Final Fantasy Versus XIII – all the details so far

August 6, 2010 / 01:00 AM EDT / (@salromano)

With the Tokyo Game Show right around the corner, new information and media of Final Fantasy Versus XIII is only a good month away. In light of the coming details, FF-XIII.net’s Oji decided to compile everything we know about the game into one large document.

We’ve got it here for you. Read it. There may be some things you didn’t know. There was a lot I sure didn’t.

Developers

Director, Game Design, Creative Design, Character Design, and Base Story
Tetsuya Nomura

Producers
Shinji Hashimoto, Yoshinori Kitase

Image Artwork
Yoshitaka Amano

Mechanic Concept
Takeyuki Takeya

Clothes Design
Hiromu Takahara

Scenario Writer
Kazushige Nojima

Music
Yoko Shimomura

Main Programmers
Hiroshi Harata, Kentaro Yasui

Planning Directors
Yuichi Kanemori, Takayoishi Nakazato

Planning Director (World)
Takeshi Endou

Planning Director (Event)
Jun Akiyama

Graphic Director (Character Model)
Tomohiro Kayano

Graphic Director (Animation)
Tatsuya Kandou

Graphic Director (Map model)
Masahide Tanaka

Graphic Director (Visual Effects)
Shuichi Sato

Graphic Director (System Menu)
Takeshi Arakawa

Art Director (Character)
Tomohiro Hasewaga

Art Director (Map)
Takayuki Ohtachi

Movie Director
Takeshi Nozue

Outline

  • Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII are two related titles that focus around the “Fabula Nova Crystallis” myth.
  • Final Fantasy Versus XIII is not a sequel or a spin-off of Final Fantasy XIII, but a whole new game for the PS3 system. It has a completely different world, settings and characters in comparison to Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Versus in Latin means “to turn around” and in English it means “against”. Both translations are the main keywords for this game.
  • Early Final Fantasy Versus XIII artwork showed dark and heavy images in comparison to Final Fantasy XIII’s white background. This is going to be translated to the game in a very particular way.
  • Premises and experiences that haven’t been seen in other Final Fantasy games or other games in general will be present in Versus XIII. It’ll be something truly interesting.
  • Versus XIII is a title that will unite the nostalgia of the past Final Fantasy games and will tie it to a whole new way to experience the franchise. Level and overall design will be extremely valued in this game.
  • This game will involve a lot of action, but old Final Fantasy elements will be present as well. They will be taken to a whole new level with the technology that Crystal Tools and PS3 are able to provide.
  • Real-time graphics is what you’ll see in most of the cutscenes, but fear not, CGI is also present even though there won’t be much of it. This change has happened because the development staff has reached their target render for the world and the characters. Therefore, Jun Akiyama and the planning directors decided to scrap most of CGI scenes and re-do them in full real-time.

Characters

Noctis Lucis Caelum

He is the royal family Prince and a heir to the throne. His name in Latin means “light of the night sky”

He’s not a dark character and laughs at things usually with his friends but has an enigmatic face and a whole lot of mystery surrounding him. He’s a shy character to strangers and doesn’t talk too much but he is a pretty confident man and sometimes he lets it show.

He is very calm and feels embarrassed when his words don’t express the feelings in his mind. He can become extremely moody when this happens and he lets it show on his face.

His hair color will change as will his eye color when he’s using his powers. The actual color of his eyes is blue.

He has the ability to manipulate a lot of weapons at once due to the crystal power he received as being its protector.

The only and most important adornment Noctis will use is a ring on his right hand and it’ll play a central role in the story of the game (the gloves are there for design purposes).

He has the ability to see the Light from the Dead and doesn’t like to talk about it very much. It brings him bad memories.

Stella Nox Fleuret

A young lady from the distinguished Fleuret family from the Kingdom of Tenebrae. Her first name “Stella Nox” means “night star” while Fleuret is the French word for “rapier”, which is reflected in her weapon.

