Final Fantasy XIII-2: Historia Crux, Noel’s origins, and Lightning’s role
posted on 09.08.11 at 11:07 AM EDT by (@salromano)
Square Enix details new features.

Square Enix released English details today surrounding Final Fantasy XIII-2‘s Historia Crux (known in Japan as “Historiacross”) system and Lightning’s role in the game (vita Square Enix blog 1, 2, 3).

Historia Crux

Historia Crux allows players to travel to different locations and time periods, and is the “basis” of the Final Fantasy XIII-2‘s world navigation system. Artefacts (O-Parts in Japanese) hidden across the game world allow players to unlock specific gates, which will either transport Noel and Serah to a different location or to a different time period.

The course of the game and the items you receive will change depending on when you visit these areas. Players will have to perform certain actions in different time periods to change the future or past. According to game director Motomu Toriyama, it’s just one of the ways Square Enix is assessing a non-linear approach.

“The original game, Final Fantasy XIII, was primarily story driven and progressed in a very linear manner,” said Toryiama. “For the sequel, Final Fantasy XIII-2, we are going for a much more player driven concept, so this time around the gameplay and story itself will alter to fit the player’s choices. 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.”

Player choice is a heavy variable with Historia Crux.

“The Historia Crux branches off into multiple different routes depending on the player’s choices. You will be able to take a detour into areas that have branched off of the route you have taken, perform side missions and turn back time in each of the areas to experiment with all possibilities. It is of course also possible to progress simply following the main story, like in the original Final Fantasy XIII. 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.

“Depending on the player’s actions, new turning points to new futures will appear in time, and these will certainly form the basis for the multiple endings.”

Toryiama believes the system makes for a great mix between Final Fantasy XIII‘s story-driven gameplay and the key concept of “player freedom.”

“In the original game, the sidequests were only unlocked in the second half of the story in Gran Pulse, but in the sequel we have put in many different sidequests right from the start. Due to the overwhelming demand from players of the original, we have also included many strong and colourful mini games, a tradition of the Final Fantasy series. You will be able to return to any of the times and places whenever you like from the Historia Crux, so it is completely up to the player in what way they choose to play these.”

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is set during the fall of cocoon. When time travelling, the “AF” acronym is used for times “After Fall.” And we assume “BF” will be used for “Before Fall.”

Noel Kreiss

Noel Kreiss, Final Fantasy XIII-2‘s new protagonist, is from a future time where’s the last remaining survivor of a race wiped out. To change the events of his unfortunate present, he travels back in time.

Noel meets Serah at the very beginning of Final Fantasy XIII-2, after a meteor lands near her and Team NORA’s home.

“Come with me across the boundaries of time”, Noel says. “Your sister is waiting”.

Lightning’s Role

If you haven’t completed Final Fantasy XIII-2, this section may contain spoilers.

At the end of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning saves Serah from her crystallized state and saves the world. Since then, she’s left the world to become the protector of the Goddess Etro in Valhalla, “the land of Chaos.” When Lightning is unable to save Valhalla, she calls upon Noel for help.


View a new set of screenshots at the gallery.

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  • IsleyOfTheNorth

    What the hell happened that chocobo?
    Anyways, the whole time travel thing sounds like it could be a cool addition to the game, but the thing im a little concerned with is that i honestly do not care about Serah and Noel’s journey (right now anyway), cuz whats happening with Lightning seems far more interesting and cool. Im cautiously optimistic at this point but i still have faith in Square.

  • NCloud

    The Chocobo looks bad ass.

  • zerolegacy0

    I’m really glad to say this game looks HUGE improvement over the first one. I just hope it plays as good as it looks right now. Maybe Square Enix isn’t dead just yet.

    And those screen shots of Valhalla are just to damn beautiful.

  • Noctionus

    OK SE. Day 1. Deal.

  • FinalFantasy_fangirl

    Lots of exploration with time travel. They’ve done well but I don’t like the idea of being stuck with Noel,Serah and some monster as party and the fact you cant control the other character in battle. Lightning and Odin are awesome. Why couldnt they give the new a different summon Bahamut belongs to Fang!

  • hey Guys,,Everything is Good N0 matter what happen 4 Chocobo or bobo Whatever
    My Word is Everything is Beautiful.

  • *looking at Valhalla screencaps* Oh shi! *_* Now that’s what i’m waiting for.
    Still very skeptical about Serah-Noel part. But WHO CARES?

  • bangarang

    Great read, thanks Sal! More and more excited about the direction they’ve gone with this one…plus those screen shots look GLORIOUS.

  • Kobracon

    Awesome! Time travel story! Love mechanics like these. One of the main reasons I loved Radiant Historia for the DS

  • FaithlessMr

    Really, really good news. Loving to know that we’ll finally be able to explore the world as we would with any other rpg. Moreover, time travelling will open even more pahts for exploration and sidequesting.

    And it reeks of Chrono Trigger, which in itself, is quite a feat. I’m pretty sure this game will definitely kick the original game’s ass :P

  • Azure’Sora

    Multiple endings :O
    I Hope there won’t be any bad endings !!