Lightning Returns’ Japanese voice pack DLC announced
posted on 11.21.13 at 07:46 AM EDT by (@salromano)
Free for the first two weeks of release.

For the first two weeks following the game’s release, the Japanese voice-overs for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be available as free downloadable content, Square Enix has announced.

Following the two week launch period, the voice pack will be made available as a paid add-on.

The voice pack not only includes Japanese voices, but lip-synching that differs from the English-language voice track.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is due out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in North America on February 11 and Europe on February 14.

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  • PhoenixAutomatic~♪(๑ᴖ◡ᴖ๑)♪~

    Awesome News.

  • Potionzmaster

    Thank you Square Enix! :D
    Such unexpected goodness.

    Edit: I just thought of something. Didn’t they design the game so that you have to play it a couple of times to actually complete it? This way I can switch between English and Japanese playthroughs :D

    • ole

      That is a really good idea. I must follow.

    • PrinceHeir

      i always do that in dual audio games ^^

      gives me a reason to experience different voices from the east to west ^^

  • DarthBrian


    MAAYA!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3



    • PhoenixAutomatic~♪(๑ᴖ◡ᴖ๑)♪~

      Maaya Sakamoto <3

      • DarthBrian

        Oh yes, Maaya. <3

      • Budgiecat

        Mayonnaisse Sackofmotorcycle

    • seyEliveD

      Troy Baker is a fantastic actor (voice and otherwise). Did you see the alternate ending for The Last of Us? Pure greatness.

      • Luna Kazemaru

        Don’t even try with him hun

      • DarthBrian

        I hate his voice, not necessarily (but sometimes) his acting.

  • bldudas

    Yes, thank you

  • Azuardo

    Good job, SE. Glad Japanese devs are picking up on doing this.

    • Budgiecat

      Well I hope they don’t do it for FF XV….because that would mean the quality of the CGI will suffer…unless they pack it all into one HUGE data file for a game (dual FMV scenes to show proper lip syncing)…def retail only….

      • Azuardo

        That might be the case, but they will always make the JP game syncing match JP voices and the Western game syncing match English voices regardless, and the DLC packs are just bonuses on top of that for those who want them. I know it takes away from the immersion and realism when lip syncing is poor, but I’m sure those that would rather use JP voices over the US ones wouldn’t care so much if they opt to download and use them.

        At the end of the day, choice is good.

        • Budgiecat

          Yeah choice is nice but I dont think FF XV will have it for the reasons I said

          This game here is a lower budget sequel release of a sequel with barely any CGI so it’s easier to do.

          • Azuardo

            Well, you could be right about it not happening for XV. I always hope the options are there in some form or another, if possible, though. For once, I’d like some very HQ VA across the board for FF that means I don’t feel so unnattached to the characters. If they can really do a good job with the English VAs in XV, the lack of JP voice options won’t be as big of an issue to the majority.

            • Budgiecat

              Like I said before, Vanille was bad in both regions most likely due to the director specifying she sound like an idiot. We need better direction so we can get better voice acting. For example, FF XII had good English voice acting because it was directed by someone competent…

              • Azuardo

                Yep, I remember reading about the reason for Vanille’s retardedness after the game came out. Some might accept it because its typical of JRPGs, but frankly, if I wanted anime-like unrelatable characters, I would go play a Tales game. XII is a good example of some good VA. Fingers crossed for something better with XV.

                • Budgiecat


      • EX+

        Good point. But I still want Japanese audio for FFXV.
        The voice acting in the trailers is phenomenal and it’s definitely gonna be better than the English (which might be good, but sub is always better than dub).

  • SaveTheDay

    Awesome, SE. That’s really nice.

  • Comandante Bushido

    Very nice

  • new_tradition

    Whoa, incredibly unexpected. I’ve often said SE usually hits it with English voice acting so I never really minded lacking dual audio, but I’m soooooo getting this. I mean, it’s free (for 2 weeks) and optional!

    EDIT : so are we looking at a FF precedent now?

  • TheExile285

    Nice for the people who want it but I hope SE understands this is a double edged sword….

    • ayb_91

      You could just turn it off whenever you don’t feel like it, eh? No double edged sword issue here.

      • Budgiecat

        Don’t think you understood what he meant….

        • ayb_91

          Just read your comments below about CGI issues. Well, I hope they will do better. If not, English version is so OK with me.

          • Budgiecat

            Yeah, I’ve been watching leta_jp’s stream…there’s like 2% FMV CGI (mainly the intro beginning, and if I had to guess, the ending), so its much easier to do it in this game as I said.

            • ayb_91

              Whatever you say kitten :3

  • Bobby Jennings

    Wow. Hella surprised. But I like the english dub a lot. I guess this is to show appreciation to the loyal fans.

