Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Sounds A Lot Like Zelda: Majora’s Mask

By Ishaan . January 7, 2014 . 9:00am

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is just a few weeks from release in North America and Europe, and Square Enix have shared another making-of video for the game. This one focuses on the game’s doomsday clock feature, whereby the end of the world is approaching, and Lighting must manipulate time to save it.



In the video, the game’s developers discuss how the countdown clock will influence gameplay. Additionally, they promise a more exploratory game than the prior two Final Fantasy XIII games.


“With the previous games, you didn’t really get the chance to look around the world, interact with people’s lifestyles and observe what’s going on,” Square Enix’s staff say. “Now you can interact with what you see around you. There is hardly anywhere you can’t go anymore.”


“It’s easy to get around,” they add. “The best way may be on foot. If you can see something, you can walk to it. If you find a village in the wilderness, you can explore it seamlessly.


The idea, says Square Enix’s Yoshinori Kitase, was to go into people’s lives and embrace the ways in which you can save them. Hmm… that sounds an awful lot like the concept behind The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.


Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be available on February 11th in North America and February 14th in Europe for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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  • NRool

    Got mine pre-ordered!
    Cannot wait, the Demo I played in London a while back was stellar

  • DrakeClawfang

    I’ve seen the ending of the game and read a plot summary. The similarities to MM are only skin deep….sadly.

    • God

      I played the game, just wish it had been more like MM, THAT was an awesome game, best Zelda in my opinion, the plot was probably the best ever written for a Zelda game.

      • zferolie

        It is one of my favorite Zelda games ever. I hope they give us an HD remake so the children of today can experiance it

    • Rogerrmark

      Basically FFXIII-2 and it’s so said Chrono Trigger similarities then, I guess.

  • 『ED−X』゜〜★* 平和 

    ” The Idea , Says Square Enix’s Yoshinori Kitase , Was to go into people’s Lives and embrace the ways in which you can save them. hmm… Thats sounds an awful lot like the concept behind the legend of Zelda: majora’s Mask ” – Hmm, Ya Don’t Say? though the game itself turned into a very interesting title in itself Aside from the Majora’s Mask like Time Endorsed Vibe gotten from the game. . .

  • harmonyworld


  • neocatzon

    Wish they do this kind of vids more to other games..

  • Cameron Ward

    so they are giving you a time limit, but a huge world to explore? isnt that a bit counter intuitive? that’s like saying you have action game where you need to shoot everything in sight, but are given like ten bullets.

    • Godmars

      They designed it with the intention of replay in mind. Which isn’t going to be all that rewarding if the story isn’t any good.

    • Aoshi00

      That’s how I felt playing LR, I really want to take my time to explore and do all the side quests (time passed before I could even complete the 1st murder case *.*;;), but I feel so pressed in time being constantly reminded by ticking time clock at the corner of the screen.. many events only take place in a certain time.. you could defeat baddies to earn points to stop time temporarily or teleport to diff places (travel by foot or taking the train (getting to the station) takes a lot of time).. but it really makes me worried.. it’s a bit like Dead Rising 1 & 2 (3 does have time limit too except a more lenient one). I agree, it is counter-intuitive w/ time limit.. I spent a lot of time playing Nier, Lost Odyssey, or 13-2 which felt a lot like Chrono Trigger, go here and there doing this and that.. for me I don’t like the time limit at all.. I haven’t gotten very far w/ LR yet, you start w/ 6 days, I had spent 1 day alrdy and didn’t achieve much.. it makes me not want to go back to the game.. don’t get me wrong, the world map is huge and there’s tons and tons of NPCs you could interact w/, which was what I was looking for in the original 13.. but the time limit puts me off :(.. this is actually the aspect most Jpn gamers didn’t like about LR.. now I’m looking forward to more X/X-2 HD or Drakengard 3, I could explore w/ no time limit..

      • Bobby Jennings

        The time is there to make you rush but you really have all the time in the world. You can complete all sidequests in one playthrough if you wanted to.

