Time Is Always Flowing In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

By Ishaan . December 25, 2012 . 10:00am

Japanese blog, Game Jouhou, has details on Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, courtesy of Famitsu magazine. The following is what they picked up from Famitsu’s report.


As expected, Lightning’s new costume is designed by Tetsuya Nomura, but you’ll be able to change the colour of the costume as well as the costume itself, along with Lightning’s abilities.


Famitsu also confirm that Lightning will be the only playable character in the game. However, while Lightning is the only playable character, apparently, it feel as though you’re controlling an entire party.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will also feature a new battle system as indicated by the recent trailer. Lightning uses multiple “Styles” in combat, which consist of specific weapons, shields, accessories and abilities. Square Enix are tentatively calling this the “Amazing ATB” system, but that isn’t the final name.


As previously reported, Lightning Returns runs on a clock system. Famitsu say that time is always flowing in the game, and that certain information will only be available at certain times. The only time that time ceases to flow is when you open up a menu on the game’s fields. Additionally, keeping with the time theme, NPC locations and behaviour will change as well.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII doesn’t have a release date yet.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Tony

    If only the combat flowed as well, ZING. But honestly this looks like a step in the right direction, a small step, but baby steps people.

  • Ethan_Twain

    Well this reminds me an awful lot of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. We’ve got a central city location, a countdown to the end of the world, and an always on ticking clock. We’ve got NPCs changing their information and behaviors based on the day and time.

    So what can we infer from the comparison? First of all, exploration is not going to be a key component to this game. Not much going to new places and mapping them all out. I think this suits a JRPG like FF XIII better than Zelda though, so it’s not the end of the world or anything. FF XIII did okay without a ton of exploration didn’t it? FF X also.

    Second: Multiple endings are definitely gonna be back. Square Enix messed around with them in XIII-2 and this game is structured in a way that just begs for it.

    And lastly: We can expect this city to look just great. Square Enix has a way of injecting as much art into each location in their games as humanly possible (to the point, arguably, of being over designed a lot of the time) and with a big budget game like this working with a relatively small surface area… those artists and animators are gonna go crazy guys. I can’t wait to see what they’re able to cook up because I think it’ll be excellent.

    • The article didn’t include this but Toriyama has once again confirmed that the game will only see one definitive conclusion. He also specifically stated that the rest of the main characters from the previous XIII games will be shown to have satisfying closures to their stories.

      I hope they don’t disappoint.

      • I await the moment when Fang’s and Vanille’s crystals shatter giving them their closure. That would be terrible. And I’m afraid that is something Toriyama may have in mind.

  • Claire Oga

    Wouldn’t a multiple “Styles” combat be more efficient using actual multiple characters? I don’t know what’s happening…

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    “However, while Lightning is the only playable character, apparently, it feel as though you’re controlling an entire party.”

    Sounds too overpowered for a single character

  • OathkeeperSoraXIII

    the mo’ info the mo’ better this game keeps sounding to me. Pretty awesome that all the characters will have closure with this one,
    *spoilers* I knew Vanille and Fang being rescued at the end of XIII-2 would lead on to them appearing in this game *end of spoilers*

    I’ve noticed that since Light is the only playable character they’ve detailed her in-game model a lot more than in the XIII and XIII-2, especially with her face. her whole face seems more like her CGI version than her previous models. might just be me though. I can’t wait to see what role each character will play and I wonder if Noel will make a return at some point, would seem like a waste to introduce him as a main character in XIII-2 only to not have him appear at some point in this. As far as sounding a bit like Zelda: MM with the whole time concept it does sound like a unique concept for a FF game. I look forward to seeing more info.

    is it just me or are people now beginning to like her costume a bit now that it’s been mentioned Nomura designed it? lmao (maybe not on this website, but on a few FF news websites and this french gaming websites people have been having a sudden change of heart towards it, guess that’s the power of Nomura…)

    • Tien Ron

      That naked back still isn’t doing it for me

  • From what I’ve seen you have different ability sets for battle. It’s what XIII should have been.

    Since Lightning IS the only playable character you ARE controlling the entire party. A party of 1.

    I chuckled from Amazing ATB. The alliteration AA is amusing.

  • MrTyrant

    “Lightning will be the only playable character in the game. However,
    while Lightning is the only playable character, apparently, it feel as
    though you’re controlling an entire party.”

    Ha! they did it! I knew it.

  • Elemiel

    “However, while Lightning is the only playable character, apparently, it feel as though you’re controlling an entire party.”
    So is there multiple Lightnings running around on the battlefield or do they mean something else?

    • MrTyrant

      Haha yeah We have clones and we can summon more of them.

      • Lightning’s new limit break attack “Party of One”. Ugh.

        • OatMatadoQuatro

          The problem is that the clones will not get along very well. They will spend their time mocking each other. XD

  • MrRobbyM

    That’s a bit disappointing. So far the game has done nothing to impress me besides Light actually being playable for the entire game. But…I didn’t want her to be the only playable character.

