Final Fantasy XIII-2 has a time-travel system named Historia Crux, which allows you to travel back and forward through time to different space-time locations in the game. The game’s director, Motomu Toriyama, compares it to a “home menu” that is at the heart of Final Fantasy XIII-2 story. You can go forward in time, but also rewind it, to replay areas that you’ve already visited.
In a Square Enix Members interview, Toriyama says: “You will be able to freely come and go between all the areas; the game will provide not just simple environmental exploration, but also a multi-layered exploration of history through the Historia Crux.”
Elaborating further on the Historia Crux, Toriyama says that it will branch off into multiple routes depending on the player’s choices. Routes you take will have detours that you can go on to find side missions and secrets. Exploring and experimenting with the Historia Crux will allow players to uncover the game’s various multiple endings as well.
“The flow of areas accessible via Historia Crux has been structured so that all of the player’s actions and decisions will influence the gameplay,” Toriyama promises. That said, if you want to stick to the game’s main story and not explore the different space-time locales, that’s possible, too. In Toriyama’s words: “Casual players will be able to use the Historia Crux in a similar manner to browsing a favourite website — picking and choosing between all the different links available.”
The creation of the Historia Crux for XIII-2 was influenced by fans who wanted a less linear experience than the one in Final Fantasy XIII. Another point of fan feedback that was taken into account for XIII-2 is that side quests are available early on, rather than only being made available in the second half of the game. Toriyama says to also expect “many strong and colourful mini-games” that you can access whenever you want by visiting certain locales via the Historia Crux.
Finally, another aspect of Final Fantasy XIII-2’s heavy focus on time travel is encountering familiar characters in different situations, depending on what time period you’re in. Since the main cast of the original game is returning, you’ll be able to see how they’ve changed over the years.