Final Fantasy XIII has been in development for what feels like forever. Naturally, this means changes and thanks to a bunch of high resolution scans from FinalFantasy-XIII.net we can see how in game combat interface evolved.
The image above is a very old battle screenshot with Lightning. A vertically scrolling command menu is on the left. To the right of it you can see Lightning’s stacked battle commands and her ATB meter which is reminiscent of previous Final Fantasy games. A mysterious meter is on the top right hand corner, but it’s function was not disclosed.
In the new battle interface Lightning’s commands have been rearranged to make two columns. It looks like more commands are underneath those. The ATB/command stack moved above the battle menu while Lightning’s HP meter stayed in the same place. Another obvious change is a chain/bonus meter in the top right hand corner which replaced the enigmatic aqua steering wheel found in the old interface.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Lightning has two kinds of strikes “fight” and “launch” to the right of that. The launch command is likely an evolution of V. Strike which “propels” enemies into the air. Lightning’s other commands are Fire, Firaga, and Cure.
Scans of Famitsu courtesy of FinalFantasyXIII.net Images courtesy of Square Enix.