She converses in very soft and polite way, generally goes directly to the point at hand and doesn’t fear a harsh reply. She doesn’t take things too seriously, but she will learn along the way that things are not the way we want, ever.

Stella has the ability to see the “Light” just like Noctis has. She speaks openly about it without any restraints, feels intrigued by it and searches for answers on her first meeting with the Prince.

She turns unwillingly hostile towards Noctis and his companions due to unknown reasons.

Noctis’ Companions

They are faithful friends of Noctis. They’re up for whatever Noctis decides and are ready for the action.

They consist of three men: Oone with a long scar on his face, another one with blond hair and a shotgun, and the last one with glasses and a very serious face.

They’re not the type of people who bear the fate they’re given; therefore, they will stick together and fight alongside Noctis to defy their destiny.

World

  • The world where Noctis resides is a place with a different culture. It has advanced technology protected and blessed by the crystal. The surroundings of his family’s kingdom are often called “Outside World” or “Outer World”.
  • With the destruction of the Outside World’s crystal’s the land begins to become a ruin and this is seen throughout the areas early, but there are still other cities with technology and heavy firearms but no longer protected by the Crystals. Noctis’ kingdom is very advanced, but the costumes and rules are still seen as the ones from middle ages, mainly when it comes to royal matters. Magic will have an important and intriguing role in the game.
  • Noctis’ kingdom has been protecting the crystal from generation to generation and this burden is passed down onto him. The “Outside World” Armies decided to invade the kingdom to retrieve the crystal and they won’t stop until they get it.
  • A lot of cities like Venice and Tokyo are depicted within the game and serve as an inspiration for the locations in general.
  • Goddess of Death/Shinigami – Etro is worshipped in the game and it is a fal’Cie.

Story

  • With life-like characters and a truly painful story the main theme the team wants to showcase is “Bounds” and how the characters relate to it.
  • It’s a dark and sad story which aims to show how heavy and painful the burden that the heroes are carrying is, how painful their paths can be, and how important flashes of happiness are in a world ravaged by greed and despair. The keyword for Versus XIII story is misery, and it can be applied to all main characters.
  • Early regions in the game are heavily inspired by western “bang-bang” movies.
  • The main design key point for the clothes is “Jet-black” and there will be a lot of scenes and circumstances where this design will show mainly because it is compatible with the mood of the game. Hiromu Takahara is working on the character clothes and his designs will be heavily influenced by the asymmetric forms as they have always been.
  • Again only because Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII bear the same basic “myth” those games have completely different stories and characters.
  • The hero, Noctis, attends a celebration party held in commemoration of the “Agreement concerning the Peaceful use of the Crystal” being created between two countries and as a Prince who will soon inherit the King title he meets the heroine of the game, Stella, for the first time.

Game System

  • Players will find a big world map with vast fields where the players will be able to explore as far as the eye can reach except the mountains.
  • Use of a car for a faster movement is possible and will come in handy a lot of times due to the distance between places.
  • It’s possible to fly airships over the world just like in older Final Fantasy titles.
  • Terrain diversity is much more detailed and vast than in Final Fantasy XIII.
  • The day and night cycles, and floating of the clouds are done by physical calculation. It was decided to be made this way to have a smooth change between the cycles, and to have a more dynamic light system which reflects the mood of a certain region/place.
  • The game is basically seamless, the only loading the player will experience is between large areas. Also they’re implementing a type of loading that happens while watching an event scene. This way it’s possible to give players the most immersive experience they have ever had.
  • The monsters wander throughout the field and sometimes hostile ones appear suddenly to ambush you. It’s been confirmed that a lot of different kind of monsters exist.