        • Aoshi00

          I didn’t feel that though.. like I wanted to do some sidequest, but I had to choose which to do, some are easier, some are longer and need to fetch multiple things.. and in order to make it to the main quest before a certain time, like a certain event only happens at 17:00, you had to do everything before then or need to wait for the next day (you could activate the quest by fast forwarding time but you don’t want to waste precious time).. like one time I wanted to stop the clock (which cost 1 GP), but I had to spend 2 GPs in order to teleport to the main quest’s place in time.. Also there were many times I wanted to stop and listen to all the interesting conversations from the NPCs (they have different lines every time you keep pressing a btn to talk to them, all voiced), but I had to dash by pressing R2 since the clock keeps ticking.. it just makes it a chore you have to earn and allocate your points to either stop the time flow temporarily or teleport (to save time traveling).. I wanted to complete everything in one playthru like w/ 13-2. I don’t want to play it once and do sidequest ABC, next time play it again to do EDF. Also giving you 6 days is not a lot spanning thru 4 big continents… I thought the game had 13 days left..

          • Bobby Jennings

            Everytime you complete a main quest, the game gets extended by one day. A maximum of 13 days.
            They give you way more time than needed to 100% the game in one playthrough. Also it’s 7 days.
            Square purposely put the clock there to put weight on the players but as you get further and further into the game, you find out its not as bad as it lets on.

          • Aoshi00

            Well I still don’t like time limit in an rpg, or even games like dead rising 1 & 2 or Luigi u, the fast ticking clock was just a distraction to me. I find myself constantly restricted by it. If u like it that’s good. I haven’t finished a main quest yet, but a day ended and I got teleported back to Hope at 6 am while I was in the middle of a quest

          • Bobby Jennings

            I agree I don’t like being timed either, but after playing LR it kinda changed my mind a bit. Also yes at 6AM you get teleported back to the ark to feed the tree.

          • Aoshi00

            The time limit just put me off a little, because I really like freely exploring in 13-2, and LR has tons of places and NPCs to interact w/, some places are even too big, had trouble finding the South train station in Luxerion.. even Dead Rising 3 has time limit in easy mode when they said it didn’t, at least it’s much better than DR 1 & 2.. Luigi U’s 100 secs also.. to me it’s just counter intuitive though when they give you so much to do but you have to earn points to delay time.. most Jpn gamers didn’t like this aspect from most reviews I read. I would go back to LR one day, but now I think I would play Drakengard 3 and X/X-2 first.. also there’s so much wear to buy and collect too.. it’s funny I missed the very first optional mission though, gathering intel on the murder, I kept talking to diff NPCs and then the quest expired and the game auto-saved already (I know there’s option to turn auto-save off..)

          • Bobby Jennings

            Well I’m guessing you also played it in a language you didn’t understand. That also adds difficulty.

          • Aoshi00

            Hm.. not sure about you, but I speak English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Japanese.. I don’t like to play any games in a language I don’t understand, especially an RPG, there’s just no point. I thought if one doesn’t understand the language, the time limit serves less of an obstacle as one would skip most of the sidequests and go straight for the main game. BTW, I played both 13 & 13-2 in Jpn first and understood everything before I played the US ver. maybe a lot of Jpn gamers who didn’t like the time limit had trouble w/ the language too?

          • Bobby Jennings

            Oh no don’t take that offensively. I thought you weren’t familiar with the language.

            But yes I can’t read Japanese but I managed to get through about 80% of the game before wasting my days off(purposely) so I could be stronger in my second playthrough.

          • Aoshi00

            I don’t like to play w/ a guide, so.. I’m sure it’s easier if you follow a guide.. but yeah, not a fan of time limit, I would find it a lot more enjoyable to explore and experience the game at my own pace, and spend as much time as I like, instead of being rushed and gather points to prolong the time limit.. again it’s just counter intuitive.

          • Bobby Jennings

            Yeah I understand. but the game really isn’t rushing you to do anything. It’s there to put pressure on the player which I’m sure was all part of SE’s plan.

    • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

      Apparently you can freeze time a lot, for minutes at a time. The resource used for freezing time is awarded through random battles.

      Also, time freezes during battles and cutscenes.

