This weekend, Square Enix held a creator’s event at the Yamada Denki LABI1, where Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase and lead planner Yui Sawada had a few things to share about the third installment of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy.
The Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII talks began with a look at one of the four continents, “The Wildlands,” which Sawada reiterates will be a vast continent that focuses on nature.
He also shares that in addition to having multiple towns scattered across the continent, the other motif behind its creation is to have it be based on orthodox RPGs, involving Chocobos as the main feature. Additionally, there will also be a quest that revolves around a “legendary Chocobo”.
(You can also take a look at The Wildlands and the other three continents in our earlier report.)
Next, Sawada talked a little about the action-based battle system that will revolve around Lightning’s change of style. While you will be playing as Lightning alone during combat, you’ll be rotating three different battles styles (and appearances), which will all have their own ATB bars, making it feel as if you’re controlling three different characters, according to Sawada.
The Fabula Nova Crystallis trilogy started with Final Fantasy XIII, then Final Fantasy XIII-2, and now Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Some of you may wonder why they went with such a title, instead of going with something like Final Fantasy XIII-3.
According to producer Yoshinori Kitase, the reason they changed the pattern was to make it easier to pick up for players who’ve yet to play the previous two installments, as he’s confident that the game would have enough appeal as a standalone title, rather than it simply being a third part of a trilogy.
However, one of the parts they’ve had most difficulty in accomplishing, was creating what they felt would be the best logo for the game. The above is a look at some of the other logo samples they’ve had during their many trial-and-error moments before the logo we have today.
The project of Final Fantasy XIII began in February 2004, as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series; however, Kitase reveals that it originally had the code name of “COLORS WORLD,” which was meant to symbolize the colors of the crystals.
After showcasing Final Fantasy XIII’s first trailer at E3 in 2006, skip ahead seven years and we’re about to see the conclusion of Lightning’s final chapter. According to Kitase, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has been made to feature plenty of appeal for those who’ve played Final Fantasy XIII, as he expects fans of the first game to have much to look forward to.
“Please don’t hesitate to play the game in Easy Mode,” says Kitase with a laugh. “While our intention is to have you play it in Normal Mode, those of you who simply want to enjoy the story might have a difficult time by starting the game in Normal.”
“In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the world has a life expectancy, so we’ve introduced a system where your play time will have its limits,” he continues. “When we first announced that feature, there were many who were perplexed by such a feature, as I also feel that having a deadline in an RPG, is taboo in some ways.”
“However, that’s where we challenged ourselves, to bring a brand new way to enjoy an RPG that our staff members are proud to have accomplished. It would bring me great pleasure to have you all enjoy this fresh new take, for yourselves,” Kitase concludes.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be available in North America on February 11th, 2014, and in Europe on February 14th, 2014.