    • ResidentMetroid

      Same here, I wanted to play as Noel again and maybe even Vanille and Fang. Hopefully Light isn’t always in a grumpy, she always tends to kill the mood if no one else is around.

    • komiko12

      Maybe you can get guess party members. They would help you out in battle but you cannot control them.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    I expect an Eidolon named “The World” to be in this game. Don’t disappoint SE!

    • Do you get to drive it?

      • MrSirFeatherFang

        I hope so. Gotta finish dat Steel Ball Run

        • They did say it was world driven.

          • MrSirFeatherFang

            Dude you should have put shades on!

            They did say it was
            ( •_•)>⌐■-■
            world driven

            Nonetheless you still made me laugh haha

          • Jay

          • MrRobbyM


          • Göran Isacson

            Even if this game turns out to dissapoint me, at the very LEAST did it result in the creation of this golden thread. Stay classy, gentlemen.

    • StarWarudo

      Za Warudo!


        Awwww yush :D

  • Dexward

    That sexy back.

  • riceisnice

    What’s with this new obsession everyone has with time?

    • AnimusVox

      Those damn Mayans

    • Farid Belkacemi

      It’s not new

      *look at my DS version of Chrono Trigger*

      Yeah ! :D

  • Göran Isacson

    Lightning being the only playable member is a little bit ‘eh’, but I can appreciate them trying to bring closure to EVERYONES stories. Feels nice that they’re at least not making this all about one person, you know? There were SIX who saved Cocoon and humanity, after all.

    That aside, this is about what I’d expect. It’s kinda like Majoras Mask but with “turn-based” battles, and… well, I’ve heard less intriguing concepts? Plus we get to play dress-up. Always good for something, I guess.

  • Zonic505

    “you’ll be able to change the color of the costume as well as the costume itself”

    Any bets that this might mean we’ll see DLC outfits again?

    • Blob

      I think there WILL be DLC costumes, but there will still be a variety w/o DLC, a bit like serah and Niels weapons in xiii-2, I just hope we can get her Xiii costume, it remains my favourite

  • DesmaX

    “Amazing ATB”

    lol, that’s like if Tales of team decided to call their new battle system T.B.S.I.R.G. (This Battle System is Really Good)

    • jeka69

      You know what, now I do *really* hope that someone will use that as the official battle system name.

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    Quite honestly I thought Hope would the lead of this game considering all the importance Snow and Lightning gave him.

    • Blob

      Oh god, please no. I hated him in xiii and his dialogue was nothing short of awkward for me in Xiii-2

  • Josh Strange

    Army of one, haha

  • negineBIT

    Army of One, a final tribute to one of the presumably iconic Final Fantasy heroin..

    • new_tradition

      That’s actually something I was wondering about. Army of One for FFXIII, Legion of One for FFXIII-2…Will there be a third rendition of her special attack, or just the same one from a previous game?

      I’m trying to think what tops Legion…

      • Nashinote

        World of One.

      • jeka69

        The Final One.

  • heartless141

    kindda saw that in the last trailer.
    instead of having a ravager and a commander,
    they’ll just have her do a combo of shooting magic then do some slashes.

  • Masengan

    So something a la Radiata Stories where people had their own schedules etc.

  • KiTA

    Radiata Stories did the “living world where time passes” thing first. And, given that Radiata Stories had humble enough graphics that they can get away with 50 different NPCs in an area, probably better.

  • This is much less more FF-ish as compared to the previous series, where there are several characters involved in the whole story, each having their own unique abilities and personalities. And I think that scheme of RPG is how FF has made it this far. I’ve played FFXIII and I found it a good FF game, despite of its linearity. It’s the characters, the story/drama and of course the unique gamplay (ATB). These are the things that have been omitted, or if not became less observed in FFXIII-2 which I had high hopes, and eventually disappointed me. Still I’m really looking forward to this game. Cheers for Tetsuya Nomura for improving Lightning’s costume. It made her much more like cloud, with her large blade.

  • The World concept reminds me of Xenoblade. I just wish SE aims for a world as big and as expansive as that of Xenoblade, that’d be really good :D

  • jeka69

    Lol ‘Amazing ATB’

    From what I’ve seen from the battle footage, it looks like it will somewhat adapt the Type-0 battle system; circle/B for attack, the other three for the abilities assigned to the Paradigm Shift (or style).

    Still loling from ‘Amazing’.

  • “However, while Lightning is the only playable character, apparently, it feel as though you’re controlling an entire party.”

    I kind of like the sound of this. The only glaring flaw XIII-2 had, IMO, was not enough Lightning. Now, I can have Lightning all to myself. And I’m also excited to customize her outfit as well.

  • Jay

    So Assassin’s Creed and Majora’s Mask had a baby and they named it Lightning Returns. I need more information on this game before I make any definitive conclusions.

    • Marcio Campos

      Did you find lightning parents.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos