Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII detailed in Famitsu - Gematsu
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII detailed in Famitsu
posted on 09.04.12 at 11:58 PM EST by (@salromano)
Lightning's (one) happy ending will be told.

Famitsu this week has plenty of new details on Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Square’s newly announced conclusion to the Lightning Saga. Find the lot below.

  • The game is currently 30 percent complete.
  • This is the end of Lightning’s story, and will have a happy ending. Unlike Final Fantasy XIII-2, it will not have multiple endings.
  • Final Fantasy XIII was story-driven, and Final Fantasy XIII-2 was player-driven. Lightning Returns is “World Driven,” meaning the world in constantly in motion.
  • One day in the game world is equivalent to one or two hours in the real world.
  • The game is designed to be played through multiple times.
  • It will not take several dozens of hours to clear a single playthrough.
  • Your items might carry over if you challenge the game after a “bad ending.”
  • Due to the influence of chaos, people from Final Fantasy XIII-2 have stopped aging and are still alive.
  • Novus Partus is composed of two natural terrain continents and two urban continents.
  • Instead of choosing commands in battle, you will assign abilities to buttons.
  • The battle system is close to an action battle system, however, the ATB gauge still exists.
  • Because Lightning is the sole party member, players can have greater concentration in battle.
  • Lightning can move freely in battle. But there is also some sort of time influence.
  • Lightning has become considerably more lovely.
  • The world could end before the 13 days are up, resulting in a “Game Over,” depending on your actions.
  • Defeating enemies and clearing quests will increase the world’s life expectancy.
  • At the same time, helping certain people could decrease the world’s life expectancy.
  • Lightning will come across serial murders in the city.
  • Lightning can hide behind obstacles.
  • There are many clocks around the city showing the constant movement of time.
  • Hope will provide Lightning directions via a communications device.
  • Battles can carry out in just about all operations.

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  • Kazziyan

    Looking forward to it! everything sounds so good!

  • Azurex21

    Ugh why do they continue to bring back Hope?? Out of all the original XIII party members he was the least interesting yet they continue to use him.

    • Hope is very interesting to many people

    • Because, you know poeple want Lightning x Hope thingy.

    • Acidicsam

      He was the worst in XIII, but I felt he was a LOT better in XIII-2, so I don’t mind that he’s back again.

      That being said, I’d still rather have Sazh.

  • Best XIII game

  • DarthBrian

    XIII-2 had multiple endings? o_O

    EDIT: To clarify, because I platinum’d that game and there was only one ending. There were Paradox Endings but those weren’t meant to be the final game ending. Those were just side quests to do. So classifying them as “multiple endings” is a bit silly.

    • RmanX1000

      *eh hem* Paradox Endings anyone?

    • Kazziyan

      They classified those as multiple endings, haha.

  • It’s interesting how they’re making their own take on Majora’s Mask, I.e the 13 day limit as opposed to the 3 day limit. 

    also..”Lightning has become considerably more lovely?” No offense but i dug Serah a bit more, but now that she’s….well, no longer “active.” Still Curiouser and curiouser. 

    also inb4 Versus. (sorry, still a bit sour about it all……………*siiiiiiiiiigh)

  • RmanX1000


  • KingOptimusOrigins111

    Everybody sign this petition so we can get info for Versus XIII and FF Type-0 localized.

    • For the record, I signed the petition. I really do hope it helps.

      • KingOptimusOrigins111

        Ok, Thanks for the support.

  • RedWolfe

    Lightning has become considerably more lovely.
    What a grand new feature xD

    • DarthBrian

      More lovely than she already was???


      • RedWolfe

        All jokes aside, I’m curious what they mean by this.

        Toriyama must’ve really fallen in love with this character if he feels the need to make her “more lovely.”

        • DarthBrian

           I wasn’t joking. :p

          Lightning. <3 <3 <3

        • -Lightning is all by herself in battle, allowing you to concentrate more than when you had to control a party.-Lightning has become a considerably more refined person.
          From the Andriasang Article

  • Kurai Warrior

    This game sounds weird as hell.