  • Budgiecat

    Considering this game almost totally lacks any CGI in it, I guess this time around, it makes it much easier to throw in a Japanese audio track, as there doesn’t need to be that much attention thrown in to reanimate the lip syncing…

    But yeah, whatever, cool for people who pine for this, but I’ve listened to enough Japanese audio over the years to understand that Japanese dub is not ‘omg superior’ as many people in the West autoclaim it to be. Its just that it sounds exotic to your ears. I clearly remember The Bouncer and Resonance of Fate for having superior English voice acting for one. Cowboy Bebop, Yu Yu Hakusho as well. DBZ however, I absolutely refuse to watch in English lol. I know that contradicts what I said a bit, but to me the dub for it was terribad for many reasons; (lamer music soundtrack, too much censorship, horribly forced voices etc)

    And sorry……I just lol at Sazh speaking in Japanese….

    Vanille sounds just as bad in Japanese as she does in English. Toriyama specifically forced the actors on both regions to use forced cutesy unnatural voices.
    Yes this is more common in Japan. Even Miyuzaki (godfather of Anime) cannot stand it; and I for one am glad that he takes a position to NOT have it in his movies. Bad acting is bad acting no matter where you’re from.

    But yeah cool congrats to those who wanted it I guess…

    • Charlie

      Wow, an unbiased opinion on JapaneseEnglish voice acting. That’s a change.

    • Revorse

      I really do dislike the cutesy talk of Japan, but it’s a part of their culture so I get why it’s always around. Yeah but like you said it’s a cool addition. The only really Japanese thing I watch/listen lately is Kamen Rider and Sentai so I haven’t been yearning to hear it any place else.
      But you…. Dislike the music of DBZ? Super Saiyan Vegeta’s theme is super amazing. I get it though. Different strokes for different folks.

      • Budgiecat

        Not really. Like I said, people dont talk that way in real life there or here. Its forced bad acting because its a like trope for niche audience, which is Anime. And I like Anime. Just not forced into FF. And like I said, FF XII was void of this. S-E needs to tone down the overused Anime tropes in FF. Hopefully FF XV is void of this.

    • Kobracon

      Just like everything in life, nothing is perfect. You’re right, they aren’t all godly, but when it comes to bad VA on both sides, I’d much rather listen to the JP audio. A cutesy sounding character can be annoying but they can be much worse when the english VA is trying to hard to emulate it.

      And then there is utter shite like Star Ocean Last Hope’s “Nappy Time” scene…..

    • ddsfan2

      I mostly disagree. It’s not that hard to tell if a voice has the right tone and intonation, regardless if you know the language or not.

      In games, English dubs are usually decent to great, because of lip synch, but almost every English anime dub that I’ve seen was unwatchable to me (really annoying to have voices not correspond to lip movements), especially something like anime as opposed to VNs.

      I feel the same way about movies, whether it is Japanese, Russian, Spanish, or some other language. I want only the language that had the highest budget and attention put into it for a movie/anime/game, not some quick low budget dub job (not necessarily saying the English voice actors aren’t good).

      I don’t agree about Resonance of Fate having bad Japanese voices, at least in the first third of the game. (maybe they get worse late in the game, but they fit the tone of the game pretty well).

      I hate the overacting on kawaii type voices in Japanese dubs, but usually the English dub will overdo the same parts in that case.

  • BizarreJelly

    Fantastic for people who enjoy a Japanese dub, great idea adding it as DLC.

    I’m fine with Miss Hillis & the gang :P may give the Japanese cast a shot in a replay.

  • Rafael Martines

    Square Enix Why you so GODLIKE?

    Hideo Baba needs to do the same with Tales series

    • Lelouch Vi Britannia

      and they need to call Square-Enix and talk about that Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Tales Crossover.

  • 武神水樹

    I’m shocked

    • Zancrow


      • Lelouch Vi Britannia

        Hokuto Hyakurestu Ken

        • Lelouch Vi Britannia


        • 武神水樹


      • 武神水樹


  • ayb_91

    Wow !! This game is getting better and better every time it gets an update. I would switch the Japanese voice on whenever I grind. Just like what I do in Disgaea D2.

    Can’t wait !

  • bloodiOS

    Well, that certainly is a change (for the better?)

  • rurifan

    This is awesome news. Thank you, Square!

    I almost want to wait and pay for the DLC just to show my pleasure (and encourage future releases to do the same).

  • artemisthemp

    I looking forward to seen, how you change audio in LR

  • Chocozell

    I’m the only one who thinks it’s just a way to make money?

  • Alex TSi

    Yes! I’m ready pay for this!
    Hope, soon this be normal for all japan games !!!

  • PrinceHeir


    it finally happened!! kinda wish it started with FFXIII but better late than never :)

    so companies CAN include lip syncing from another region.

    now no one can complained about not putting JPN voices due to lip syncing bullshit. especially with the PS4 coming around with more power and more space.

    i hope they do this in FFXV and Kingdom Hearts III :)

    really love the JPN cast from the FF Series. everyone returns despite how many years has passed ^^

    though the english cast is not bad by any means, but i really like Maaya Sakomoto as Lightning. that Angelic voice ^^

    with NIS America doing their usual thing with dual audio for new games like Danganronpa, Demon Gaze and Namco already considering for future Tales games to have dual audio.

    looks like stubborn Atlus US is the only company that’s being left now.

    i’m tired of your stupid excuse “we don’t have budget” or “will try to do it” despite making no progress watsoever.

    and oh Persona 4 Arena is made by Arc System Works, and Blazblue and Persona 4 Arena has the same OPTIONS.

    multiple subtitle option(Japanese/English) voice option (Japanese/English)

    plus the games takes place in a JAPANESE Highschool setting. how the hell do you not include it in the first place.

    hope they finally realized they’re being left behind and start dual audio in Persona 5 and other franchises.