Battle System

  • It will be different from the battle system of Final Fantasy XIII. Versus XIII will draw the nostalgic feeling from old Final Fantasy titles and blend it with a whole new concept.
  • Elements of TPS: The action and the pace will be similar to the battles of Kingdom Hearts but united with new mechanics. Both, FF and KH, styles will be mixed into this game.
  • Seamless Battles
  • Battles will take place in real-time environments using all regions of the field, from up high buildings to down low streets.
  • Some battles will happen in very intense places throughout the game, such as vertical locations.
  • Two or more weapons can be used by Noctis, and they’re summoned by him whenever he feels like it.
  • There will be different plastics of attack depending on the weapon Noctis chooses. Those weapons can also be used as a shield alongside the crystal power.
  • Weapons can be customized and what is obtained in the early stages of the game can be used until the end.
  • Noctis can move faster while teleporting from location to location on the battle field as seen in the trailers.
  • His companions have other weapons and abilities yet to be revealed.

Interviews

Mr. Hashimoto interviews Tetsuya Nomura (Twitter)

“Mr. Nomura: (On Versus XIII completion rate): It’s already possible to fly with an Airship on the World Map but the progress level of each setting is different and some parts still don’t tie together.”

Interview with Tetsuya Nomura on the TGS 2009 Handcam showing for Versus XIII (Famitsu.com)

“We prepared this off-camera footage from the game to easy people down and show them the game is still in development, this footage was from a technological verification we often do”

“Noctis riding a motorcycle? – Hahaha, Maybe.”

“Development accelerated quite a lot since last spring and we have good prospects for it and it’ll accelerate even more when FFXIII is completely finished.”

Interview with Tetsuya Nomura on TGS 2008 Closed Mega Theater trailer for Versus XIII. (Famitsu.com)

Interview with Producer Mr. Shinji Hashimoto on “FFXIII” (Famitsu)

“Versus XIII on Xbox 360? There are no plans for that at all. There is no change about this game situation and It’ll release on the market exclusively on the PS3 system.”

“Mr. Nomura likes to focus on only one platform when developing a game.”

Interview Final Fantasy Versus XIII with Nomura (Dengeki Online)

Fabula Nova Crystallis interview with 5 Key people (Famitsu.com)

Fabula Nova Crystallis Directors Interview (Famitsu.com)

Developer Comments

“Don’t be fooled by the dark mood the trailer leads you to, what you’ve seen is merely a representation of what’s to come but I can disclose that the character (Noctis) is not solitary or dark even though the burden he carries is very heavy” – Tetsuya Nomura on Versus XIII main character, Noctis Lucis Caelum.

“I would say misery and worry play a huge part in the story and when the plot was being first considered I spoke with Mr. Kitase and we decided to take an even more “sad’ direction for the story” – Tetsuya Nomura on Versus XIII Story

“People will cry because of the story, they will get involved into it and will be crying for a whole week and on!”- Yoshinori Kitase giving his view on Versus XIII story

“It’ll be that awful?? We’ll balance it very well because playing and seeing those unpleasant sad scenes for hours could become a problem for avid players so we’ll work on that” – Tetsuya Nomura responding to Kitase’s comments.

“KH team is involved with the gameplay system and they already have the knowhow from other titles. Of course it’s not a Kingdom Hearts-like system because it’s a “FF” title and we have previous “FF” staff with us, so it’ll be a balanced mix of those two with lots of action. Imagine it for yourselves because I can’t say anything!” – Tetsuya Nomura on Versus XIII gameplay and battle system.

“Latin is a very mysterious language that no one uses on a daily basis anymore. Doesn’t matter what kind of word we use in Latin, people all around the world won’t be able to understand and yet appreciate it. That’s what we wanted, a sense of equality between the everybody” – Tetsuya Nomura explaining why they’re using Latin in the game.

“It’s title means “Sleep” and the tune is about it and alot of real situations we see everyday. – Tetsuya Nomura on Somnus”

“Somnus, the song is represented by the “shut-eye” in the game’s logo, as for more details you’ll have to wait because Producer Hashimoto does not allow me to talk further” – Tesuya Nomura hinting at the game’s plot.

