Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 announced

Saturday, 1st September 2012 03:31 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 is the next entry in the sprawling Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy 13 series.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13

Announced concurrently at PAX Prime in Seattle and a Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary event in Japan.

Coming to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2013.

Not a sequel to FF13-2, but a whole new game in the Fabula Nova Crystallis sequence.

Lightning is much more mobile than in previous Final Fantasy games, and will be customisable.

Will have some kind of Facebook integration.

English site.

Japanese site.

Due in 2013 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 is a whole new game rather than a continuation of FF13-2, and will be the final chapter in Lightning’s story. The pink-haired heroine begins the game with just 13 days left until the Doomsday Clock ends the world.

One of the game’s core motifs is “world driven”, and some sort of social Facebook integration will be detailed at a later date. A Facebook address but at time of writing hosts a cover photo only.

Set on a chain of four islands called Navus Partus, the RPG has players traveling between destinations on a monorail. Exploration will be a major theme, there will be plenty of NPCs to interact with, and the world will alter based on a day-night cycle. The first region shown was called Luxuria in the western presentation and Lexerion in the Japanese stream; it’s not yet clear if this is a translation. The design shown had a strong retro vibe, but influences ranged from classical European to futuristic to fantasy.

The other core motif is “Lightning Returns”. Square Enix wants to bring back the Lightning of FF13 rather than FF13-2, but said the new version will be even stronger than she was in her past two games. Players will be able to customise her appearance and weapons. There will be lots of costumes – no solid number was provided, but it will be a lot more than ten or 20 – and some aspects of the costumes themselves will be adjustable.

Weapons will transform, and this mechanic will be important to gameplay. Lightning will be mobile during battle, and will be able to jump and climb around environments, but Square Enix said the RPG is not a true action title.

Attendees of the Japanese event say a trailer was shown, but photography was forbidden. More details are to be announced on September 4.

The Presentation
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 was announced at concurrent presentations – one at PAX Prime in Seattle, and another as part of Final Fantasy’s 25th celebrations in Shibuya.

During the Japanese event, which was live-streamed, Final Fantasy 13 project producer Yoshinori Kitase was first on stage to welcome the audience and introduce the presentation. He spoke a little about the reception of Final Fantasy 13 and 13-2, mentioning that both titles caused positive and negative reactions.

The first bit of actual news was a debunk of rumours that the new FF13 release would be a social or mobile effort, as rumoured over the past few weeks. Director Motomu Toriyama then took the stage. He posted a photo of a rose, saying that it represents the core concept of the game – but didn’t elaborate on what this means.

The game’s main programmer and art director then presented details of mechanics and style, as covered above, and show off concept art of monsters, NPCs, locations, Lightning’s costumes, and other assets including the monorail. The art director unveiled an oil painting, his first in ten years, showing Lightning perched on tiled rooftop in a European-looking city; it was quite lovely.

Toriyama then returned to introduce a recorded message from Maya Sakamoto, Lightning’s voice actor, which closed the live-streamed presentation.



  1. Dragon246

    Engrossing storyline and awesome gameplay , give me both and you have my 60$.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. HauntaVirus

    I actually like where this is going, looking forward to some screens and gameplay.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dragon246

    One more thing, I hope its integrated into the same world as 13 and 13-2, thus is canonical to the series.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    @3 It’s going to follow on straight from the ending of FFXIII-2, I would imagine.

    This certainly sounds interesting. I’m apprehensive about getting my hopes up though. With Toriyama at the helm, an “engrossing story” is probably the last thing we’re going to get.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Takeshi

    Guess I should just pull myself by the neck and finish XIII and XIII-2. I haven’t tried XIII-2 yet (other than a demo), but for XIII I managed to play 20+ hours before losing my save to a format. My own fault. Just hard as hell to motivate myself to spending so much time again.

    It sounds like they’ll be doing a bit of Versus XIII stuff like the day and night cycle. Somehow I am not expecting Versus XIII in 2013 now. I just feel it would be too much to release both in the same year. They’d have a grand year though.

    The fact that it’s the last entry also kinda makes up for “another game before Versus XIII.”

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Hunam

    @3 I’m about a third of the way through FF13-2 and whilst they are technically the same world… they really have so little in common outside superficial elements. FF13-2 is basically just Chrono Break retrofitted with FF13 characters.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ToxicCrusader

    Really wish Square would a) get versus XIII done and released before announcing even more games and b) get versus XIII done and released!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. viralshag

    I couldn’t really get into FF13, I think I stopped just before you get out I to the main world or something. Is FF13-2 an improvement? I like FF, is it worth me going back and finishing 1 to play 2 and 3 knowing the story so far?

    Advice would be appreciated. :)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. brotherhoodofthewolf

    this site shows more info than the one currently linked at the top of the article:

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dark

    I love the new direction for the battle system.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. OrbitMonkey

    I’ve seen Lightenings sword somewhere before…

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Dragon246

    Unfortunately(or fortunately) its set “hundreds” of years after FF13-2.
    Although I am really happy with the new direction its taking in combat. I really liked FF7 Crisis Core. This game is taking a new notes from it, which is good imho.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Ireland Michael

    @12 With the way FFXIII-2 ended, time isn’t really an issue. Don’t want to spoil it too much for those who havent finished it yet.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Deacon

    I’m a bit worried that you’re ONLY going to be playing as Lightning, without other party members etc. I don’t see how they could keep the complexity of the paradigm system with just one member. Maybe this will all be revealed soon, but I’m a little nervous. It needs to have more complexity than XIII-2, imo.

    That aside, I’m pleased they are creating a (sort of) new world. I’ve no doubt there’ll be a lot of re-used assets, but hopefully a lesser percentage than XIII – 2.

    This ‘costume’ thing sounds a bit like X-2.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DarkElfa

    Ok, I’m lost. There was already a 13 and a 13-2 and now there’s another 13?!

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Da Man

    Will there be screen swirling before encounters this time again, or did they give in to pesky wrpgs approach?

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Kabby

    There hasn’t been a decent FF game in over 10 years.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. eztliryu226

    @17 there have been plenty of good games in the last few years, as for this game i can’t wait. Been really happy with the series even though a lot of people whine about it, its driving numbers and sells. And its a pretty good story. And why does everyone blaim 13 for versus not coming out its not the same company blaim advent team *ppl who did 9-12-crisis core-and the movie* they have had large budgeting issues. I wanna see it too they just gotta have better project management and stop with the handheld releases of KH

    #18 2 years ago

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