    It has seriously got some random elements going on. 

  • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

    Its only 30% done?Yet its taking preccident over a game 6 years in the making?

    That just makes no sense.

    Also I do NOT like the idea of FF becoming a multiple play throgh game with multiple endings.

    • Kazziyan

      It doesn’t have multiple endings though. xD

      and I believe it implies a newgame+ which isn’t new.

      • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

        13-2 had more then 1 :

        • Kazziyan

          Oh I thought you were talking about this game, haha!

          • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

            I should have clarrifed better X{

            • Kazziyan

              No worries. :3

    • Acidicsam

      “Yet its taking preccident over a game 6 years in the making?”

      Completely separate teams working on them. Precedence has nothing to do with it.

      • KingOptimusOrigins111

        OMG I’m tired of the excuse “Completely separate teams working on them. Precedence has nothing to do with it.” It’s not the matter of two teams working on them its the matter of Square Enix should be focusing on Versus XIII and localizing FF Type-0 in the process. While Toriyama and his team focus on something new or help out with FF XIV Online. 

        • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

          That and the versus team has been taken :

          I dont know why people keep saying the whole different teams thing.

          • KingOptimusOrigins111

            Yeah, it’s really irritating when I hear people say that. Another thing if they didn’t take any of Versus XIII developers then why July of 2011 it was in pre-production with only the key developers working on it till September of 2011. Something tells me they took Versus XIII developers to help XIII-2 release on time because of Toriyama slow ignorant a** team.

            • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

              I think its more toriyama is a crappy team leader :

              and game maker….

              Also Nomuras quote about “unrelated circumstance” sounds like someone elses game taking his team

      • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

        Actually 13 has taken members from versus team multiple times,you know what heres a quote from one of squares higherups

        ” “It appears Versus will not be at the Tokyo Game Show. First, they are putting all their strength into the conclusion of the Lightning Saga and Final Fantasy XIV.”  Not very hard to figure that out,now do you see?

  • Kurai Warrior

    This game is going to be short, that’s what I got from this.

    And what’s with the MGS elements? Sneaking, talking to Hope through a communication device. Weird.

    This game just sounds weird as h*ll to me. XD

    You guys have fun with this one.

  • Revorse

    This no party member thing is gonna kill me. I was really looking forward to using the old gang and Noel and Serah again. If anything, that’s the one thing I’m not looking forward to in this game.

  • luke12345

    All the heroes from ff13-2 are alive and cant age apart from lights sister yes noel hope sazh snow and everyone eles from 13-2 yes and vinnile and fangs crystal

  • Looks amazing. Although I am more obsessed with FF Versus XIII, I still want this game since I can rest my mind about Lightning’s fate since this is the end of her trilogy. 

    I sincerely hope that Square Enix will make this game’s story better, since the storylines for FFXIII and FFXIII-2 are somehow… lacking and confusing to me. The mythologies and stuff are interesting and well set-up, but the story execution feels lacking.

  • This article is not about Versus or Type 0 localization.

    Let’s stay on topic please. (Guideline #3)

    If you want to talk about something else, feel free to head on over to the Open Forum. (Speaking of which, the new OF thread will go live later today. We have some really great discussions in the OF. Please, feel free to join us.)

    • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

      Lets be fair,I think its completely reasonable for those people to complain when the article in question is about a game that is causing their game to be delayed.If it were a different game that had no relation then I would agree,but in this case I think its a legitimate point of discussion.

      • It’s fine for people to complain. We just ask that it not be done in this article. Why? Take a look at every single Final Fantasy article posted on Gematsu lately. Even when the article isn’t really about Versus, the discussion turns into something about Versus.

        Normally, I wouldn’t really care. We do encourage positive off topic discussion. What do I mean by positive off topic discussion? It’s the exact same thing as positive on topic discussion. We just want everyone to post and discuss things kindly. Unfortunately, things have not been playing out that way at all in these articles. For some reason, some folks are quick to start “post wars” when they disagree. Things get ugly very fast.