    Catherine could have been the first, don’t know why they didn’t do it there in the first place considering the dialogue are not that long to begin with.

    • Kobracon

      Soul Sacrifice was the first actually

  • gerald

    As a speaker of both languages, this pleases me.
    I can count on one hand the English VAs who I liked better than JP VAs for as long as games have had voiced roles. It gets really annoying. Hell, even a lot of people who don’t speak any Japanese say they want it in there. That says a lot.

    • MrFinalgamer

      since you speak both languages i would like to ask. is all of the japanese VA good? i mean most people that say they prefer JP VA don’t know what the hell they’re saying and whether or not it’s acted well or not. it would be interesting to FINALLY know for sure (i have being wondering for a while now)

      • FitzpatrickPhillips

        No, they’re not all good. I can understand Japanese as well – most are just average. There are a couple examples of bad JP VA in general like some characters in Ni No Kuni or the entirety of Eternal Sonata.

      • gerald

        Forgot I posted that, so this is a little late, but the short answer is a subjective no, they’re not always good. But they are almost always better than their localized English counterparts IMO.

        I don’t agree that people who don’t speak Japanese can’t tell if the acting is better, I think they can tell and that’s why JP audio is such a big fan request. Even when you can’t understand the words, you can tell when they’re being delivered with more genuine life and emotion. JP VAs usually sound more professionally done to me (not surprising because voice acting is a much bigger industry in Japan and there are even schools for it), whether the characters are serious or cartoony or whatever, the quality and effort just sounds better.

  • fireemblembeast

    Cool! I wish they’d do it for FFX and X-2 too…

    • Lelouch Vi Britannia

      same with Tales of Xillia.

  • Lelouch Vi Britannia

    Too bad Namco Bandai didn’t release a Japanese voice pack for “Tales of Xillia” don’t get me wrong the english voices in the game are all right at best but It would’ve nice to have Dual Audio.

    • Lynx

      That…would probably cost a good amount for the voice track alone.

  • Claude

    I’m surprised people are okay with dual tracks being (eventual) paid DLC considering other games have been doing it for free.

    • Blaz

      Yes i am ok, since it’s actually something that the companies have to pay to localize it, and this may solve the problem of not having the dual audio in most of the japanese games, i am really happy with this.

      • Claude

        Well having it as paid DLC is better than not having it at all, but this just feels like another Square Enix tax when smaller developers like NIS have been doing it for years without charging extra.

        • Blaz

          Yes, but i think that depends on how the contract is made with the japanese voice actors, from what i’ve read it has a lot of bureaucracy to deal with, and money, that is why most of the companies don’t bother with localized voice overs unless if it’s taken care in the point of origin.

        • Kobracon

          Well don’t think they are the first though. To my knowledge, Soul Sacrifice was the first to have paid JP Voice DLC.

    • Martian Wong

      I am ok with paying it as well. After all, they hired a group of very talented people to voice them. Respect the work.

  • Kobracon

    Wow. Bravo, Squeenix, bravo. You’re learning. You prolly saw the number of ppl importing the chinese editions of your game for the Jap audio and lip-syncing and you finally realised we want this.

  • Serovath

    this is so awesome and a step in the right direction for dlc. making brand new buy/early adopters a much more attractive option. the last game that did this was dragon’s crown, no?

    so instead of rewarding brand new purchases with the option to buy a season pass for an additional 20 dollars(yes u arkham origins), stuff like this is the way to go.

    now release a japanese voice pack for ff13 and ff13-2 and i’ll worship squarenix till the end of time.

  • LunarHaven

    ”Square Enix Sucks!” ”They should go bankrupt!” ”They’ve destroyed FF and there is no way back!” ”They are ruined!!!” – 80% of the gaming population.

    *Square Enix includes Japanese voice option for Lightning Returns, the most hated sequel to be released yet*: SQUARE IS GODLIKE!!!


    I’ve waited for this game with anticipation for a long time, looking forward to picking it up as I’ve always planned. Looks very promising!

  • Barrit

    I’m so glad to hear this! I played the Asian version of FF13, and I have the Asian version of FF13-2 and they both have JP audio and English subtitles. I didn’t know what their plan was since originally the Asian version of FF13:LR had English subtitles listed as a feature, but then later was removed from the listing. This is a big relief to know I won’t be forced to use English audio for the last game.

  • Strid

    Ha, so this is why the Asia version wont have all the International flare — they want to sell it to us if we don’t buy it immediately. Good stuff.

  • Perry Como

    A mysterious message coming from nowhere…