“Artwork and pre-production are all done by now. And I want to make a “FF” title that has not been seen before, so we’ll experiment a bit before we show some more things” – Tetsuya Nomura on the game’s development (2006)

“We’ll have a level and upgrade system to be operated, it doesn’t mean that because in the trailers he has all those weapons the player will too when they actually start the game. – Tetsuya Nomura on the gameplay system.

“Well, if the player isn’t able to level up by his own work and fighting it’s not an RPG, right?” – Tetsuya Nomura on gameplay features.

“Swords will gather and appear depending on the player’s will to go after them. That trailer image is nothing but a representation. And we decided as a development option to make him that strong for the trailer. But don’t worry, Noctis can be as strong as you seen in the trailers if you have the will to do it” – Tetsuya Nomura on the character development

“The Crystal is enshrined inside the pillar behind Noctis throne we’ve showed a little in previous trailers. But, no one knows the content inside this pillar because they don’t see it” – Tetsuya Nomura on the so talked Crystal

“Yes, it’s one of the most central points in the game” – Tetsuya Nomura on the Crystals role for the story.

“Myth VERSUS Real” – Kazushige Nojima explaining Versus XIII in one phrase.

Other Information

  • A subwindow that copies Noctis’ expression will be shown in the bottom of the page, just like Kingdom Hearts but extremely more detailed.
  • Summon beasts are in the game and to obtain them they have to be defeated like in Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Yoshitaka Amano artworks will appear as paintings throughout the game and they will not be exclusive to fal’Cie Etro.
  • The Yoshitaka Amano painting of fal’Cie Etro is being held up by a giant statue of the Grim Reaper, which is symbolic and stressing the point that fal’Cie Etro is the Goddess of Death.
Share and Discuss
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  • Jrukia

    Ok… so is it linear?

    • http://gematsu.com/members/admin/ Sal Romano

      Nope.

  • http://www.youtube.com/tezchi TezChi

    Excellent read. I don’t think it is Linear Jrukia, it mentions the use of cars and airships to get around a ‘big world map’. So hopefully the answer is “no”.

    I think the general synopsis sounds brilliant, the darker theme, the idea of the Light etc. Feels like something I will definately get sucked into.

    Sounds more like a traditional, albiet dark, Final Fantasy game. There seems, to me at least, to be very little in common with XIII apart from, as stated, the general “Mythos”.

    In fact, it all sounds very promosing indeed. I am very interested to see some proper gameplay showing the battle system and general gameplay. TGS isn’t far though, so it’s all good!

  • FAUNA

    FF 13 is one of the best games EVER. A true art masterpiece opus in every way. The Crystal Tools tech is the most impressive graphics I’ve ever seen. I seriously can’t wait for VERSUS 13. Glad to hear they’re utilizing more in-engine tech for cutscenes than CG (which should never be used anymore). I also prefer linear over open world. My only request: towns please. FF 13 & VERSUS 13 will be two of the best games EVER CREATED…

  • Falsate

    Shooting for a darker game, I believe the ‘light’ theme is a little overused here especially with its presence in Kingdom Hearts. If he seeks to deliver a mature game to us, then we can only hope his perception of ‘mature’ won’t be superficial.

    ‘Dark and Tragic’ yet usually executed with the most shallow themes. It is unclear just how far he is willing to take this game, but more than one theme would be more appealing.

  • Kurai Warrior

    Uh…where was it said that there wouldn’t be a lot of CGI in Versus. Cause this is the first time I’ve seen that. That kinda sucks if it’s true because I personally enjoy them since not many games developers will take the time to do it.

  • Zero

    What a great read. I’m even more excited now!

  • http://blogeadorsolar.blogspot.com Palitococo

    So this can be the real FFXIII after all, i was very disapoint with FFXIII, i love this game will have worldmap, and towns, im pretty eager now, Tetsuya its last hope in Square headquarters.

  • Setzer007

    This was an indeed an amazing read. :)