        (Post War = Made up term by me. It’s when people start replying to each other with disrespectful/ugly/rude comments. They take a simple disagreement way too far.)

        This is the problem. If the discussion would stop getting so nasty and ugly when Versus is brought up in these articles, it really wouldn’t be a problem? Don’t you agree?

        It’s fine to criticize and not like something, and despite the fact that some claim we want to “censor” opinions that “we” don’t personally agree with. There is no conspiracy theory thing going on here. It’s all the ugly/disrespectful comments that gets the Moderation team (Including me) along with Sal all upset. We do not enjoy seeing those types of comments being posted on Gematsu.

        What we try to do is create an environment where people can enjoy reading/posting comments. This goes for every single article posted on Gematsu. Last time things got really ugly in an article, I promised that I would start trying to take steps to “prevent” with my moderation. I’m sorry to say, but until the community proves they can follow the simple guidelines we ask them to when posting comments, we will continue to be very strict with the guidelines/moderation. (It’s more like we are being forced to be strict.)

        Later today, I hope to have an article posted that has a message about this from the moderation team and Sal. We are very concerned about these ugly types of comments.

        (I hope this helps provide some answers as to why I made the post.)

        • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

          What post below do you deem inappropriate?

          I think its all good unless people start going completely nuts on each other,which has happened before I’ll admit,but there has also been plenty of legitimate discussion from both sides,and I dont think its good to just shut that  down.

          • Which is why its so unfortunate that time and time again, people are proving they can’t stop going nuts on each other. Like you said, there has been plenty of legitimate discussion. We are not looking to stop that. We are looking to stop the people from ignoring the guidelines and going to war with each other.

            It’s precisely because we don’t want to shut any legitimate discussion down, that I asked for the Versus discussion to please be moved to the Open Forum. If that simple step will help prevent a post war from occurring, it’s a step worth taking. Like I said, it’s not really something I enjoy doing…asking users to move a discussion to another thread. I’m happy that we have that choice though.

            The community has basically forced our hand here. The ugly comments, abusing of the guidelines, lack of respect for each other. All of that has resulted in us having to be more strict. We don’t want to be, in fact, I’m a very laid back person. I will always gladly let the guidelines be bent if the discussion is positive. Even if people are disagreeing with one another, if they are staying mature about it, keeping it at the level of a simple disagreement, I think that’s great.

            Until the community proves they can abide by our simple guidelines, we are going to be very strict with them. That means keeping the discussion in articles very much on point. It’s not something that we want to last. It will only last until everyone gets the message the moderation team is trying to send.

            • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

              Am I still allowed to make comments like the one below?I dont think it goes outside of the guidelines?

        • rockman29

          “Later today, I hope to have an article posted that has a message about this from the moderation team and Sal. We are very concerned about these ugly types of comments.”

          And I’m pretty concerned how heavy handed the moderation is getting. You guys just seem mad because your readership has something to say.

          You guys are saying a blatant no to what is basically a free pass into knowing what your community is interested in.

          • FaithlessMr

             You do have to realize that we must maintain a balance in our community. Keep in mind that when conversations go off topic, or flame wars rise about in these posts, potentially interested users may easily be drawn away by that (I know this happened before, some users admitted they didn’t post as often because of that).

            So what may initially feel like a “powah hungray!!!” measure, is actually something that has been discussed and is being discussed internally, in order to keep things as clutter free and polite as possible around here, without actually preventing anyone from speaking up their mind. Remember, we’re not telling you to stop talking about how you want Type 0 or Versus in the west (I know I do want these games badly myself), we’re just asking you to use the appropriate threads to do so.

    • KingOptimusOrigins111

      The article is about Final Fantasy.
      But can you sign this petition?

