Lightning Returns Will Have Japanese Voices As DLC In North America

By Ishaan . November 21, 2013 . 8:00am


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will feature both English and Japanese voice-overs, Square Enix announced this morning. The Japanese voices will be available as free downloadable content during the first two weeks after the game’s launch.


After this two-week period, the Japanese voices will be paid DLC. Why paid? Because Square Enix went to the effort of giving the Japanese voices separate lip-syncing from the English ones and they’ll need to code those animations into the non-Japanese version of the game.


Lightning Returns will be available on February 11th, 2014 for Xbox 360 and PS3. Square Enix haven’t announced how much the Japanese voice pack for the game will cost yet.

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  • TheExile285

    I hope SE knows this is a double edged sword for them….

    • I agree, but it’s Square-Enix. Even if people complain about future titles having this option, Square is one of those companies who won’t do it if they don’t want to.

    • Nanaki

      In my opinion I believe this is a step in the right directions in terms of options. If they put in effort with the voices, then it goes to show that they have some faith in doing things this way.

    • Arcana Wiz

      At this point anything that SE does it’s going to be a double edged sword… yay for the amazing fanbase!

      • TheExile285

        LOL, that’s true xD

      • DyLaN

        Salty fanbase is salty.

    • no one

      Double-edged, how? I’d imagine only the most extreme of people would still be upset. I’m more than happy to pay $5 more if that means having the option of dual audio, instead of being forced to put up with an English dub only.

      If localization companies shy away from including Japanese audio because of extra costs, then it’s logical to charge extra for the inclusion of it.


        Double edged because of how alot of people will start complaining about no japanese voices in the next release of a FF game if they don’t include it.

  • Brimfyre

    Lightning is one of the few dubbed voice I actually really like.

  • ivanchu77

    Nice idea! i would love if others do this too (tales of, for example) better to have this as DLC at least instead of not having it at all

    • Kai2591

      Yep. I wish more localized Japanese games would do this.
      Unless of course, their localized versions already have Jap audio included in the first place that is.

    • Hraesvelgr

      Namco has done this for their Naruto games before, haven’t they? I’m well aware that Tales games have considerably more voice acting in comparison, but the idea isn’t exactly new to the company.

      Then again, we’re barely at a point where Namco can be bothered to fully dub the games, so I guess we shouldn’t ask for too much.

      • Robert Hendrie

        Those were the ubisoft naruto games that got japanese VO dlc

  • Kj Kim

    I have the Japanese version. Please Take Care of Western-Voice patch

  • Pfantzypantz

    Major respect, they could have just given us dlc for the JP voices alone, but they’re actually bringing the lip sync aswell? I’m dang happy and really hope this is something they continue in the future.

  • KingGunblader

    Hey, free is free, but I honestly don’t ever see myself using this. I really like Ali Hillis’ acting.

  • artemisthemp

    Guess a lot of people is happy about Japanese voice been in LR and even been FREE

    • Hraesvelgr

      There are also a lot of people complaining about it being paid DLC after a time, even though I’m fairly certain you can just download it while its still free without having the game.

      • Luis Ibal

        :o but when i will be free? when is released in NA?

  • Crazy_O

    Well for LR at least, they got me from considering it to preordering it as soon as possible.

    Hope they keep it up and this could also be a solution for Drakengard!

  • ギャビン


  • iamtehultimatepwnage .

    what about europe?

  • Yan Zhao

    Well, I’m sold. Although, most SquareEnix games actually have really good english VA that dont make my ears bleed like other JRPGs. But its still a welcome addition. Wish TALES would do this. We keep asking, they keep denying.

    • Randy_Thompson

      At least we’re getting dual audio with Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. :)

  • fairysun

    But they should also include Vanille Japanese VA.
    So many friends of mine hate Vanille because of her voice (yes, the moaning voice when she casts spell is one of them).

    • Nanaki

      Why wouldn’t they include her VA? As far as I’m aware if you download the DLC you have the option to hear every voiced character in Japanese.

  • Lyh Scully

    Well count me surprised :D and happy ! Yay for options and not having to import the game.

    • Aoshi00

      It’s nice and certainly groundbreaking for an FF to have dual audio, did not see that coming.. but S-E had to just announce this right before the Jpn release, AmiAmi just shipped my Jpn copy today *.*;; if I knew I wouldn’t import and would wait 2-3 months since there’s so many new games.. this is free w/ Jpn lip synching too.. wonder if MGS5 would follow suit since each ver also has diff. lip sync.. FFX/X-2 would greatly benefit if they would re-do lip synching for Eng..