  • Godmars

    ““With the previous games, you didn’t really get the chance to look
    around the world, interact with people’s lifestyles and observe what’s
    going on,”


    because you made them like that, you…(Grrrr…)

    • I’d say the plot made the game like that.

      You don’t see government fugitives looking around the world, interacting with people’s lifestyles and observing things going on.

      If they did, it would be a big contradiction, don’t you think?

      I’d even go as far as saying the linearity of the game lends itself to running and moving forward until reaching Gran Pulse where, once the cast gets some breathing room, the player gets more control on what he/she is allowed to do.

      • 하세요

        Nonsense! The townsfolk would love it!
        “Holy crap you’re wanted for emmence power and corruption! But hey, my son’s lost in this mine, think you can spare a few minutes to save him? I know you’re like, “death manifested” but I got some spare giiiiillllll~”

        • And the cast goes from l’Cie to lackey’Cie, lol

          • Symbol de Au

            That’s pretty much what they are already.

        • ndjn3979

          That sounds like Tales of Xillia lol

      • Anime10121

        I agree what you, but I’m just gonna put this out there…

        The plot did make the game like that, but who made the plot?
        Comes round full circle yo :P

        • And I also agree with you, but I’m just gonna put this out there…

          If the plot allowed for more exploration, we might have still been waiting on XIII, haha.

          Makes sense, seeing as how we’re still waiting for Versus.

          • Anime10121

            Lol, thats true!

      • Godmars

        No, Square’s limited understanding of the hardware, the demands for programming in HD, made the game like that. Removed towns, shops, and restricted the first FF13 to “The Hallway”.

        Imagine instead a group of fugitives moving among the populous until something, someone spotting their brand, using magic, gives them away. You could introduce any number of side quest with that set up. Base random encounters, the players being found out and reported with a squad being sent into the area to “arrest” them.

      • Suicunesol

        Naw, I think SQ could have increased exploration even with a fugitive story. Final Fantasy VI pulled that off with flying colors.

        • Of course, I mentioned that below. It would have skyrocketed development length, however. HD games and all that.

      • Linhua

        … now just hold on a minute there, mister.

        … I understand what you’re saying about the contradiction. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be pulled off.

        … look at Zidane of FFIX. He stole Royal Property and then Marched all over the damn world with her like a boss.


        … and then in the end he just waltz right back into the damned kingdom and claims the princess all over again… and gets all the praise for it too!

        … Plot so thick n’ rich, I think it gave me cancer.

        /END SPOILER

        … it just goes to show that if you provide a plot sexy enough to harbor believable free roaming like this, then you can counter the contradiction.

        … ahh the golden days of Square Enix.

  • Yan Zhao

    Took them 3 games to get the exploration aspect right and actually made the world more immersed. I’d give it a shot, but its a shame most others arent due to the bad rep the series got already.

  • Except with a chick in a sexy chocobo Halloween costume instead of Freaky Fred’s mask-obsessed cousin.

  • NimbusStev

    This game actually sounds promising. It’s a shame that they chose to connect such an interesting concept to the toxic FF13 saga. A lot of people (myself included) probably won’t ever even play this because of the stigma they’ve formed in their head based on the first game. Brand recognition works both ways.

    • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

      I’m cautiously optimistic and willing to give this a shot.

  • هاكو ممممممممم

    well for me i think each installment is better then the previous one where xiii was not that much for me but xiii-2 was better and improved over the first one and xiii-3 surly looks damn good and it also has a new elements that i havent seen in any other game

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    so,Lightning is in purgatory

  • mojack411

    Whoa, for some reason I was under the impression this was coming out in March. Well, it might as well still be since I’ll be completely pre occupied with Bravely Default until then most likely. Still super excited for this game.

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    This really sounds like the game it’s all leading up to. I liked bits of the last two games but also found them immensely frustrating in places. I hope this doesn’t disappoint.

  • Vash bane

    glad they want to attract new players …. because I have no idea whats going on here XD
    ( other than it all ends in a few days, anyone care to explain how it happened? because 13 ending into 13-2 makes no sense to me D:)

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