  • neku

    sounds like some interesting game play ideas, if only they would try to make a decent story 

  • TerrenceG9

    Menu commands are not selected in battle. Rather, players assign abilities to buttons.
    The battle system is nearing an action battle system. The ATB gauge still exists.
    Because Lightning is the sole party member, players can have greater focus in battle. 
    So, they want it more actiony by assigning abilities to buttons but I still have a limit gauge? I’m not too thrilled by that, or by Lightning being my ONLY option for a character. I really was a fan of Serah :/

    • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

      Its gameplay sounds like a mess to me,go action rpg like versus/KH or stay turn based.This in between stuff is just confusing.

      • Sovereign Gale

         SE can’t have both? Besides, it’s been stated already that this game will be an action RPG, so I can’t imagine why you’re still confused.

    • Kobracon

      Oh Serah…..*sob* I really hope they do something about XIII-2’s ending,,,,

  • Kazziyan

    Question for Sal or anyone: What do you mean by the last point? I don’t understand what it means that “battles can carry out in just about all operations”


  • luke12345

    Please i wanna be able to clock 40 + hours in realtime i dont want to rush though a game thats going to be great why rpg games shouldnt be rushed though i will try and clock 40 + i am not rushing though this i want to enjoy it

  • EspadaKiller

    Okay these details are really interesting.

    And lol at “Lightning has become considerably more lovely.”  I wonder how lovely she can get? This is gonna be interesting :3

  • EspadaKiller

    Okay these details are really interesting.

    And lol at “Lightning has become considerably more lovely.”  I wonder how lovely she can get? This is gonna be interesting :3

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    This game sounds very cool. Hopefully others can shed the blinders of hatred and open their minds to what sounds like a very interesting game in LR:FF13

  • My only complain is that the quality time with Lightning is too short but other than that it sounds great.
    I hope the soundtrack team in FFXIII-2 is back to compose the song. Even if you thing the game is bad, you can’t deny that it has amazing soundtrack, also can’t wait to hear new theme song for it. :)

    • Sovereign Gale

       Yeah, the soundtracks for XIII and XIII-2 are among the things I loved most about those games. I know they’ve had mixed reactions, but I applaud SE for trying something new with the music. Particularly with how they featured more vocal songs.

  • bebestorm117

    Im delighted there’s only one ending but Im disappointed everybody isn’t dead and Hope is back. Im looking forward to it and Im happy SE is exploring their options.

  • Didn’t like the part about “one day in the game is about two hours in the real world”… they could make “one day in the game is one day in the real world” using the ps3 (or Xbox 360) internal clock to base the time of the day you are playing in the game…

    Well… this would have a downside that if you have to make a certain mission at night you have to play the game at night…

    …. and Caius “destroyed the time itself” like he wanted, huh? Wondering if Yeul will show up in this game along with Noel, Vanille, Fang and the others…

  • Nekmex

    “How is Hope alive hundreds of years in the future? A chaotic influence stopped people from aging, so you’ll see characters from Final Fantasy XIII-2 in the game too.”Okay, I think I’m done complaining about the writing in Square-Enix games. A dead horse is dead, and it seems like they employ a lot of those.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Glad you started commenting around here. We certainly were lacking in the “hate every game that is coming out” department in the comments section of every article.

      You sir are the epitome of value add. You definitely fill a niche.

  • Sovereign Gale

    This game keeps sounding better and better, and I’m glad to know that Hope, and potentially other characters like Sazh, will be making a return. I’m a little down about only being able to control Lightning, but if it worked in Crisis Core then it’ll probably work here. Probably. I also hope the story will still maintain a nice pacing or that there’ll still be MUCH of a story. XIII-2 showed how freedom and player choice can mess with a coherent narrative. Or maybe it’s just how SE handled it.

    Another thing, though…
    You guys must have noticed how much they’ve been promoting Lightning since Final Fantasy XIII (like making her essentially the main character of Dissidia 012). It was fine at first for me, since by the time they announced XIII-2 I realized that they probably just want to maintain interest in her “saga”. But this stuff with Toriyama is just getting creepier and creepier. Lightning is cool, but he’s BABYING the girl. He keeps stressing how elegant and beautiful she is, and I can’t help but wonder what this guy does… in his spare time? D=

    • Kobracon

      >.< She is cool and all but…..yeah…

  • Skelter

    I enjoy the enforcements moderators…..good job……….give lightning her space! :P

  • Everything Good 

    BUT “The world could end before the 13 days are up, resulting in a “Game Over,” depending on your actions.” OMG IT’S FIRST a BAD IDEA :S

    • Kobracon

      I think they’re adopting the style of trying again and again with better stats like Dead Rising did.