      I’m still getting the US ver on 360, like I did for 13 & 13-2.. I would play it in Jpn first and then in Eng again.. but would’ve rather played it twice on the same copy w/ new game plus.. better play it before the US release to get my money’s worth :(…

      I pre-ordered both Jpn & US ver of FFX HD as well, wonder if S-E would announce a dual audio DLC later..

      now people don’t need to complain about the HK Asian ver not having Eng text :P

      • Lyh Scully

        :D We can only hope they do this for other SE titles, even if its paid dlc in the future it still better than importing the game again, at least for those who like DA. Its an option and i really apreciate that. ^_^

        FFX/X-2 in eng its in my memory so im looking foward for the oportunity to play in japanese with all those new goodies, plus the US CE is really pretty.
        I hope we can have the same on EU love the cover!

        Lets see how it goes :D

        • Aoshi00

          yeah, beats double dipping, totally surprised since FF never had dual audio.. I did play X/X-2 in Jpn on PS2 before.. the Jpn dub was great, but I also liked the US dub, except the lip synching was pretty bad.. since they redid the soundtrack and graphics, it would be nice if they redo the lip sync.. I know, the Tidus/Yuna LE cover w/ the blue sea background looks really beautiful. The US cover was just a CD Tidus in the sea :)

  • MrRobbyM

    Hope they do this for XV. The Japanese voice acting is too great, what they’ve shown so far, to not have it available to experience.

  • harmonyworld

    Is there a demo for the jap verison?

  • Dark Zerato

    Sakamoto Maaya ftw.

  • Crimson_Cloud

    Awesome addition. SE you get a thumb up for this.

  • PersonaSpace

    Well damn, suddenly my interest in Lightning Returns has been returned.

    • Hraesvelgr

      If voice acting is the only thing that was capable of bringing your interest in the game back, I don’t think you were really interested in the game in the first place. I know people make comments like this all the time, and I don’t mean this as a knock against Japanese voice acting, but it really makes no sense.

      • PersonaSpace

        More to do with Square doing something people want for a change, but hey, get mad.

        • Hraesvelgr

          I’m… not mad, though?

      • sockem

        Think of it like artwork. If the way something looks can make people interested in something, so can the way it sounds.(as well as smell, taste, and touch).

        • Hraesvelgr

          That’s not really a good analogy. I am perfectly supportive of this option, and it’s something that should be at least considered for every game.

          However, video games are still largely based around their gameplay, so if you’re being brought around to a game solely because of voice acting, I don’t think you can really say the game itself is of interest to you.

          • sockem

            Well, that’s the idea. Lightning Returns gameplay could be just as good using stick figures but plenty of people are certainly more interested with the current models. One could argue that sound isn’t as important as visuals (it is still possible to play with the sound muted), but hopefully you agree that it can enhance the gameplay experience (e.g. horror games, rhythm games, story games, etc). Changing the voices simply enhances the gameplay experience to the point where the game (as a product) crosses from “not interested” to “interested”.

            Similarly, a game could have amazing gameplay but all the graphics are dead babies or sounds being fart noises. The game will still be judged based on the entire package and not just the gameplay. People put different weights on different aspects; some that affect gameplay and some that don’t (e.g. price). There are also people that don’t care much for the gameplay and would even prefer the game to have been a movie or show but the other aspects appeal to them enough so they’ll take what they can get (or watch a playthrough on youtube…).

  • icecoffemix

    “Why paid? Because Square Enix went to the effort of giving the Japanese voices separate lip-syncing from the English ones.”

    Because they don’t make japanese version of this game… oh wait.

    I know I know it’s better than nothing but when you see companies like NISA providing dual audio (which I imagine not free, paying for Jap VA license and all) on their much lower profile game while big company like SE doing this is just… ugh.

    Not like I’d care with this FF franchise though haha, I’m just gonna wait and see for FFXV. Hope that one won’t be a clusterfuck and fanservice galore.

    • Hraesvelgr

      On the other hand, NISA can’t even be bothered to fully dub their games, so they have their own problems.

      • icecoffemix

        Agreed, but I’m willing to give them some slack as they are much more smaller than SE and it doesn’t really bother me if it’s just the dub (unlike AT2 which even the jap language option has missing voice). As long as they have dual audio option, I’m happy. :P

    • I could have worded that better, but the point is that they’re still going to have to code all of that additional animation in, into a different version of the game.

      • icecoffemix

        Yeah, I figure it would still need extra programming work (and VA license) and if the price is not exorbitant it could be fair I guess.

