Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Will Have A Hard Mode With Better Drops

By Eugene . September 18, 2013 . 10:35am

Speaking to Famitsu, game designer for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Yuji Abe and battle design director Nobuyuki Matsuoka rocked up more details on Hard mode for the game. Players can unlock Hard after finishing the game the first time, which will take anywhere from 20 to 50 hours.



Playing the game on Hard has its benefits–while monsters will also become more difficult, item drops and item quality will also increase, with some impossible-to-find-otherwise items only dropping in Hard. Fortunately, gamers will be able to carry Lightning’s upgraded stats, garb and abilities from their regular playthrough over to Hard mode.


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Matsuoka also shared that thinning the herd of a specific monster in an area might possibly spawn a boss version of them. These more powerful creatures will have a chance to drop rare items available only from them. This makes the aforementioned limb-targeting something to pay attention to, training players on where to chop on minion mobs before the big bads.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will  be out November 21 in Japan, February 11 in North America and February 14 in Europe for Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s XBox 360.


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  • Brutal2D

    Ugh, I was hoping this would be as soon as you start you can select it. I have the hardest time replaying games just for a higher difficulty setting.

  • Ethan_Twain

    If this game was branded anything but FF XIII I think I would be pretty psyched about it. The gameplay systems and structure of the game sound pretty awesome! The idea that grinding a certain enemy actually gives the player useful knowledge and leads to a boss fight type encounter with the potential for significant reward… is a really good one! MMOs in particular should totally crib this.

    It’s strange when the Final Fantasy branding and narrative are what make me less enthusiastic about a game.

    • Catnipcookie

      To be fair, Final Fantasy is in the subtitle of this game. It’s Lightning Returns as the main title. If anything think of it as that.
      Don’t get hung up on names man, Just because you know one Dave who’s a jerk doesn’t mean all Dave’s are mean.

      • Ethan_Twain

        Totally. Other Final Fantasy games can still be (and are) great. But FF XIII games in particular? …I’m not sure man. I think that universe is beyond redemption. The storytelling is just SO bad. You can’t take those vague philosophical nonsense statements and melodrama and make it into something good – not when it’s that far gone.

  • Without a difference in story I’d think hard would be available from the beginning

    • seyEliveD

      I would hope so since I don’t typically play games twice and the FF series is too easy as is.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Whyyyyyy isn’t it available from the beginninnnnng

  • Demeanor

    Looking forward to this after XIII-2 restored the dignity of the saga. If this game is meant to be replayed, a hard mode with better drops will be welcome indeed, although since everything carries over it’ll be balanced for endgame stats as starting stats -> so why would we need the drops? Crafting of uber weapons not available in the normal game?
    Also, I keep thinking about the one-man army thing… they do try to innovate with every installment, but single-controlled players rpgs are quite rare! (Zettai Hero project and… what else?) Won’t it be boring to control only one character? Won’t we be limited with strategic choices? Isn’t it a complete turnaround from the paradigm system, all centered on “mmo roles”?

    • Raltrios

      Kingdom Hearts generally has you only control one character in a campaign, and that’s worked out more than well so far.
      The Legend of Zelda is a better example, though. Certainly not boring.

      • Demeanor

        Thanks for the answers guys, I was thinking more along the lines of a strategic, turn-based or quasi-turn-based battle system, if I’m not mistaken XIII-3 is not an action game like KH (that had 2 npc-controlled party members as well) or Zelda (it IS an action game right? I never played it, isn’t it like Alundra for PS1 or Darksiders?), but it’s based on the ATB filling up and then selecting commands. It’s precisely the fact that it’s not pure action that strikes me as odd, having only 1 character.

        • Raltrios

          Go watch some Twilight Princess videos. The action in that game is so much fun, especially having the option to flourish your sword before sheathing it after you kill something :3

    • Arcana Wiz

      well Zhp is a roguelike, a sub genre of rpgs that relies on one character entering in dungeons and you know the story…. and action rpg games like KH have only one character too.

  • NightzeroAX

    That’s cool I guess. I like starting on normal then ascending to higher difficulties.

  • iLoveLightning

    This is fucking awesome! Can’t wait to play it.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    So it’s similar to Valkyrie Profile? That game became a cakewalk on hard and was insanely difficult on easy.

  • DivinePhoenix69

    Really looking forward to this game, i have a feeling this one will be my favorite of the XIII trilogy.

  • I’m always down for better drops =^_^=

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