  • Zuhri69

    Can I say that I am not really digging the new direction they’re taking? I mean the arts I’m cool with but the limited time thing? No, just me? Meh…

  • Jackle

    I think it sounds very interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing the gameplay. I just don’t like that you don’t have party members and that once again Hope isn’t playable.

  • Locksus

    I’m not really sure if I like the sound of this one. It’s kind of a mixed bad for me as Final Fantasy has always been about having a wide cast of characters and following their relationships with each other and getting to know each one of them.

    That said, Lightning is my favourite characters from the XIII and XIII-2 (still haven’t finished it yet. To be honest, it’s kind of a dull game and less interesting than XIII but I’m still going to finish it so I get to know what happens to Lightning, Serah and Noel).

    I’m kind of disappointed that Lightning will be the only playable character this time around.
    “Lightning can hide behind obstacles” that line reminded me heavily of The Last Story so maybe the battle system could be like in that game, who knows?

    I haven’t been commenting much lately but it seems like every Final Fantasy/SE related article’s comment section is about FF versus XIII. While I understand the frustration of waiting for this potentially awesome game, whining and petitions aren’t going to change the fact that SE WILL show the game when they feel the game is good enough to be shown to the public.

    To my understanding the game is going through some heavy changes, mainly adding more CGI cutscenes and utilising the Luminous engine.

    Personally, I can’t wait for it but meanwhile I’m going to put my mind away from that game and play dozens of other awesome games.

    I wanted to say something else too but I got a short blackout of memory, though I feel it wasn’t anything that important.


    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Yo Locksus…been awhile.

      I think if you look at LR: FF13 like its supposed to be a normal FF game you will be disappointed.

      Look at it like a mashup of Brave Fencer, Majora’s Mask, and Kingdom Hearts and I think you’ll have yourself a blast with another fun game from the fine folks at Square!

      I agree with your sentiments on the VS13 comments.

    • Kobracon

      I look at it as a spin-off, and as I’ve said in other threads, I applaud a spin-off that dares to try new things. Whether it’ll be good or not is up to debate. Take FFX-2 for example. I’ll be the first to say that I actually liked it. 
      The dress system was an interesting way to implement the job system and switch seamlessly in battle. The story had its problems and we only had 3 characters to play with (one of them being totally new and never really explained….to this day, I STILL don’t know who Paine is…)

      FFXIII-2 was an interesting test with time and a pokemon-esque monster catching thing. And now LR is total Action RPG.

      P.S. Good to see ya again, Locksus :D

      • Locksus

        Thanks, man :) Yeah, I’ve been playing XIII-2 a little more lately and to be honest the game has gotten better as I’ve made progress in the story. It makes much more sense now that it did in the beginning and I love the fact that I am offered more freedom than in FFXIII even though XIII’s story is still more compelling but Caius is definitely a good villain imo!

        I hope Square will show a new trailer ASAP so I could see how the gameplay looks like ^_^

  • Kazziyan

    I finally figured out what that last bit meant:

    “Because the motion for both Lightning and the monsters has increased, the variation of battles will be plentiful.”

  • transgojobot

    “Lightning has become considerably more lovely.”

    LMBO! *That’s* one of the game’s important ‘new details’?

    • Kazziyan

      If you read the extended interview, they are talking about the games visuals.

  • Kobracon

    Hmm….so far it sounds like FFXIII meets Dead Rising mechanics. The whole time things.

    And it makes sense that ppl don’t age. Considering how badly we effed up Time in XIII-2…

  • SirRussell

    omg i cant wait. well ill have to

  • Got to the second to last bullet. Dammit, why is Hope in this game again?