        Still for company as large as SE I think providing them for free will show their goodwill and may help ease the failing install base.

    • Herok♞

      Well regardless of if they made the Japanese version or not they had to make two separate sets of cutscences to accommodate both voice options so its perfectly fine for it to be paid, especially when they will give it out free for the first two weeks meaning if you want it you can get it, even if you plan on buying the game later. Also I quite like NISA as well but you have to remember they don’t fully dub the games and they also don’t have to redo cutscences since they use stills to tell story

      • icecoffemix

        My point is they don’t have to make it specifically for the NA version, they have the japanese version to copy and paste. The additional work is probably just some rather trivial programming work involving flags, not something entity like SE need to break a bank to do.

  • Kaihedgie I dunno, for some reason I find this hilarious

  • Square Enix has been making lip-sync for their games a lot. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep had that as well on the PSP. So in reality, we are paying for their effort of making new lip-sync for the English voices in this case, no? They already had the Japanese ones thanks to the Japanese release…

  • Luis Ibal

    AWWW YEAH It Seems that my prayers paid off well :D

  • Just Tim

    I’m happy that a Final Fantasy game gets dual audio option, even if DLC.

    Now this is DLC done right. :3

    • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

      I like it too, but her Japanese voice actress voices Aerith in FFVIIAC among many others. Famous voice actors are always a plus.

  • haku67

    Buying this dlc! i’m glad that they are giving us the option this time instead of just saying NO we aren’t bring over at all :/

  • epy

    Maybe this is part of the reason the asian versions don’t have the japanese audio like before. It’s cool nonetheless.

  • katamari damacy

    Well even if we have to pay later on, at least Squarenix now understands that it’s fans want the Japanese voice tracks.

    • You make it sound like I wanted it :/

      • InfectedAI


      • RichyGaming

        I had no problem with the voice acting from any Final Fantasy game :]. But this is a good idea from SE imo.

        • Me neither. It’s a good idea and I wouldnt mind paying it if they went through the trouble to re-sync the voice acting.

        • greeeed

          This, FF one of few games that I actually like English voice actor…
          (Normally I like JPN voice more)

  • saxophone15

    Oh wow, this is pretty cool. I think the FF games have pretty good English voice acting, so I’ll probably play with that first…but it’s good to know that if I want to play through the game a second time, I can use the Japanese voices (I’m a fan of Maaya Sakamoto).

  • Brotato Chip


  • Randgriz

    Good for those who want it – im happy with the dub though since SE went the extra mile to immerse people like me into the series with the dub lipsynching momentum back on ff13.

  • Total_Overdose

    This is exciting…although I’ll probably wait to buy the game because you know there will be a FFXIII: Lightning Returns “International” edition or a “Digital Contents Selection” version down the pipeline in the next year or so.

  • pokeslob

    great maybe I’ll hate lightning slightly less….

    and then I read her dialogue still sucks :p

  • Sesshomaru

    But but but…Troy….Meh. After two weeks I’ll have finished it. Much like Koei and their slow arsed response in getting the Japanese voices out for DW8. At least SE have to some extra effort. I guess.

    • Firekitty

      You’ll still get your Troy, and I’ll get my Ono Daisuke…Everyone’s happy, maybe the fandom can be peaceful for once.

      • Sesshomaru

        Sebastian!!!! Maaya Sakamoto! She’s be better than Ali Hillis too. Sorry if everyone thinks she’s great. I just hear my Shepard’s stalker. Liara. But still..Troy. Nuts. Two play-throughs.

  • Theob Vious Choice

    Alright then, I’m sold; ima buy both Asia Pacific editions of the other FF13s and buy this one. Hopefully this means it’ll also replace whatever American pop diva they picked to do the soundtrack to replace a song that was well and good enough on it’s own.
    Believe me, I almost gave this a shot; I was watching videos on Youtube and the dub really isn’t bad, I’ll give anyone that; it’s one of the better dubs by comparison and I would have definitely bought the games…. if not for the replacement of certain songs in the western version. I know I’m being nitpicky, but I have plenty of other games I can play instead; so it’s no real loss if I don’t bother playing FF13 anyway. I’m not a true Final Fantasy fan, and I won’t claim to be; I really enjoyed 1, 4, 7 and 9, I’ve been meaning to get more into the series (plan on continuing to play 6 (blasphemy that I haven’t yet, I know), 3, and 8. But this really sealed me on the incentive to purchase this title, thank you Square Enix for doing something that other companies should have done for a long time. This is also a big deal since it’s a main series title…. of probably the most well known and famous JRPG franchises of all time; this is a step forward.

  • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

    This is great news! People have been asking for years for dual audio in a FF. I think SE is trying to gauge interest in dual audio to see if there is money in it and fans really want it. I hope people will download the Free DLC to show our interest. If it does well we could see future titles like KH3 and FFXV have these options. Please support! PSA from the peanut gallery that has been asking for years. Please consider downloading the Free DLC even if you wont use it to help the cause, thank you!

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    Why exactly wasn’t there space on the disc for this? I hated the fact that soul sacrifice did this, the dub is good but i think it’s pretty stupid to put voices on as something you have to buy especially if your on a system that has a lot of room to work with.

    • Teh Blasterz

      Xbox 360 version probably. Dynasty Warriors 8 ran into a similar problem from what I’ve heard. Microsoft does not allow their versions of games to be “inferior” to other versions, so Koei had to remove the voices from the PS3 version and release them for both as DLC. I believe it took a while for the voices to be released because of red-tape, essentially the approval process for said DLC.

  • Loli Summoner

    I like how some people are saying “now I might actually get the game” seriously….The english voices for FF are fucking great,it shouldn’t bother me but people that think japanese voices go great with any character annoy the shit out of me,not saying I don’t like japanese voices but seriously come one people *sigh* them weebos man.

    • Firekitty


      A lot of people, myself included, originally most likely played the Chinese-English release of XIII and XIII-2, which had English subs and the original audio. This time around, it was announced early on that this game wouldn’t have an edition like that.

      YOU might love the English voices, but you also played two games listening to them. Those of us used to the original voices were understandably annoyed by the prospect of having to switch to a completely new set of actors.

      Not saying Ali Hillis and Troy Baker aren’t good actors, but seriously, come on people…they’re no Sakamoto Maaya and Ono Daisuke…

      • Loli Summoner

        Cool story bro.

  • Darkrise

    That’s good to hear but I’m probably not going to get this game. Will hope that they’ll do the same for XV though.

  • Oltheros

    Square listening to fans? Hot diggety.

    Honestly I think Japanese voice track as dlc is a great idea…yes, yes it SHOULD come on the disc, but publishers will use the “it costs too much” excuse until the end of time. They can’t use that excuse if they charge money for it.

    • Firekitty

      And I, for one, am perfectly happy to pay a little extra for it. At least this way the interest in the feature will be quantifiable.


    YES! I like Ali Hillis’s portrayal of Lightning, but other characters in the FFXIII games have gotten on my nerves so I’m grateful for the option to switch to Japanese audio.

  • Warboss Aohd

    wait……..she iz doin’ dis ALL fer Serah?

    ……we woz wrong, dese gamez AREN’T about Lightning, dey iz about SERAH.

    ……..dunno why, she ain’t very interestin’, but dat iz wot it seems.

  • revenent hell

    Im not as big on the voices as most people but I have to admit a lot of the voices sound so much better in Japanese……..I don’t know what it is but it made me think ” This is how it should sound”… to bad I cant understand them.

  • GHAmer

    heal yeah….
    just hope that Bandai Namco will follow this method for their future Tales of games

  • Firekitty

    First FFXIV had dual audio (even if the actual amount of voice overs is miniscule), now this? It’s almost like Squeenix loves me again.

    I’m unimaginably pleased to hear this; I’ve only ever played the game with Japanese voice overs and was really disappointed to learn that there (probably?) wouldn’t be an English-subbed Asian release this time around. I’m sure the English version is quality, but no one can replace Sakamoto Maaya and Ono Daisuke in my heart.

  • Daverost

    Paid DLC for mouth movements that existed in the Japanese version? Copy/Paste tax.

    • Detrimont

      they also have to code everything so that the game doesn’t glitch if you pick japanese dubs…(that’s really what you’re paying for, as well as the japanese voicetrack license)

      • Daverost

        Still able to use existing code. Copy/Paste tax.

  • akai

    I’m sold :D

  • AndyLC

    and then they can add english tracks as DLC for the Japanese to download.

  • ogglock

    Nice. now all we need is the voice track for FFX/X-2 remaster and we’re set

  • Chido55

    While I always pick Jap over dub, Ali Hillis and Troy Baker are candies to my ear.

  • Detrimont

    but i prefer all the english voices (yes, even Vanille)
    (and i actually watched a Jap LP before XIII and XIII-2 came out in english)

  • WhyWai

    definitely getting this DLC

  • So now that the game is actually here, I don’t see the voice over dlc anywhere on the PSN store.

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