

    She looks like a badass. That’s my Lightning :)

  • Alfy Masamune

    looks bad, just like the last 2 games.

  • Not liking the outfit. I rather just customise her appearance at the start.

    Either this is another Toriyama fetish or Nomura did this while pissed off from being dragged away from the director’s for a moment.

  • SirRichard

    And now she’s Dracula.

    EDIT: To be specific, a kinky Japanese Dracula.

  • amagidyne

    You’re all focusing on the wrong thing here. There’s nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail!

  • xAKUM3TSUx

    Awesome! She looks like her own Murakumo unit!!!

  • Mass Effect are you here?

    Anyway, I want that, NOW!

  • JazzWithAttitude

    This is…very ugly…
    I wanted her costume from XIII :O

  • Demeanor

    A good challenge for cosplayers worldwide! ^ ^ they won’t be able to resist… :D

    • Detrimont

      if ony i was female, i dont feel like losing my dignity by gender bending myself

  • kool_cid414

    I like….. a lot!

  • Hoshi星

    Couldn’t they change her haircut as well? Not that I hate this hair style.

    • jeka69

      It’s iconic to her, so I guess not. The only character who changed his hairstyle and still can get away with it is only Barret, IIRC. Oh, and Yuna. And Rikku.

  • Her weapon for some reason reminds me of keyblades from kh

  • imaguni

    That post from yesterday had me a bit apprehensive but I actually really like it. I’m seeing more of a Dark Knight than a White Mage for now though… Hope the darker armor/outfit has some plot significance.

  • LanceHeart

    Dark Knights the world over cried out in terror…

    Also: She looks like Cecil now.

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    It’s like if Rule 34 made Cloud and Sephiroth had a child O_o.

    Looking good. Still it doesn’t feel like clothing Nomura designed. I think he only designed her face.

  • Darkrise

    Am I reading things right? People are complaining about impracticality and level of comfort for a costume in a FF game? Especially a rpg for that matter… *smh*

    The costume looks fine imo, with some mild excessive additions like the shoulder spikes and a collar… But still looks kind of cool.

  • The more I look at it the more I hope her shield has sword bits/Fin Funnels~ Man now that’d be a cool addition to the battle system, just saying.

  • ragingmerifes

    Steel corsets are so confortable.

  • Yesfir

    Haha, this looks really amusing. I’m glad that Final Fantasy XIII has ended up being such an entertaining game.

  • This outfit looks crazy, even for Final Fantasy.

  • Vitor Duarte

    Not enough skin showing, sorry. I still prefer Light’s original costume.

  • The bottom half looks like it was part of her original costume in XIII.

  • Crok425

    You know… I just mistook her for Cloud for a second when I saw the thumbnail XP.

  • dark zios

    that looks awfull.

  • karasuKumo

    Why so many spikes on the arms? I’d personally change that chest-piece to red because I think it would suit her better plus it would fit her ‘regal knight’ type persona. She looks like she’s going to a death metal gig in Valhalla. That cape is appreciated, the rest is ridiculous. I’m really hoping this look grows on me.

  • alixraen

    In the words of the late Harvey Dent, “Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

  • zephyrsword

    Female Izanagi. Without the helmet.

  • Kairo Fujima

    Is it just me, or does it feel like the artist grabbed random paint buckets and just threw them at Lightning?

  • cameron forsyth

    hrm seems like too eccentric for me, hope they continue to support the changeable costume feature from FF13-2.
    not saying it’s bad.

  • MasterHiei

    Holy shit, that sets a new low for the series.

    I miss simple female designs like Aya Brea whith her white t-shirt and battered jeans.

  • NANAandLIZZYfanatic

    I thought XIII-2 costume was atrocious.

    I still dislike Lightning as a character tho… :/
    Hopefully I’ll begin to like her more since it seems I’ll be seeing a lot of her as this is LIGHTNING RETURNS Final Fantasy XIII.

  • PragmaticSoul

    That’s pretty bad.

    Sometimes I don’t even know if they’re joking or not anymore.

  • yalissa

    Honestly, I think this would look better if they got rid of the spikes on her arms. I don’t really dislike the costume as a whole, but it could be better. I think that the main thing that’s keeping me from liking it, aside from the spikes, is the breastplate. They could’ve added a little something-something there to make it seem less… There? If that makes sense :X

  • Crok425

    … I mistook her for Cloud for a second there in the thumbnail XDD

  • Elemiel

    XIII: Nice, fit in the game’s world.
    XIII-2: pretty good
    This one: WHAT IS GOING ON

  • Happy Gamer

    Am I just one of those that dislike change, grumpy, and “old fashioned” by saying why didn’t SE just go with her military outfit, continue the story within XIII, expanding across “Grand” Pulse ending up fighting the ultimate god of destruction typical plot? XIII-2 had too much wtf plot and mechanics to it to the point I got annoyed (the puzzles).
    After having played Last Story, which was pretty “generic” in setting, come to a conclusion there is nothing wrong with tried and true fantasy fair.

    I dunno I would have made something like “fight titans, still being able to use summons, which is the primar reason why I even thought XIII was awesome, find out about the other “espers”, throughout your journey, find upgrades to your usual summon, and later the ultimate summon, come together like Voltron etc”

    Presentation wise SE is killing it (in a good way of course), but I think they forgot “fun.”

  • That looks absurd, so I guess it’s safe to assume that Tetsuya Nomura is back on character design?

  • Happy Gamer

    I forgot to add something important. I’m not sure who writes the scenarios for the XIII series, but to me, it feels like 50 people write them then somehow put it together in a cut and paste room, even within a single game.
    The sequels show that even more, they just so far apart and I cannot relate to the game and characters anymore.

    You know that feeling when you play a sequel you see a character you know and it’s like “awww yeah he/she is back!”
    but XIII series it feels like nothing connects at all writing wise. I am not saying this in a good or bad way, it just feels that way to me.

  • Nyandroid

    *reads previous comments*
    Am I the ONLY one who likes Lightning’s Valkyrie armour!? It certainly looks a lot nicer than this. I don’t even know what is going on with her here. ~>w>;Nothing really feels like it flows together. Its a mess. :x

    • LightZero

      Nope I also prefer her Valkyrie armor.

    • Elvick

      If that’s her XIII-2 outfit, then I loved it. Just had no interest in the game.

      This outfit is so… bleh.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    If there’s an island, I expect some damn wind turbines! Seems like playing dress up is a guilty pleasure of mine :(

  • bad mixed lol >_>

  • Light has gone from a military commando to a dark warlord.

  • Protos Omega

    This better be better than the last two.

  • Bentan

    it seems they reskinned VS 13 into this game, not that i’m complaining heheh

  • Square Enix you ruined my lightning. I love lightning outfits from the previous game, but this one look so awful. I hope you read my comment and change that outfit.

  • jeka69

    Looks cool. Wonder who designs it.

  • Masengan

    Kinda dominatrix-y.

  • Neppygear

    Lightning… what are you doing?

  • Sergio Macellaro

    Very good and, in FFXIII-4 she will have a d-i-c-k

  • Lightning looks beautiful as always. :-3

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